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Gender and triptan efficacy: a pooled analysis of three double-blind, randomized, crossover, multicenter, Italian studies comparing frovatriptan vs. other triptans.

Author(s): Franconi F(1), Finocchi C, Allais G, Omboni S, Tullo V, Campesi I, Reggiardo G, Benedetto C, Bussone G.

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Laboratory of Gender Medicine, National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems and Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Sassari, Via Muroni, 23, 07100, Sassari, Italy, franconi@uniss.it.

Publication date & source: 2014, Neurol Sci. , 35 Suppl 1:99-105

Migraine is three times as common in females as in males, and attacks may be more severe and difficult to treat in women. However, no study specifically addressed possible gender differences in response to antimigraine therapy. The objective of this study was to review the efficacy of frovatriptan vs. other triptans, in the acute treatment of migraine in subgroups of subjects classified according to gender (men vs. women) through a pooled analysis of three individual randomized Italian studies. 414 patients suffering from migraine with or without aura were randomized to frovatriptan 2.5 mg or rizatriptan 10 mg (study 1), frovatriptan 2.5 mg or zolmitriptan 2.5 mg (study 2), frovatriptan 2.5 mg or almotriptan 12.5 mg (study 3). All studies had a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, crossover design. After treating 1-3 episodes of migraine in no more than 3 months with the first treatment, patients switched to the other treatment for the next 3 months. In this analysis, traditional migraine endpoints were compared between the 66 men and 280 women of the intent-to-treat population. At baseline, long-term and debilitating migraine attacks were more frequently reported by women than men. During the observation period, the proportion of pain-free attacks at 2 h did not significantly differ between frovatriptan and the comparators in either men (32 vs. 38 %, p = NS) or women (30 vs. 33 %, p = NS). Pain relief was also similar between treatments for both genders (men: 56 % frovatriptan vs. 57 % comparators; women: 55 vs. 57 %; p = NS for both). The rate of relapse was significantly lower with frovatriptan than with the comparators in men (24 h: 10 vs. 30 %; 48 h: 21 vs. 39 %; p < 0.05) as well as in women (24 h: 14 vs. 23 %; 48 h: 28 vs. 40 %; p < 0.05). The rate of adverse drug reactions was significantly larger with comparators, irrespectively of gender. Although migraine presents in a more severe form in women, frovatriptan seems to retain its good efficacy and favorable sustained antimigraine effect regardless of the gender.

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