Rizatriptan 5 mg for the acute treatment of migraine in adolescents: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Headache. 2002 Jan;42(1):49-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-4610.2002.02013.x.


Objective: To investigate the tolerability and efficacy of rizatriptan 5 mg in adolescent migraineurs.

Methods: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Patients aged 12 to 17 years received rizatriptan 5 mg (n = 149) or placebo (n = 147) for a moderate or severe headache and for up to two recurrences. Headache severity, presence or absence of associated symptoms, and functional disability were assessed over a 4-hour postdose period, and any adverse events were recorded. The primary efficacy measure was pain-free status at 2 hours postdose.

Results: Rizatriptan 5 mg was well tolerated. The most commonly reported adverse events (all with incidence of 5% or less) among patients receiving rizatriptan were dry mouth, dizziness, asthenia/fatigue, nausea, and somnolence. The percentage of patients pain-free at 2 hours was 32% for rizatriptan 5 mg versus 28% for placebo (P=.474). The percentage of patients with pain relief (reduction of predose pain intensity to mild or none) at 2 hours was 66% for rizatriptan versus 56% for placebo (P=.079). Placebo response rates were higher than those typically observed in previous studies of rizatriptan in adults. Compared with placebo, rizatriptan significantly improved functional disability at 1.5 and 2 hours, and nausea at 1 and 1.5 hours. Post hoc analysis showed a significant benefit of rizatriptan versus placebo in the percentage of patients who had pain relief when their migraine attacks were treated on weekends (65% versus 36%, P=.046) compared with weekdays (66% versus 61%, P=.365), and the weekend placebo response rate was similar to that seen in adults.

Conclusions: Rizatriptan 5 mg was well tolerated and effective on some measures when used in adolescents for the treatment of a migraine attack.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Placebos
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles / administration & dosage*
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use
  • Tryptamines


  • Placebos
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Triazoles
  • Tryptamines
  • rizatriptan