Flunarizine and migraines

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Hi all,

I have had chronic migraine for 4 years. I have been taking Flunarizine for the last 5 months and amazingly I haven't had a migraine for the past 2 weeks!

However....the side effects are really getting me down. I feel depressed, apathetic, jittery, agitated, like I want to vomit and my insides just want to get out of me.

I also have a very stiff jaw which is difficult to open and close and then the pain from the jaw moved up the side of my face and head to next to the spot which I call my migraine spot because that's where I always have my migraines. So I have basically swapped migraines for needle pain in the head which comes from a stiff jaw.

Has anyone else had experience like this?

I have reduced the Flunarizine dose from 10mg daily to 5mg daily to see if this helps with side effects and hope that the migraines don't come back.

Has anyone else reduced or stopped Flunarizine?

If so, have the migraines got worse again? Or have the side effects got better?

And how long after reducing/stopping Flunarizine was it before the side effects got better or the migraines got worse?

Thanks!

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Alice,

    Yes, I take Flunarizine and thankfully not had those symptoms.  I was told to take 5mg at night for first month, I think, before going up to 10mg, maybe the 10mg was too much too soon for your body?

    Glad migraines stopped anyway!

    Good luck and best wishes, take care and hope things settle soon.

    Let us know how you get on

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for your reply. How long have you been taking Flunarizine for? And has it helped with the migraines?

      I have reduced the dose to 5mg for a week now and symptoms are still the same. In fact the insomnia and not feeling able to eat symptoms are getting worse!

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    • Posted

      I have been taking Flunarizine for about 2 years, I have gained weight, but controling it with lots of exercise and watching what I eat.  Its not easy, but the Flunarizine has helped to keep the Hemiplegic Migraines under control, so that has to be good
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  • Posted

    Hi Alice,i took flunarazine for 3 months earlier this year but it triggered a nasty depression in me and weight gain and I had to taper it off and stop it completely.I know people that it has worked for though so maybe mention to your neurologist how you are feeling and see what they suggest as it would be a shame to stop it as you are getting some relief from your migraine.good luck.
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    • Posted

      Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks for your reply. I also have the weight gain but at the same time I have lost my appetite and have to force myself to eat. I have also been finding it very difficult to sleep.

      I asked the Neurology nurse if it was possible to reduce the dosage and have been down to 5mg per night for a week now but it hasn't helped at all yet with the side effects.

      How long were you taking Flunarizine for? Did you have to build it down gradually when you came off it?

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice,I tapered it down 10mg-7.5mg-5mg- then 2.5mg alternate days.I had no withdrawal symptoms. Flunarazine didn't reduce my migraines,the weight gain and the depression were not nice and I had a permanent frontal headache,so my neurologist took me off it and gave me Botox.There was a lady in the clinic that I attended that really benefitted from Flunarazine so don't be put off from my experience as it does work for some people and putting on a few pounds is a small price to pay for getting your life back.I hope your side effects settle down. Ps the Botox hasn't worked for me either so it's back to the drawing board again!

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    • Posted

      Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks. How long a period did you have to taper the Flunarizine down for? You said alternate days - would you mind letting me know what you mean by this? Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice, I did a week on 7.5mg,then a week on 5mg,then a week on 2.5mg and then a week of 2.5mg on alternate days.no side effects from stopping the drug but no weight loss either!
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    • Posted

      Hi Jeanette,

      Thanks. How long did it take for the depression side effect to go away? Did you find that the depression eased as you reduced the dose?

      The side effects are really getting me down now. I'm not able to sleep any more too which makes everything so much harder.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice,if I'm honest the depression hasn't gone away but I think that is more to do with the fact that my migraines are worse than they've ever been and I never get a clear day without pain and vomiting and having to go to bed.If I could just get a respite from this awful condition then I wouldn't be depressed and I could actually have a decent quality of life.If the flunarazine is reducing your migraines,then I would continue with it and see if the side effects settle down.I would give anything to have 2 weeks migraine free!let me know how you get on.

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