trip·​tan | \ ˈtrip-ˌtan How to pronounce triptan (audio) , -tən \

Definition of triptan

: any of a class of drugs (such as sumatriptan) that bind to and are agonists of serotonin receptors and are used to treat migraine attacks

Examples of triptan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All the findings were still lower than the symptom-relieving effect shown by triptans. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "New drug to fight migraine shows promise," 19 Nov. 2019 But ubrogepant is not as effective as triptans are, points out Dr. Stephen Silberstein, director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University. Meera Senthilingam, CNN, "New drug to fight migraine shows promise," 19 Nov. 2019 In addition, medications known as triptans are used to treat migraines. Maggie O'neill,, "Scientists Have Developed a Promising New Migraine Medication—Here's What You Should Know," 11 July 2019 Ideally such pain relievers would be in pill form and would not constrict blood vessels, as triptans do. R. Allan Purdy, Scientific American, "Can Anything Stop My Migraine?," 1 May 2017 This drug belongs to a group of popular migraine medications called triptans, which increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, helping your blood vessels to constrict and reducing pain, according to the NINDS. Korin Miller, SELF, "Neurologists Share Exactly How They Deal With Their Migraines," 1 Aug. 2018 The first migraine-specific drugs, the triptans, were introduced in the 1990s. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015 Yet even refined, synthetic versions of ergotamine can dangerously narrow blood vessels, so doctors and patients welcomed the triptans, which selectively constrict the blood vessels of the brain. Emily Underwood, Science | AAAS, "Will antibodies finally put an end to migraines?," 18 May 2018 To treat migraines, people usually take over-the-counter NSAIDs or dedicated triptans, a class of drugs first introduced in the 1990s. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "FDA approves new drug to stop chronic migraines without side effects," 21 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'triptan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of triptan

1997, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for triptan

-triptan (as in sumatriptan

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The first known use of triptan was in 1997

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Last Updated

29 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Triptan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for triptan


trip·​tan | \ ˈtrip-ˌtan How to pronounce triptan (audio) , -tən How to pronounce triptan (audio) \

Medical Definition of triptan

: any of a class of drugs (as sumatriptan) that bind to and are agonists of serotonin receptors, that are used to treat migraine attacks, and that are thought to function by producing vasoconstriction of cranial blood vessels, by inhibiting secretion of inflammatory neuropeptides, and by blocking neurotransmission of pain

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