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Subcutaneous sumatriptan delivery devices: comparative ease of use and preference among migraineurs

Authors Andre AD, Brand-Schieber E, Ramirez M, Munjal S, Kumar R

Received 19 October 2016

Accepted for publication 20 December 2016

Published 19 January 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 121—129


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Anthony D Andre,1 Elimor Brand-Schieber,2 Margarita Ramirez,1 Sagar Munjal,2 Rajesh Kumar2

1Interface Analysis Associates, Saraftoga, CA, 2Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA

Background: Several sumatriptan subcutaneous autoinjector devices for acute treatment of migraine patients are available, each device differs with respect to design and features. Determining device preference and ease of use is important because patients experiencing a migraine attack are often functionally impaired.
Objective: The objective of this human factors study was to compare migraine patients’ device use performance and preferences for three sumatriptan subcutaneous autoinjectors: a disposable two-step device (Zembrace® SymTouch®), a disposable three-step device (Sumavel® DosePro®), and a multistep reloadable device (Imitrex® STATdose®), using simulated injections.
Methods: Each study subject performed two unaided simulated injections with each of three different drug delivery devices, which were presented in counterbalanced order. The participants were then asked to rate the three devices on various subjective measures. The primary end point was overall device preference using a visual analog scale.
Results: A total of 54 subjects participated and each subject performed two simulated injections with each of the three devices. Most subjects preferred the two-step device (88.9%) to the three-step (13.0%) and the reloadable (1.9%). The two-step device had higher mean overall preference ratings (F (2, 159)=56.6, P<0.01) and higher ratings for ease of use, intuitiveness, convenience, portability, and control. The two-step device had a first injection full-dose delivery success rate of 44.4%, higher than both the reloadable (24.1%) and the three-step (3.7%) devices. The number of errors with the two-step device (n=3) was ~90% lower than the three-step (n=49) and reloadable (n=44) devices.
Conclusion: In this human factors study, 54 migraineurs used simulated injections to compare three sumatriptan subcutaneous delivery devices. Zembrace SymTouch, a two-step device, was most preferred compared with Sumavel DosePro and Imitrex STATdose. It also ranked highest for ease of use and various other measures. In this study, migraine patients preferred the autoinjector that they rated as simpler and more intuitive.

Keywords: human factors, autoinjector, sumatriptan, migraine, preference

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