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Priorities for triptan treatment attributes and the implications for selecting an oral triptan for acute migraine: a study of US primary care physicians (the TRIPSTAR Project).

Author(s): Cutrer FM, Goadsby PJ, Ferrari MD, Lipton RB, Dodick DW, McCrory D, Williams P

Affiliation(s): Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. Cutrer.Michael@mayo.edu

Publication date & source: 2004-09, Clin Ther., 26(9):1533-45.

BACKGROUND: Physicians treating patients with migraine can now choose from among 7 triptans, which differ on a range of attributes that may be important for treatment selection. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to determine the relative importance of treatment attributes of the available triptans and assess their impact on deciding the most appropriate treatment for a particular patient with migraine. METHODS: As part of the TRIPSTAR project, US primary care physicians were surveyed to elicit their views on the relative importance of a prespecified set of treatment attributes for making treatment choices in clinical practice. The treatment attributes assessed were those for which data from controlled clinical trials were available for subsequent comparison. The resulting attribute-importance weights were then combined with data on the performance of individual triptans across these attributes in a multiattribute decision model to assist selection of an oral triptan. RESULTS: Efficacy attributes were considered more important than tolerability or consistency of effect in selecting an oral triptan. For triptan-naive but not triptan-experienced patients, tolerability was considered significantly more important than consistency (30% [95% CI, 27%-34%] vs 21% [19%-24%]). Sustained pain-free status and freedom from cardiovascular (chest) adverse events were the most important efficacy and tolerability attributes for both patient categories. When the relative importance of the treatment attributes was combined in a multiattribute decision model with meta-analysis data from controlled trials, almotriptan, eletriptan, and rizatriptan were significantly closer to the hypothetical ideal triptan than the reference product, sumatriptan 100 mg. CONCLUSION: Multiattribute decision-making models (such as that used in the TRIPSTAR project) that determine and apply the relative importance of treatment attributes to drug selection have considerable potential value as a decision support tool in the treatment of acute migraine.

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