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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Naratriptan for the treatment of acute migraine: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the comparative efficacy and tolerability of naratriptan in the treatment of acute attacks of migraine. DESIGN: Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials using a random effects model. SUBJECTS: A total of 4499 patients suffering from moderate or severe attacks of acute migraine reported in ten trials. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Response rate ratios for headache relief, pain-free response and sustained relief (4-24 hours). Adverse events were estimated with the rate ratio (RR), risk difference and number needed to harm. RESULTS: Pooled RRs relative to placebo for pain-free response at 2 and 4 hours for naratriptan 2.5 mg were 2.52 (95% CI: 1.78-3.57) and 2.58 (1.99-3.35). Naratriptan 2.5 mg was more effective than naratriptan 1 mg; the corresponding RRs for pain-free response at 2 and 4 hours were 1.54 (95% CI: 1.28-1.86) and 1.35 (1.20-1.51). In contrast, naratriptan 2.5 mg was less effective in pain-free response than either rizatriptan 10 mg at 4 hours (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.55-0.85) or sumatriptan 100 mg at 4 hours (RR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.67-0.93). However, significantly fewer patients experienced adverse effects with naratriptan 2.5 mg than with rizatriptan 10 mg (RR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.56-0.97) or sumatriptan 100 mg (RR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.55-0.86). CONCLUSIONS: Naratriptan is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for acute attacks of migraine. Head-to-head comparisons suggest that naratriptan 2.5 mg is significantly more effective than the 1 mg dose. Rizatriptan 10 mg and sumatriptan 100 mg were superior to naratriptan in terms of headache relief, while zolmitriptan 2.5 mg seemed to have comparable efficacy. Randomised controlled trials have shown that at licensed doses (1 and 2.5 mg), naratriptan is associated with a lower incidence of adverse effects than rizatriptan, sumatriptan and zolmitriptan. The incidence rates of adverse effects were similar to placebo.[1]


  1. Naratriptan for the treatment of acute migraine: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Ashcroft, D.M., Millson, D. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. (2004) [Pubmed]
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