General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

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General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:01 am

Flunarizine has the most evidence of being effective in treating migraines, however, it is not available in the UK! Although, all is not lost, you may be able to obtain it from your neurologist.

Verapamil another drug is particularly effective in treating familial hemiplegic migraine.

They work by reducing the calcium entry into neurons making them less 'excitable' and block dopamine receptors in the brain.

Have you tried either of these? How did you find them?


Last edited by Tee on Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:02 am

I tried Fluarazine and I have to say it is the one drug which has worked the best on reducing both the severity and frequency of the migraines. I was not that hard to get hold of, my consultant sorted all that out, I just had to sign a form.

The down side for me was that it made me very very sleepy - at the end I was sleeping up to 16 hours a day - which with 4 young kids is not a good thing.

I was sorry to see this one go - and is the only preventative I would suggest people give a go - if they are offered it.

Would be interested to know how others have got on with it?
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by whitzendJane on Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:41 am

Tee wrote:I tried Fluarazine and I have to say it is the one drug which has worked the best on reducing both the severity and frequency of the migraines. I was not that hard to get hold of, my consultant sorted all that out, I just had to sign a form.

The down side for me was that it made me very very sleepy - at the end I was sleeping up to 16 hours a day - which with 4 young kids is not a good thing.

I was sorry to see this one go - and is the only preventative I would suggest people give a go - if they are offered it.

Would be interested to know how others have got on with it?

Not tried flurazazine ( wasn't suitable for it ) but did have a stint on verapamil and sisn't have any luck with that one.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Kala on Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:40 am

I have tried Verapamil and I'm currently taking Flunarazine and have been for the past 6 years come July.

Verapamil for me was stopping my hemiplegic migraine but I would develop extreme neck and shoulder pain to extend that whilst at uni the on-site surgery nurse thought I had Meningitis because I just couldn't move my head, the pain was horrendous. So what I did was miss the next dose and the following day I would have my hemiplegic migraine. I continued to take it afterwards but after three further episodes I knew that this drug was of no benefit for me. It was as if my migraine was trying to "get out" if you know what I mean and the only way to do that was to stop taking it. If I continued to take it the neck pain and stiffness just became even more unbearable.

Flunarazine is helping to some degree. I started on 5mg a day for 6 months, in this period I found that the severity of my hemiplegic migraines was improved from 12 days to 5 days; there was no change in their frequency, I would still have an attack every 6-8 weeks. The dose was then increased to 7.5mg for a further 6 months and again the severity improved to attacks lasting 2-3 days but again no change in frequency. So the dose was increased again to 10mg, this was virtually stoping the attacks, I knew that I wasn't my normal self and so could isolate the days that would have been a hemiplegic migraine if I hadn't been taking Flunarazine.

However, I started to developing strange side-effects. I would experience burning in my toes, and the outsides of my big toes went numb and remain so, I then experienced burning in my feet as if I was walking on broken glass. I was working as a health care assistant at the time so spent the majority of time on my feet, thus it was total hell. The dose was reduced back to 7.5mg and after about 3 weeks the side-efffects resolved and after a further few weeks the dose was increased again but within 3 weeks the side-effects returned. So again the dose was reduced. I think it was tried a third time just because what I was experiencing was completely new to my consultants.

Anyway back on 7.5 mg my attacks slightly increased in severity again but I was still better than if I was without the Flunarazine. However, after a period of time (months) the side-effects returned and so the dose had to be reduced again to 5mg. We went through the same process of increasing back to 7.5mg after the side-effects resolved and down again when they returned.

Dr S has been tweaking the dose over the past 18 months or so, so instead of dropping it straight back to 5mg we went to 6.6mg, 6.25mg, 6mg. However, instead of the burning sensation just affecting my feet it started to affect other joints in my body, my knees firstly to the extend that my GP thought I had osteoarthritis and so had x-rays, which ruled it out, and then my shoulders. He then decided to stop it completely last June and within 6 weeks I was in total hell, and within a further 10 days I was admitted! So this proved that Flunarazine is playing a part (although small) in managing my condition. He started me back on 3.75mg in September but in February I experienced a massive hemiplegic migraine, which resulted in another emergency admission and so I am now on 5mg but how long for...well how long is a piece of string!! Wink

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Sheena Hulston on Mon May 02, 2011 7:23 am

Flunarazine is working for me at the moment although I am also on 400mg of Topamax as well as 10mg of flounarazine my days are not so bad at the mo x Except the weather this week!!!I seem to have no side effects (as yet) and I have been on it since last oct. saying that I was depressed for the first month but not sure if thats because there was no instant improvement or the drug taking effect! I like everything to happen NOW!
I am sure it wont last for ever but it works well for now Cool
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Fri May 06, 2011 8:07 am

Oh Sheena - I want to add this one to the success stories lol


I am so pleased you are getting better days - btw if you were going to have a reaction to the Topamax it would have happened by now - so its all Smile

But I know what you mean - it has taken me years to get used to things taking time...... tick tock............ BUT one day ONE will work Wink


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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Sheena Hulston on Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:56 am

Just an update on the Flunarazine..... take it at 5.30pm now as suggested but still find it such a struggle to get up in the morning! If I sit down in the day I just go out like a light sunny
I didnt mind too much in the winter but its summer time now and I soooo wish I could bounce again bounce just on the good days Crying or Very sad
Sheena x
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:45 am

Sheena - how are you getting on sweetie - not seen you for a while?

