Only about 70% of migraine and cluster headache (CH) patients report significant treatment responses to triptans, which are agonists at 5-HT(1B/D) receptors belonging to the family of G protein-coupled receptors. We analyzed whether a common polymorphism in the gene for the G protein beta3 subunit (GNB3 C825T) modulates responder rates to triptans among a cohort of 231 unrelated Caucasian CH patients. A total of 180 CH patients used triptans, of whom 71.1% reported treatment success. The adjusted odds ratio for treatment response to triptans for heterozygous carriers of the GNB3 825T allele was 2.96 (95% confidence interval 1.34-6.56; P=0.0074) vs carriers of the 825CC genotype. The GNB3 genotype status did not affect responses to other acute and preventive therapeutic regimes including oxygen, verapamil, and corticosteroids, i.e., drugs not directly affecting G proteins. We conclude that pain relief by triptans is significantly modulated by a common genetic GNB3 variant.
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