Eletriptan vs sumatriptan: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple migraine attack study

G. Sandrini, M. Färkkilä, G. Burgess, E. Forster, S. Haughie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the efficacy of oral eletriptan, 40 mg and 80 mg, and oral sumatriptan, 50 mg and 100 mg, in the acute treatment of migraine. Methods: Patients with a history of migraine (n = 1,008) were randomly assigned to receive placebo, 40 mg of eletriptan, 80 mg of eletriptan, 50 mg of sumatriptan, or 100 mg of sumatriptan to treat up to three attacks. Early headache response (at 1 hour) was the primary endpoint, in addition to the standard endpoint, 2-hour headache response. Results: Headache response rates were 12% at 1 hour and 31% at 2 hours for placebo; 24% at 1 hour and 50% at 2 hours for sumatriptan 50 mg; 27% at 1 hour and 53% at 2 hours for sumatriptan 100 mg; 30% at 1 hour and 64% at 2 hours for eletriptan 40 mg; and 37% at 1 hour and 67% at 2 hours for eletriptan 80 mg. More patients receiving eletriptan 80 mg achieved a 1-hour headache response than did patients receiving sumatriptan 50 mg (p <0.05). All doses of eletriptan were superior to sumatriptan at 2 hours for headache response and complete pain relief (p <0.05). Significantly more patients on eletriptan 80 mg achieved headache response in all attacks than did patients receiving either sumatriptan dose. Eletriptan 40 mg was superior to both sumatriptan doses in functional improvement (p <0.005). The superior efficacy of both eletriptan doses was associated with higher rates of patient acceptability than sumatriptan 50 mg (p <0.05). Eletriptan and sumatriptan were well tolerated. Conclusion: Oral eletriptan (40 mg and 80 mg) is effective, safe, and tolerable in the acute treatment of migraine and yields a consistent response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1217
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 22 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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