Post-traumatic Headache | Sumatriptan as Treatment for Post-traumatic Headache

Post-traumatic Headache research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

This phase II evaluation of sumatriptan as a treatment for post traumatic headache (PTH) will examine the methods and approach necessary to take the next step to a phase III trial. The sample will include 40 persons with mild complicated, moderate or severe TBI who will be recruited from patients discharged from the acute rehabilitation unit as well as outpatient clinics and the community who are between 3 and 24 months of injury and will be followed over 3 months. The investigators plan to enroll those who have moderate to severe headache with frequency of at least four and up to a maximum of fifteen total headache days per month and at least three months after discharge from hospital. The investigators will use headache diaries to track the headaches for a month. If subjects still have significant headache, the investigators will instruct them in the use of sumatriptan 100 mg. to treat headaches. The subjects will continue to keep daily headache diaries. The investigators will evaluate them at baseline, Day 30 and Day 90. Each subject will receive weekly telephone follow up calls from the research staff. The investigators will measure pain severity, duration, recurrence of headaches, and side effects and how well persons with TBI can use headache diaries.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Age 18-65. The lower age limit is set for ability to consent as an adult for research participation as well as being a minimum age for administration of most validated outcome measurements. The higher age limit is set to 65 to reduce likelihood of health issues which may be a contraindication to the use of sumatriptan and to meet recommendations by the International Headache Society.62 - Diagnosis of TBI occurring at least 3 months but not greater than 60 months before enrollment. Three months was chosen to include only those subjects who are having headache beyond their acute injury and 60 months to identify the ability of individuals with TBI and headache to use both a headache diary and the medication. - Subject has at least four and up to a maximum of fifteen total headache days per month. Subject report of meeting this criteria will result in the subject entering the first month of the study. However, this frequency must be documented in headache diary to enter the treatment phase of the study. - Headaches are classified as moderate to severe (2 or 3 on the 4 point pain scale: 0=no headache, 1=mild headache, 2=moderate headache, 3=severe headache). As above, headache severity must be documented in the month-long headache diary prior to entry into the treatment phase. - Subject is able and willing to give written informed consent for participation in screening activities and to participate fully in the study if eligible. For those subjects who score below 25 on the Mini Mental Status Examination, there must be a caregiver willing to also be consented for participation in the study. - Female subjects of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test at enrollment, and agree to remain abstinent or use acceptable methods of birth control (i.e., hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine device, diaphragm with spermicide, cervical cap or sponge, condoms, or partner has had a vasectomy). Sumatriptan has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA. Animal studies have revealed evidence of decreased fetal body weight, embryo lethality, and cervicothoracic vascular defects. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy and therefore, sumatriptan should only be given during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk. Exclusion Criteria: - History of ischemic heart disease (angina pectoris, history of myocardial infarction, silent ischemia, Prinzmetal's angina/coronary vasospasm, ischemic bowel disease, or peripheral vascular disease) based on self-report or history of basilar or hemiplegic migraine. - Uncontrolled hypertension at initial visit (sitting systolic pressure > 140 mm Hg, diastolic pressure > 90 mm Hg). - Impaired renal or liver function by medical history. - Subject has taken an MAO inhibitor within 2 weeks of screening because these drugs and sumatriptan use the same metabolic pathway. - Subject has hypersensitivity reactions or other intolerance to sumatriptan or any other 5-HT 1B/1D-receptor agonists. - If subjects have medication overuse headache in the opinion of the investigator (if using medication to treat acute headache on more than 15 days per month). - Inability to speak or read English which would limit ability to interact with examiners and complete headache diary and other questionnaires during this study.

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Post-traumatic Headache

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Drug:Sumatriptan 100 mgThis is a single-arm, unblinded study of treatment for post-traumatic headache with the open label medication sumatriptan and is being undertaken to test necessary study instruments and procedures, establish feasibility and determine side effects in a population with complicated mild, moderate and severe TBI.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

SumatriptanOpen label study of sumatriptan to treat post-traumatic headache. Subjects will use sumatriptan 100 mg at the onset of headache pain and may repeat the dose if not pain-free in 2 hours. Subjects will receive a maximum of 18 pills for use over two months. Subjects will maintain a daily headache diary.

Study Status


Start Date: June 2013

Completed Date: February 2018

Phase: Phase 2

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Headache relief

Secondary Outcome: Adverse events

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Jeanne M Hoffman, PhD

Lead Sponsor: University of Washington


More information:

Discuss Headache