Changes in salivary prostaglandin levels during menstrual migraine with associated dysmenorrhea

Headache. 2010 May;50(5):844-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01657.x. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


Objective: To measure prostaglandin levels in the saliva of individuals during menstrual migraine associated with dysmenorrhea (MMaD) and in response to treatment with a single tablet combination of sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium.

Background: Prostaglandins are thought to play a role in MMaD as elevated serum prostaglandin levels have been reported during attacks of menstrual migraine and are increased in the menstrual fluid of women with dysmenorrhea. While triptans are the primary line of migraine treatment, nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most commonly prescribed therapy for dysmenorrhea symptoms. Data from recent clinical studies have provided evidence that treatment with a single tablet combination of sumatriptan and naproxen sodium is an effective abortive therapy for attacks of MMaD.

Methods: Women diagnosed with MMaD were treated with a sumatriptan succinate and naproxen sodium single tablet combination or placebo at time of migraine attack. Saliva samples were collected at time of attack as well as 2 and 4 hours after treatment. PGD(2), PGE(2), PGF(2), PGI(2), and TXA(2) levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Elevated levels of PGD(2), PGF(2), and TXA(2) at 2 and 4 hours and PGE(2) at 4 hours were found in saliva obtained from placebo subjects when compared with onset of attack levels. However, in subjects treated with a single tablet combination of sumatriptan and naproxen sodium, the levels of PGD(2), PGF(2), and PGE(2) were not elevated at either time point while TXA(2) levels were still elevated at 4 hours.

Conclusions: Data from this pilot study provide evidence that saliva levels of several prostaglandins increase during attacks of MMaD and that treatment with a single tablet combination of sumatriptan and naproxen sodium prevents elevation of prostaglandin levels.

Trial registration: NCT00329355 NCT00329459.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dysmenorrhea / complications
  • Dysmenorrhea / drug therapy*
  • Dysmenorrhea / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology
  • Migraine Disorders / metabolism*
  • Naproxen / administration & dosage*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / complications
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / metabolism
  • Prostaglandins / biosynthesis
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism*
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Sumatriptan / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Prostaglandins
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Naproxen
  • Sumatriptan

Associated data