Zolmitriptan inhibits neurogenic inflammation and pain during electrical stimulation in human skin

Eur J Pain. 2015 Aug;19(7):966-72. doi: 10.1002/ejp.622. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


Background: Triptans are agonists to 5-HT 1B/D/F receptors, which are present on nociceptive neurons not only within but also beyond the trigeminal system. The aim of this study was to investigate whether zolmitriptan interacts with peptidergic nociceptive afferents in human skin.

Methods: Twenty participants (13 women, median age: 25; interquartile range: 23-26 years) entered the randomized, double-blind, cross-over study. Electrically induced neurogenic flare and pain was assessed after either placebo or zolmitriptan on the ventral thigh. Mechanical pain thresholds were investigated at baseline and after electrical stimulation at the stimulation site.

Results: The size of the neurogenic flare (F = 10.9; p = 0.002) as well as electrically induced pain were significantly reduced by zolmitriptan (F = 4.46; p = 0.041). Moreover, electrically induced pinprick hyperalgesia was significantly decreased by zolmitriptan compared with placebo (F = 6.243; p = 0.017).

Conclusions: Triptans may have effects outside of the trigeminal system and reduce electrically evoked neurogenic inflammation and pain in human skin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Migraine Disorders / drug therapy
  • Neurogenic Inflammation / prevention & control*
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • Nociceptors / drug effects
  • Oxazolidinones / pharmacology*
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / drug effects
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Skin*
  • Tryptamines / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Oxazolidinones
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • Tryptamines
  • zolmitriptan