Dihydroergotamine nasal spray for the acute treatment of migraine

Dewey K. Ziegler, R. Ford, J. Kriegler, R. M. Gallagher, S. Peroutka, J. Hammerstad, J. Saper, M. Hoffert, B. Vogel, N. Holtz, F. Di Serio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, parallel-group study to compare the efficacy and safety of dihydroergotamine (DHE) nasal spray and placebo over 4 hours in the treatment of migraine. Of the 112 patients enrolled, 100 were included in the “intent-to-treat” efficacy analysis. The patients self-administered either 2.0 mg DHE (0.5 mg per nostril, repeated after 15 minutes) or placebo at the onset of two separate headaches and rated hourly the drugs’ effects on pain severity, pain relief, nausea, and vomiting. The physicians assessed the overall effectiveness of the drugs in relieving headache pain, nausea, and vomiting. Both the patients’ and physicians’ ratings indicated that DHE was significantly superior to placebo in improving headache and nausea; according to the patients’ ratings, these between-group differences were already significant at the first (hour 1) evaluation. There were no significant differential treatment effects with respect to relief of vomiting. Most adverse events were mild or moderate, confined to the nasopharyngeal area, and probably related to the route of administration. We conclude that DHE nasal spray is a safe and effective treatment for the pain and nausea of migraine attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-453
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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