Clinical Health Updates

Combo sumatriptan-naproxen slightly better than either alone for acute migraine

Clinical Question:
Is a single tablet containing sumatriptan and naproxen superior to either agent alone in the treatment of acute migraine in adults?

Bottom Line:
Sumatriptan, 85 mg, plus naproxen sodium, 500 mg, as a single tablet for acute treatment of migraine resulted in more favorable clinical benefits compared with either monotherapy, with an acceptable and well-tolerated adverse effect profile.

Brandes JL, Kudrow D, Stark SR, et al. Sumatriptan-naproxen for the acute treatment of migraine: A randomized trial. JAMA 2007;297:1443-1454.

Study Design:
Randomized controlled trial (double-blinded)

Multiple pathogenic mechanisms may be involved in generating the migraine symptom complex, and multimechanism-targeted therapy may confer advantages over monotherapy. The authors evaluated the efficacy and safety of a fixed-dose tablet containing sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium relative to efficacy and safety of each monotherapy and placebo for the acute treatment of migraine. Two replicate, randomized, double-blind, single-attack, parallel-group studies conducted among 1461 (study 1) and 1495 (study 2) patients at 118 US clinical centers who were diagnosed as having migraine and received study treatment for a moderate or severe migraine attack. Patients were randomized in a 1:1:1:1 ratio to receive a single tablet containing sumatriptan, 85 mg, and naproxen sodium, 500 mg; sumatriptan, 85 mg (monotherapy); naproxen sodium, 500 mg (monotherapy); or placebo, to be used after onset of a migraine with moderate to severe pain. Primary outcome measures included the percentages of patients with headache relief 2 hours after dosing, absence of photophobia, absence of phonophobia, and absence of nausea for the comparison between sumatriptan-naproxen sodium and placebo, and the percentages of patients with sustained pain-free response for the comparison between sumatriptan-naproxen sodium and each monotherapy. Sumatriptan-naproxen sodium was more effective than placebo for headache relief at 2 hours after dosing (study 1, 65% vs 28%; P<.001 and study 2, 57% vs 29%; P<.001), absence of photophobia at 2 hours (58% vs 26%; P<.001 and 50% vs 32%; P<.001), and absence of phonophobia at 2 hours (61% vs 38%; P<.001 and 56% vs 34%; P<.001). The absence of nausea 2 hours after dosing was higher with sumatriptan-naproxen sodium than placebo in study 1 (71% vs 65%; P = .007), but in study 2 rates of absence of nausea did not differ between sumatriptan-naproxen sodium and placebo (65% vs 64%; P = .71). For 2- to 24-hour sustained pain-free response, sumatriptan-naproxen sodium was superior at P<.01 (25% and 23% in studies 1 and 2, respectively) to sumatriptan monotherapy (16% and 14% in studies 1 and 2), naproxen sodium monotherapy (10% and 10% in studies 1 and 2), and placebo (8% and 7% in studies 1 and 2). The incidence of adverse events was similar between sumatriptan-naproxen sodium and sumatriptan monotherapy.