verapamil side effects (long, rambling)

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Posted by John Reynolds ( on November 24, 1999 at 02:08:41:

In Reply to: verapamil posted by mitch on November 24, 1999 at 00:08:33:

I have used verapamil as my main defense against
clusters since shortly after they started in about
1986 or 87. I have sometimes experienced
constipation and slightly swollen ankles. Your
wife can go off birth control if you are on this
or any other calcium channel blocker. The way my
neurologist explained it to me is that the sperm
are "blind" when the calcium channel is blocked
and much lower doses than those used for clusters
make it pretty much impossible to father a child.
(My wife was pregnant two months after I switched
to a different headache med.)

I was a chronic sufferer and got at least 2 h.a.'s
every day if I wan't on some kind of
preventative. I usually used verapamil, and when
that didn't work, I would use even more verapamil.
I used as much 960mg/day (4x240), but at that
level I had to see a cardiologist to make sure my
heart wouldn't stop beating--my resting pulse then
would be in the low 40's. At usual doses you will
probably only have slightly lowered blood pressure
and pulse--my normal pulse has always been on the
low side anyway--around 55 to 60 beats per min.

When headaches would break through at even that
level of verapamil, my neurologist would switch me
to Sansert or lithium or imiprimine or any of a
host of other meds, almost always accompanied by a two week course of prednisone. After the
headaches were under control for a few months or
if the new drug worked for a while and then the
headaches made it past the new drug, then I would
switch back to relatively low dose of verapamil
and start the cycle again.

I was able to use it with imitrex, dhe
injectibles, oxygen, whatever. The side effects
were much less with verapamil than those with
lithium, Sansert, nortriptyline and several

So, unless you're trying to become a daddy right
now, I'd go with the verapamil. I would be pain fr

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