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Zolmitriptan Nasal Spray Relieves Cluster Headaches

Study shows 5 and 10 milligram doses work better than placebo

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Zolmitriptan nasal spray safely relieves cluster headaches, researchers report in the Aug. 28 issue of Neurology.

Marcelo E. Bigal, M.D., Ph.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues compared the effect of 5 and 10 milligrams of zolmitriptan nasal spray versus placebo on headache intensity in 52 adults experiencing 151 headache attacks.

The researchers found that 10 mg of zolmitriptan gave significant relief within half an hour in 63.3 percent of cases, while 5 mg provided significant relief in 50 percent of cases and placebo relieved only 30 percent of cases. After 10 minutes, 10 mg of zolmitriptan relieved headaches better than placebo.

Ten milligrams of zolmitriptan worked better than placebo at achieving a pain-free state. Sixteen percent of participants on placebo experienced side effects compared to 25 percent on 5 mg and 32.7 percent on 10 mg zolmitriptan.

"Zolmitriptan nasal spray, at doses of 5 and 10 mg, is effective and tolerable for the acute treatment of cluster headache," the authors write.

This study was sponsored by AstraZeneca who also provided the drug. Each author received grants for this study and have received grants and honoraria from multiple pharmaceutical companies.

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