Indexed on: 09 Jul '14Published on: 09 Jul '14Published in: European Journal of Internal Medicine
Triptans are a family of selective serotonin (5-HT1B/1D) receptor agonists that are widely used to treat acute migraine attacks. Their efficacy is limited by side effects and the gastrointestinal manifestations of migraine.To compare the efficacy of a single intravenous administration of propacetamol, a prodrug of paracetamol (acetaminophen) with a single dose of oral rizatriptan in treating acute migraine attacks.Patients were selected from those who presented to the emergency room with a diagnosed migraine attack and who had not previously taken any analgesics. They were randomized into 2 groups: treatment with a single 1g IV dose of propacetamol or with a single oral dose of 5mg rizatriptan. Their Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) pain scores were assessed before and at 30, 60, and 120min after treatment.The patients who received the propacetamol had significantly improved VAS scores at 60min compared to the rizatriptan group. There were no significant differences in VAS scores at 30 or 120min post-treatment.Propacetamol is either equivalent or superior in efficacy to rizatriptan for treating acute migraine attacks, while having the advantage of parenteral administration in patients whose migraines are accompanied by nausea and vomiting.