Combination Treatment Relieves Menstrual Migraines

Sumatriptan and naproxen in combination bring pain relief in women with dysmenorrhea
By Jeff Muise
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Sumatriptan and naproxen used in combination delivered both two-hour and sustained pain relief to women with dysmenorrhea who were suffering menstrual migraine headaches, according to a pair of studies reported in the July issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Lisa K. Mannix, M.D., of Headache Associates in West Chester, Ohio, and colleagues conducted two similar studies in which adult women with menstrual migraine and dysmenorrhea were treated early in their episode with a combination of sumatriptan (85 mg) and naproxen sodium (500 mg) or with placebo. The primary study end point was the percentage of subjects who experienced cessation of pain within two hours.

In both studies, the researchers found that the sumatriptan-naproxen subjects had better pain relief than placebo both at two hours and up to 24 hours. In study one, 42 percent of sumatriptan-naproxen subjects had two-hour pain relief compared with 23 percent for placebo, while in study two the percentages were 52 and 22, respectively. The authors further note that, in study one, 29 percent of sumatriptan-naproxen subjects had two- to 24-hour sustained pain relief compared with 18 percent for placebo, while in study two, the percentages were 38 and 10, respectively.

"Sumatriptan-naproxen provided an effective pain-free response at two hours, which was maintained up to 48 hours in menstrual migraineurs with dysmenorrhea. Sumatriptan-naproxen was well tolerated and resulted in decreased rescue medication use and relief of non-painful menstrual symptoms," the authors write.

Both studies were supported with grants from GlaxoSmithKline. Study authors reported receiving research grants from and serving as consultants and speakers for GSK and a number of other pharmaceutical companies.

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