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Triptans

Drugs & Medication

Triptans

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Triptans are a family of tryptamine drugs used as abortive medication in the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches. They were first introduced in the 1990s. While effective at treating individual headaches, they are neither a preventative nor a cure. Their action is attributed to their binding to serotonin 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors in cranial blood vessels (causing their constriction) and subsequent inhibition of pro-inflammatory neuropeptide release.

A test measuring a person's skin sensitivity during a migraine may indicate whether the individual will respond to treatment with triptans. Triptans are most effective in those with no skin sensitivity; with skin sensitivity, it is best to take triptans within twenty minutes of the headache's onset.

Triptans include sumatriptan (Imitrex, Imigran), rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge, Naramig), zolmitriptan (Zomig), eletriptan (Relpax), almotriptan (Axert, Almogran), and frovatriptan (Frova, Migard).

References

  • Tepper S. J., Rapoport A. M. (1999). "The triptans - A summary". CNS Drugs 12 (5): 403-417.

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