Calcium Channel Blockers for Cluster Headaches
How It Works
It is not clear exactly how verapamil works to prevent cluster headaches.
Why It Is Used
Verapamil is used to
prevent cluster headaches. You take it every day during a cluster cycle
How Well It Works
Verapamil works very well to prevent cluster headaches during a cluster cycle. It can also be used daily to prevent chronic cluster headaches.1
Usually, verapamil causes very few side
effects. Verapamil may cause:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug
Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
People who take verapamil need to
be watched closely and have regular tests. Because
verapamil can affect how the heart beats (its rhythm), this medicine should be
used with caution in people who have problems with the electrical system that
regulates the heart rate (a condition called heart block). Some research shows
that all people taking this medicine should regularly have a test called an
electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to make sure the
heart's rhythm is still normal.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Capobianco DJ, Dodick DW (2006). Diagnosis and
treatment of cluster headache. Seminars in Neurology,