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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2003 February;162(1):1-6

Copyright © 2003 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Triptanes and viral diseases. A preliminary study

Cassar Scalia A.

Settore Medicina di Base Specialistica, Branca di Patologia Clinica, ASL n. 8, Siracusa


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Aim. The aim of the paper is to point out a new interesting therapeutic possibility in case of viral infections. The author, for a real case of serendipity, studying headache and the actions of drugs which are commonly used for its treatment, observed that triptanes have an unexpected action on some viral affections.
Methods. On the basis of this initial intuition, a case series of various different viral infections, occurred in patients affected by headache and under treatment with triptanes, has been analysed.
Results. Triptanes showed an unexpected efficacy in some viral affections, depending on molecules, doses, and above all the early treatment.
Conclusion. Among the hypotheses formulated by the author about the possible mechanism of action of triptanes, the most interesting one is surely their action on the cellular receptors for viruses. This hypothesis, on the basis of an evident increase of plasmatic serotonin in case of viral infections, attributes to this substance the capacity of binding virus cellular receptors and developing an endogenous antiviral function. Triptanes, being structurally very similar to serotonin, would also show to possess a considerable affinity toward these receptors. It is hoped that these observations could stimulate further studies and direct clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of triptanes in viral diseases.

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