Objective.—The objective of this open-label study was to evaluate the efficacy of switching patients who had a previous unsatisfactory response to rizatriptan to eletriptan 40 mg.
Background.—The characteristics of individual migraine patients can vary tremendously and can have a significant impact on treatment outcomes. In addition, clinical experience has demonstrated that the triptans are not identical or interchangeable and that patients who respond poorly or who are dissatisfied with one agent can derive benefit by being switched to another agent within the triptan class.
Methods.—Patients were eligible if they met International Headache Society criteria for migraine, with a frequency of 1 to 6 migraine attacks per month, and had documented “unsatisfactory treatment response” to rizatriptan within the past year (54% on the melt formulation; 46% on tablets). Reasons for dissatisfaction with rizatriptan (>1 could be cited) included inadequate (84%) or slow onset (50%) of pain relief, high recurrence rate (69%), and lack of improvement in associated symptoms (60%). One hundred twenty-three patients were eligible for treatment. Patients were instructed to take eletriptan 40 mg as soon as they were certain that their headache was a migraine, regardless of level of pain severity (8% treated headaches that were mild).
Results.—Headache response at 2 hours (first-attack data) was 64%. Absence of nausea (from baseline to 2 hours) increased from 50% to 78%, absence of photophobia from 30% to 72%, and absence of phonophobia from 39% to 77%. Functional response at 2 hours was 63%, with 41% of patients reporting normal functioning. Treatment with eletriptan 40 mg was associated with a 27% to 40% reduction in migraine attack-related functional impairment, as measured by the PQ-7. Recurrence rates were 36.6%. Overall, 72% of patients rated eletriptan as a “good-to-excellent” treatment, and 78% reported overall satisfaction with the degree of headache relief.
Conclusion.—The results of this study suggest that eletriptan is an efficacious treatment option for patients who are dissatisfied with their response to rizatriptan.