Almotriptan is a serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine)(1B/1D) receptor agonist (triptan) that has shown consistent efficacy in the acute treatment of migraine with excellent tolerability. It is an effective, well-tolerated and cost-effective triptan, as demonstrated by improvement in rigorous, patient-orientated end points, such as 'sustained pain-free without adverse events'. Results from post hoc analyses, observational studies and well-controlled, prospective clinical trials have shown that significant improvements can be achieved if almotriptan 12.5 mg is administered within an hour of migraine onset, particularly when pain is mild, rather than waiting until pain is moderate-to-severe. Benefits were also achieved with early treatment of moderate-to-severe pain. Time-to-treatment was the best predictor of headache duration, whereas initial headache intensity best predicted most other efficacy outcomes. Early administration of almotriptan 12.5 mg not only produced rapid symptomatic relief, it also improved the patient's quality of life and ability to resume normal daily functioning. Furthermore, the efficacy of almotriptan is not significantly affected by allodynia (purported to reduce the efficacy of triptans). Thus, the excellent efficacy and tolerability profile of almotriptan administered early in a migraine attack indicate that it may be a first-line treatment option in this common, underdiagnosed and undertreated disorder.
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