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Sumatriptan in the treatment of cyclic vomiting.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a patient with cyclic vomiting who was treated successfully with sumatriptan, a serotonin, agonist.

CASE SUMMARY: A patient with a 4-year history of cyclic vomiting was treated for an episode of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. This patient had been hospitalized numerous times for cyclic vomiting over the previous 4 years, each hospitalization lasting from 3 to 11 days. Following a single subcutaneous injection of sumatriptan 6 mg, the patient ceased vomiting and was discharged 40 hours from the time of admission.

DISCUSSION: The efficacy of sumatriptan in migraine headache appears to be mediated through its agonist activity at the serotonin1D receptor, resulting in constriction of dural blood vessels. According to published reports, therapeutic attempts at controlling cyclic vomiting often have included antimigraine therapies. Consistent with these reports, sumatriptan also appears effective in the treatment of cyclic vomiting.

CONCLUSION: The pathogenesis of cyclic vomiting appears to share similarities with classic migraine, both of which may respond to sumatriptan therapy according to this report and previous work. Further study of the use of sumatriptan in the treatment of cyclic vomiting appears warranted.

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