, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 339-348

Recent advances in the acute management of migraine and cluster headaches

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I have discussed the pharmacokinetics, efficacies, and side effects of the various nonnarcotic drugs available for the treatment of patients who have headache. Sumatriptan, the newest one, is expensive but may be cost-effective for those who have failed traditional migraine treatment, who visit the ER frequently, who have potential for drug abuse, or who have to miss time from school or work due to the headache. Studies are in progress to compare sumatriptan with other available drugs such as DHE-45 and to determine its possible role in the prophylaxis of migraine. A new 5-HTID receptor agonist with more efficacy and fewer side effects may be developed in the future. When sumatriptan and DHE-45 are contraindicated due to hypertension or coronary artery disease, other drugs such as metoclopramide, ketorolac, and butorphanol can be used as alternatives.