Update on sumatriptan: new progress in migraine treatment

Carl Dahlof

The introduction of the 5HT1B/1D agonist sumatriptan in 1991 marked a significant advance in the management of migraine. Sumatriptan was the first migraine pharmacotherapy designed to target selectively the neurovascular origin of migraine pain. Sumatriptan was introduced in several formulations (injection, nasal spray, conventional tablet or suppository). The latest sumatriptan formulation, a fast-disintegrating/rapid-release oral tablet, has recently been introduced into clinical practice. Swallowed with liquid, this sumatriptan tablet was developed to disintegrate and disperse more efficiently in the gastrointestinal tract than does the conventional tablet. This paper reviews clinical data on the long-standing formulations, discusses recent findings on the new fast-disintegrating/rapid-release tablet, and considers the clinical applications of each of the sumatriptan formulations in the management of migraine.