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Laura on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:21 pm

I took Verapamil. It knocked me out so that I could barely get myself up off the couch. When they checked my blood pressure they were shocked at how low it was. I had to stop the medication. Can't recall if it reduced the migraines or not. I just remember feeling so fatigued and the great effort it took to stand up.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:36 am

Starting Flunarizine very soon. Very pleased that my migraine clinic had the option of offering this to me.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:09 am

That is good news - it takes a while to kick in as it builds in the system... but I hope you have the luck I had with it..... it was a turning point for me x

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:24 am

I am on it! Started it last night. Hoping it helps. I was just thinking what life without frequent episodic bordering on chronic migraine will be like. If this works I'm going to have to learn to live life again. There's a challenge and a half.


Hopeful.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Sheena Hulston on Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:37 am

I Have been on it for 2 years now and have got my life back I have just started work again after 4years off and enjoying it and coping well. It did take a few months to work as it needs time to build up in your system, but I couldnt live without it.
Hope it works as well on you
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:03 am

Wow Sheena, that's amazing and encouraging to hear!
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:26 am

Fab sheena - sooooooooooo pleased to read that x

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:16 pm

AAAAGH! Just noticed that the most common side effect of Flunarizine is weight gain. I put on 3 stone in three months when on mirtazipine for depression. I managed to lose it all again but it took ages. I hope it doesn't happen again. WAH!

I am aware this is deeply shallow, and I'll be glad if it makes my migraines go away but the doctor didn't tell me! Boo!
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:28 am

I'm thinking taking this drug after my dinner is too early for me. I could have gone to bed about 7pm!
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by Tee on Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:17 am

If I am honest I did have some weight gain on it (about a stone) - BUT it took ages to go - it was no way near the amount I put on with Topamax....

The timing of taking it will take a while for you to work out - its a balance of going to sleep and waking up - I think I started at around 9 and ended up around 6... but everyone is different.... I also went with the sleep flow -I was not sleeping very well in the early stages so when I felt tired I went to bed regardless of the time.... you may find allowing your body to tell you to sleep and not a clock better x

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:57 pm

Thanks, Tee. I think I'll take it later at the moment as I'm fine in the mornings despite my poor quality sleep. I'll maybe try 9pm. It's not made me sleepy in the daytime yet but I know it takes a while to build up so that may well change.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:43 pm

Trying to figure out what's going on right now. I have a nasty cold for the first time in ages, which is making me feel quite awful. However, I felt like I was glued to the bed and can't wake up today. Wonder if that's the flunarizine starting to make me sleeeepy. Or is it just the nasty cold...

Wasted day, but I'm catching up with radio I've not had a chance to listen to for ages.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by onandoffagain on Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:38 am

Just got back from seeing neuro, coming off Topiramate, which although had very little side effects, was not doing anything to reduce frequency or severity. I have now got Flunarazine to try which i hear good things about on here. I'm worried about the weight gain because vain as it is I get very down about my weight, especially when i'm not able to exercise to loose weight. I will keep you updated! First job, to come off the topiramate......

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:54 am

Good luck with the flunarizine, onnandoff.

I wasn't told about weight gain by the doctor and am worried about it too, but I reckon if I can keep it to a reasonable amount, being migraine free will be worth it. If I balloon I might feel otherwise. I once took mirtazipine for my depression, which really helped but I put on 3 stone in 3 months on that, and so far this drug doesn't feel anything like that. I had an unbelievable appetite on mirtazipine, but have noticed no changes with flunarizine yet. I've only been on it 2 weeks, but I've only had 4 mild headaches, twice requiring triptans, but that's an improvement - one a week rather than two or more a week.

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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

Post by sisterphonetica on Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:42 pm

Well. I'm now off the flunarizine as it was doing nothing. In fact my MIDAS score was up significantly. So now I've been put on mirtazipine an SNRI. I am half asleep. We shall see. I expect I shall struggle with work on this and the last time I was on it for depression I put on three stone in three months. Oh well. Weightwatchers here I come. AGAIN.
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Re: General discussion - Calcium Channel Blockers - Flunarizine, Verapamil

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