SAGE Publications, Cephalalgia, 4(22), p. 271-281, 2002
This study investigates the CNS effects of sumatriptan and rizatriptan, with temazepam as an active comparator, in healthy female volunteers. Sixteen volunteers completed a randomized, double-blind, crossover study and on four separate occasions received either 100 mg sumatriptan, 20 mg rizatriptan or 20 mg temazepam. The main parameters were eye movements, EEG, body sway, visual analogue scales and a cognitive test battery. Rizatriptan and sumatriptan decreased saccadic peak velocity by 18.3 (95% CI: 5.7, 30.8) and 15.0 (2.2, 27.9)°/sec, respectively, about half the decrease induced by temazepam (35.0 (22.1, 47.8)°/sec). Body sway increased (30% for rizatriptan (16%, 45%) and 14% for sumatriptan (1%, 27%), respectively). Temazepam caused larger, similar effects. In contrast to temazepam, sumatriptan and rizatriptan decreased reaction times of recognition tasks and increased EEG alpha power (significant for sumatriptan, 0.477 (0.02, 0.935). Therapeutic doses of sumatriptan and rizatriptan caused CNS effects indicative of mild sedation. For EEG and recognition reaction times the effects were opposite to temazepam, indicating central stimulation.