A Study Comparing the Effectiveness and Safety of ULTRACET® (Tramadol HCl/Acetaminophen) Versus Placebo for the Treatment of Acute Pain From a Migraine Headache


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of tramadol HCl/acetaminophen as a pain medication compared with placebo in the treatment of acute pain from a migraine headache. Although tramadol HCl/acetaminophen is approved to treat acute pain, it is not approved for the treatment of acute pain associated with migraine headache. The study hypothesis is that tramadol HCl/acetaminophen is safe and effective as a pain medication in the treatment of acute pain associated with a migraine headache.

Full Title of Study: “A Comparison of the Efficacy and Safety of ULTRACET® (Tramadol HCl/Acetaminophen) Versus Placebo for the Acute Treatment of Migraine Headache Pain”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double

Detailed Description

Although new drugs and procedures are available to treat acute migraine pain, inadequacies in treatment still exist. The ingredients in tramadol HCl/acetaminophen tablet and the way it works may be effective in the treatment of the pain of acute migraine headache. The combination of tramadol HCl/ acetaminophen works faster than tramadol alone and lasts longer than acetaminophen alone. This is a multicenter, single-dose, outpatient, randomized (study with two groups one in treatment and one control group), double-blind (neither patient nor investigator knows which patient is receiving study drug or control treatment), placebo-controlled, parallel-group (each group receives only one type of treatment) study of adult patients who experience at least moderate pain from migraine headaches. After being randomly assigned to a group patients will leave the study center with one dose (2 tablets) of study medication, either active treatment or placebo. The next time the patient has a migraine headache of at least moderate pain, the patient will take the study medication and start to answer questions about their headache pain and pain relief in a study diary. Patients should return to the study center within 72 hours of taking this dose. The study hypothesis is that tramadol HCl/acetaminophen is safe and effective as a pain medication in the treatment of acute pain associated with a migraine headache. 2 tramadol HCl (37.5 milligrams)/acetaminophen (325 milligrams) combination tablets or 2 matching placebo (inactive substance) tablets for tramadol HCl/acetaminophen taken one time orally


  • Drug: tramadol HCl/acetaminophen

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change in baseline headache pain severity at 2 hours post-dose from severe or moderate to mild or none, without using any nausea medication or other pain medication

Secondary Measures

  • Pain free at 2, 6 and 24 hrs post-dose; difference in pain intensity and response to therapy over the first 6 hrs post-dose; reduction in occurrence and severity of symptoms; change in functional disability; subject overall rating of change.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patient with a history of diagnosis of migraine with or without a warning sign (aura), that meets the criteria for a migraine, for at least 1 year – History of migraine pain at least moderate in intensity – Incidence of 1 to 6 headaches per month in the past year – If female, using acceptable method of birth control Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with routine headaches that could be confused with migraines – No more than 13 headache days per month in the past 6 months – Onset of migraines after age 50 – Patients with migraines involving the eyes, chronic migraine or cluster headaches – Patients using one or more of the following medications before study entry: more than 1 type of migraine prevention medicine in the past 6 weeks, tramadol within 30 days, vitamins/herbal remedies or non-drug-related remedies for migraine for < 30 days, St. John's Wort within 30 days, investigational drug in past 30 days or any other disallowed medications

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C.
  • Collaborator
    • PriCara, Unit of Ortho-McNeil, Inc.
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, L.L.C. Clinical Trial, Study Director, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C.

Citations Reporting on Results

Silberstein SD, Freitag FG, Rozen TD, Kudrow DB, Hewitt DJ, Jordan DM, Fisher AC, Rosenthal NR; CAPSS-223 Investigators. Tramadol/acetaminophen for the treatment of acute migraine pain: findings of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Headache. 2005 Nov-Dec;45(10):1317-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.00264.x.

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