Triptans are a group of drugs targeted at alleviating symptoms of migraine, a severe and often debilitating headache that can affect sight and speech.
Triptans are derived from the amino acid tryptophan and designed to resemble the serotonin molecule and mimic its effects on subgroups of serotonin receptors in the brain. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is a neurotransmitter known to contribute to feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
The triptans available in Australia are: sumatriptan (Imigran and other brands), zolmitriptan (Zomig), naratriptan (Naramig), rizatriptan (Maxalt) and eletriptan (Relpax).
Authors: Michael Vagg, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University School of Medicine & Pain Specialist, Barwon Health