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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • headache;
  • ergotamine;
  • sumatriptan

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.