And 84 percent of patients using the patch were relieved of their nausea, compared with 63 percent of those in the placebo group, according to a company news release.
The most frequent side effects were pain at the site of application along with tingling, itching, warmth and discomfort.
Patients with heart disease or who are using antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors should also be careful when taking sumatriptans, said Waltman, who added that she thought the patches "are wonderful."
One concern, though, is cost, Waltman cautioned.
It's not clear how much the patches will cost, but the class of medications known as triptans can be expensive, as much as $300 a month (although sumatriptan now has a generic version), Waltman said.
In general, though, "the more options that are available to migraine headache patients, the better," Waltman said. "Migraine patients tend to be underdiagnosed and undertreated and inappropriately treated."
NuPathe CEO Armando Anido told Bloomberg News, "We anticipate the product will be available for sale in the fourth quarter of this year."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about migraines.
SOURCES: Fawad Khan, M.D., neurologist, Ochsner Neuroscience Institute, New Orleans; Nancy Waltman, Ph.D., nurse practitioner, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, Lincoln Division; NuPathe Inc., news release, Jan. 17, 2013; Bloomberg News
All rights reserved