Treatment of mild headache in disabled migraine sufferers: Results of the spectrum study

R. K. Cady, R. B. Lipton, C. Hall, W. F. Stewart, S. O'Quinn, D. Gutterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

164 Scopus citations


Objective. - To evaluate the effectiveness of sumatriptan, 50-mg tablets, versus placebo for early intervention while head pain was mild in patients with disabling migraine. Methods. - A post hoc analysis was performed in a subgroup of patients from a large, randomized, placebo-controlled study of patients with disabling headache who treated while pain was mild. Pain-free response 2 and 4 hours postdose, headache recurrence, and safety were examined. Significance tests were performed only for the first-treated attacks. Results. - Twenty-six patients with disabling headache treated 46 mild and 166 moderate or severe headaches. For the first-treated headaches while pain was mild, pain-free rates were significantly higher for sumatriptan than placebo 4 hours postdose (78% versus 0%, P=.02), but not 2 hours postdose (52% versus 0%, P=.22). Across all headaches treated while pain was mild, pain-free responses were higher for sumatriptan than placebo 4 hours (85% versus 17%) and 2 hours (50% versus 0%) postdose compared with placebo. When the same patients treated headaches while pain was moderate or severe, pain-free rates were lower than that reported for treatment during mild pain. There was a trend toward lower headache recurrence in headaches treated while pain was mild compared with moderate or severe pain (13% versus 18%). No drug-related adverse events were reported in the headaches treated while pain was mild. Conclusions. - Patients with disabling migraine may benefit from early intervention with sumatriptan, 50 mg, while pain is mild.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-797
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000



  • Disability
  • Migraine
  • Mild
  • Spectrum
  • Sumatriptan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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