Names: 5-hydroxytriptamine 1 (5-HT1) agonists, this class of drugs includes sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, malate, eletriptan hydrobromide, naratriptan hydrochloride, and frovatriptan succinate. These are all drugs that a doctor would prescribe you and can be taken in a number of ways including injections, nasal sprays, tablets, and dissolving tablets.
How triptans work: Triptans work by preventing the release of signals involved in migraine pain. By preventing these signals from being released triptans prevent pain.
Evidence in children: Triptans are widely used for adults with migraine and there is a lot of evidence that for most adults this is a very effective medication to stop migraines. In children there have been fewer studies. There are however several studies looking at if triptans stopped headache pain in children with migraines. All of the studies have found that over 50% of children who received the medication felt better and no longer had headache pain two to four hours after taking it. Most of this research was done in the gold standard (double-blind, placebo controlled randomized control trial) way for research of this type and indicates that likely triptans are a good choice to stop migraine pain for many children with migraines. 1
Cautions: Serious adverse events using this medication are rare in children. Taking this medication sometimes causes side effects such as sensations of warmth and tightness, burning pain, numbness and strange feelings. These side effects happen in about 1-4% of children who take this mediation. 1
1. Hershey, A. D. & Winner, P. K. Pediatric Migraine: Recognition and Treatment. J. Am. Osteopath. Assoc. 105, 2S-8S (2005).