Treatment of Headache Following Triptan Failure After Successful Triptan Therapy

Marc E Lenaerts, James R. Couch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Triptans should remain the first choice in migraine abortive treatment. They are not always effective or adequate for specific patients. Before declaring a triptan in appropriate for a given patient, the provider ought to be analytical about the rationale and especially the use of objective efficacy outcome measures and ensure that treatment is prescribed and used appropriately. Other ergot derivatives, especially dihydroergotamine, may on one hand share common contraindications of triptans but on the other hand can be quite effective where triptans failed. Non-steroids are simple, readily available, and overall safe, and evidence for their efficacy in migraine is plentiful. Opioid analgesics are blatantly overprescribed especially in non-complicated migraine patients. These should be used with great care and restraint and closely monitored. Frequent opioid usage often leads to tolerance, dependence, and medication overuse headache. Neurostimulation is gaining momentum in the armamentarium of migraine management but at the present time remains primarily focused on prophylaxis, yet abortive use is expected to grow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Ergot derivatives
  • Headache
  • Neurostimulation
  • Non-steroids
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Triptan Failure
  • Triptans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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