Sildenafil, a selective inhibitor of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) degrading phosphodiestrase 5 (PDE5), induced migraine without aura in 10 of 12 migraine patients and in healthy subjects it induced significantly more headache than placebo. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the pain-inducing effects of sildenafil would be reflected in plasma levels of important signalling molecules in migraine: cGMP, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Ten healthy subjects (four women, six men) and 12 patients (12 women) suffering from migraine without aura were included in two separate double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over studies in which placebo or sildenafil 100 mg was administered orally. Plasma levels of CGRP, cAMP and cGMP were determined in blood from the antecubital vein. Despite the ability of sildenafil to induce headache and migraine, no significant differences in plasma levels of CGRP, cGMP and cAMP were detected after sildenafil compared with placebo. In conclusion, plasma levels of CGRP, cGMP and cAMP remain normal during sildenafil-induced headache or migraine. However, since previous studies indicate an important role of these signalling molecules, the present study questions whether cAMP and cGMP in peripheral blood can be used for monitoring pathophysiological events in headache and migraine mechanisms.