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There is evidence that headache response rates may be higher if triptans are used early when a migraine attack is still mild, as compared to when it is treated after pain has reached moderate or severe intensity.
In this randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group clinical trial, 361 patients took either placebo, sumatriptan 50 mg, or sumatriptan 100 mg in a single attack study. The primary outcome measure was pain-free status at two hours.
In the intention to treat group, two hour pain free rates were 16%, 40%, and 50% in the placebo group, sumatriptan 50 mg group, and the sumatriptan 100 mg group respectively (p<0.001, active treatment groups vs. placebo).
Both sumatriptan 50 mg and 100 mg were significantly superior to placebo for the pain-free end point at two hours. The pain-free response rates in this trial where sumatriptan was taken while the headache was still mild were generally higher than in older clinical trials where headache was treated after reaching a moderate or severe intensity.
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