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How do I Use Verapamil for a Migraine?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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The drug verapamil can be used as a preventative measure against migraines. It is usually prescribed to treat hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. As the drug can release the pain and tension caused by constricted blood vessels, using verapamil as a migraine prevention treatment can be extremely effective.

Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker medication. This group of drugs works to relieve pressure on body systems by relaxing the blood vessels and the heart muscles. Using verapamil for a migraine prevention treatment is believed to be effective because it can hold off an attack before it starts by relaxing constricted blood vessels in the head.

The decision whether or not to use verapamil for a migraine prevention program depends on the nature of the patient’s condition. For migraine treatment, the drug is typically prescribed to be taken daily for a period of months or years. It is usually given to patients who have attacks two or more times a month with effects that last at least three days. Verapamil is not generally prescribed when other migraine medications haven’t worked, but rather based on specific symptoms like these. For less-frequent migraine sufferers, taking verapamil or any other kind of preventative medication can cause more harm than benefit.

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The dosage and length of time to use verapamil for a migraine treatment program depends on the severity and frequency of attacks and on how well the medication works for a particular patient. Most doctors will start patients with a small dose and increase the amount slowly over time. The drug comes in tablet and capsule form. Depending on the type of verapamil, it is either taken in the morning or at bedtime.

There are several possible mild side affects that can arise from using verapamil. They include headache, light-headedness, or dizziness. Some patients may also suffer from heartburn or constipation. These symptoms should be discussed with a doctor if they persist or become more severe.

The more severe side effects of verapamil include slow heartbeat, fainting, lack of energy, and loss of appetite. Some patients may also experience symptoms similar to the flu, fever, nausea, and rash. Yellowing eyes or skin or uncharacteristic bruising or bleeding are also considered serious. All of these symptoms should be discussed with a doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms of an allergy to the drug, including breathing or swallowing problems and swelling of the tongue, lips, face, or throat should receive immediate medical attention.

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