Zecuity – transdermal sumatriptan

Zecuity was just approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute migraines. Zecuity is a skin patch containing sumatriptan. Delivering sumatriptan through the skin is an appealing option for patients who have severe nausea or vomiting and have difficulty swallowing tablets. NuPath is a company that has been working on such a delivery system for several years and I mentioned their research in one of the posts on this blog over three years ago. Recently, they completed another clinical trial which confirmed that the idea is valid and their product (it was first named Zelrix, but now is to be called Zecuity) is effective in treating migraine attacks. The patch containing sumatriptan delivers medicine through the skin with the help of an electrical current derived from a miniature battery embedded within the patch. The patch is used once and then is discarded. The results of this trial were published in the journal Headache. This study involved 469 patients half of whom treated their migraine with an active patch and the other half with an inactive (placebo) patch. A significantly higher proportion of patients given sumatriptan were completely pain-free compared to those who were given placebo – 18% vs 9%. Pain relief after two hours was observed in 53% patients receiving sumatriptan compared to 29% of those receiving placebo and this difference persisted. Side effects were mostly local due to the patch – 23% had pain at the site of patch, 20% had either burning of tingling, and 7% had other types of skin reaction, but only 2% had a reaction severe enough that they took the patch off. Zecuity (transdermal sumatriptan) appears to offer a good option for migraine sufferers who cannot take oral medications and do not want to inject themselves with sumatriptan.
transdermal sumatriptan zecuity

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