Conflict of Interest: None.
What Happens to the Old Headache Medicines?
Article first published online: 9 APR 2012
© 2012 American Headache Society
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 52, Issue 4, pages 701–706, April 2012
How to Cite
Rapoport, A. M. (2012), What Happens to the Old Headache Medicines?. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 52: 701–706. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02123.x
Disclosures: Dr. Alan Mark Rapoport is on the speakers bureau of Allergan, Nautilus Neurosciences, and Zogenix. He is on the advisory board of MAP, Nautilus Neurosciences, NuPathe, and Zogenix, and he is a consultant for Winston.
- Issue published online: 9 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 9 APR 2012
- Accepted for publication November 2, 2011.
Vol. 52, Issue 6, 1065, Article first published online: 4 JUN 2012
Old headache medicines never die; they either fade away or come back in disguise. The disguise is often a new route of administration, which may work better, faster, more completely, with fewer adverse events, and/or have certain other advantages. The clinical aspects of 3 of the oldest headache medicines (ergotamine tartrate, dihydroergotamine, and methysergide) will be discussed here. Sumatriptan will then be discussed as the prototype of the newest category of acute care therapy (triptans) for migraine. It will be compared with the older medications, and the new forms being developed will be briefly discussed. Diclofenac potassium for oral solution will be mentioned as the newest drug approved for migraine by the Food and Drug Administration, and a possible alternative to triptans in patients with frequent headaches or those with contraindications to vasoconstrictors.