Coronary Vasoconstrictor Potential of Triptans: A Review of In Vitro Pharmacologic Data


  • Antoinette MaassenVanDenBrink PhD,

  • Pramod R. Saxena PhD

  • From the Department of Pharmacology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Address all correspondence to Dr. Antoinette MaassenVanDenBrink, Department of Pharmacology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, PO 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


This article reviews the in vitro pharmacology of the triptans in human isolated coronary arteries. As expected, based on their similar pharmacologic profiles, the triptans cannot be easily differentiated with respect to effects at human isolated coronary arteries. Furthermore, the data show that at therapeutically relevant concentrations, triptans have little potential to cause clinically significant constriction of nondiseased coronary arteries. These data, considered in the context of clinical findings reviewed elsewhere in this supplement, support the conclusion that, while all triptans have the potential to produce small contractions of human isolated coronary arteries, their craniovascular selectivity, when used at therapeutic doses, renders them unlikely to cause serious adverse coronary events in patients with healthy coronary arteries.