Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Triptans are a family of tryptamine-based drugs used as abortive medication in the treatment of migraines and cluster headaches.
Their action is attributed to their binding to serotonin 5-HT1B and 5-HT1D receptors in cranial blood vessels (causing their constriction) and subsequent inhibition of pro-inflammatory neuropeptide release. Evidence is accumulating that these drugs are effective because they act on serotonin receptors in nerve endings as well as the blood vessels. This leads to a decrease in the release of several peptides, including CGRP and substance P.
Spinal sumatriptan inhibits capsaicin-induced canine external carotid vasodilatation via 5-HT1B rather than 5-HT1D receptors. 2009
the thyroid artery was cannulated for infusion of agonists.
Comparing Triptans [October 1, 2010] Laura Dean, MD.National Center of Biotechnology Information
Treatment guidelines for acute and preventive treatment of cluster headache.[2011 Sep;20(3):213-27.] Acta Neurol Taiwan.
Within the group of acute medications currently available in Taiwan, the subcommittee determined that high-flow oxygen inhalation has the best evidence of effectiveness, followed by intranasal triptans. Both are recommended as first-line medical treatments for acute attacks. Oral triptans were determined to be second-line medications. For transitional prophylaxis, oral corticosteroids are recommended as the first-line medication, and ergotamine as the second-line choice.