[This text was generated using artificial intelligence (GPT-3) and underwent subsequent human editing to ensure accuracy.]

Sumatriptan tablets and nasal spray, the most commonly prescribed migraine medication. Simone Hogan / Alamy Stock Photo

Researchers have developed a new intranasal formulation of almotriptan malate, a medication used to treat acute migraine, that could potentially provide quicker relief for migraine headaches than oral tablets1.

They compared the intranasal formulation to the currently available oral tablets in a pharmacokinetic study using rats. The optimised intranasal formulation resulted in a nearly five-fold reduction in time to maximum concentration and a seven-fold increase in bioavailability compared to the oral tablets. This suggests that the new formulation could produce a rapid onset of action and potentially provide the much needed quick-relief treatment for migraine headaches.

Researchers Derajram Benival and colleagues from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research – Ahmedabad compared the two routes of delivery of the migraine medication by varying the percentage of two different substances – HPMC E15 and ethanol – and measuring two important quality attributes of the product – viscosity and permeation. The percentage of HPMC E15 had a significant impact on both the viscosity and permeation of the product. On the other hand, the percentage of ethanol did not have a significant effect on either of the quality attributes measured.

Further research is needed to strengthen the formulation, including toxicity and nasal irritation studies, as well as the evaluation of other cosolvents and penetration enhancers, the researchers say.