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The complex pathophysiology of migraine contributes to the continuous challenge of developing optimal treatments. Two classes of drugs—triptans and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—have been shown to help people with migraine, but their success is limited and many patients are dissatisfied with treatment.
Two recent randomised double blind trials of more than 3000 people compared the efficacy and safety of a new drug—a tablet containing 85 mg of sumatriptan succinate and 500 mg of naproxen sodium—with monotherapy of 85 mg sumatriptan, 500 mg naproxen, or placebo. At two hours after dosing, sumatriptan-naproxen was more effective than placebo for headache relief and reducing sensitivity to light and sound. The combination drug was also more effective than either monotherapy or placebo in sustaining relief from pain for 24 hours after dosing. The adverse event profile of the combination drug was comparable to that of monotherapy with sumatriptan.
Combining these two drugs with different antimigraine mechanisms seems to confer added benefits to monotherapy alone. The authors warn, however, that the benefits and safety profile reported in the trials cannot be extrapolated to concurrent use of the two drugs separately, especially at the different dosages available on the market.