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Assessment of Adverse Events Associated
with Triptans -- Methods of Assessment
Influence the Results
Sheftell F, Feleppa M, Tepper S, et al.
Posted: January 2005
Background: A recent study conducted in
triptan-na´ve migraine patients showed that tolerability was the
second most important attribute of an acute treatment. However,
the proportion of patients reporting side effects after any acute
treatment may vary with regard to the method of assessment.
Objectives: To contrast two methods of assessing
adverse events (prompted and unprompted) in those with headache
Results: Most patients reported no side effects in
the unprompted questionnaire. However, most of them reported at
least one side effect in the prompted questionnaire. Most
patients that reported side effects in the unprompted
questionnaire said they had just one adverse event, while most
reported two or more side effects in the prompted questionnaire.
Both in the unprompted and in the prompted questionnaires, most
side effects were rated as mild or moderate. Interestingly, 31
subjects graded their adverse events as severe in the prompted
questionnaire, but had not self-reported them.
Conclusions: (1) When assessing adverse events,
the method of data collection may dramatically influence the
results. (2) From those subjects who did not self-report adverse
events after using a triptan, most of them will report positively
if presented with a list of side effects.