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Sumatriptan Nasal Spray and Cognitive Function During Migraine:
Results of an Open-Label Study
K.Farmer, etal.
Headache, April 2001
Posted June 2001

To examine measures of cognitive function during acute migraine, before and after treatment with sumatriptan nasal spray, 20 mg.

Migraineurs frequently report symptoms of cognitive impairment during migraine. The efficacy of sumatriptan for treatment of migraine-related cognitive impairment is undocumented.

This open-label, single-attack study of 28 subjects measured cognitive function under three patient conditions: migraine-free, untreated migraine, and following sumatriptan (primary outcome). Headache response and pain-free response, percent effectiveness, and clinical disability were measured.

Cognitive function (simple reaction time, sustained attention/concentration, working memory, visual-spatial processing) and alertness/fatigue were adversely affected during migraine compared with migraine-free performance, and rapidly restored following sumatriptan nasal spray, 20 mg. Headache and pain-free response were 86% and 68% respectively, at 135 minutes postdose. Changes in migraine pain severity, clinical disability, and percent effectiveness following treatment with sumatriptan nasal spray, 20 mg, were significantly correlated with cognitive function measures across all subtests.

Sumatriptan nasal spray, 20 mg, restored migraine-related cognitive function and clinical disability.