How long can you take Flunarizine for?

I'm currently taking Flunarizine for chronic migraine and my Neurologist has told me to continue taking it, but in the patient information leaflet it states that it should only be taken for 6 months.

Has anyone taken Flunarizine for longer than 6 months?

Does anyone know why the patient information leaflet states it can only be taken for 6 months?

Thanks.

9 Replies

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  • Hi.... I have been taking flunarizine for 15 months now. I too was concerned when I read that it should be taken for only 6 months. My migraine doctor has assured me they it should be safe as he was unaware of any risk in continuing. I have had 50% reduction in the frequency of my migraines.. from 26 /28 per month to around 13/ 17 approximately now. I have put on weight though and fatigue has been persistent...and recently i have been feeing very weak. Not many people seem to take flunarizine so I would love to hear of how you get on. Good luck!

  • Hi Shawnie,

    Thanks for your reply. I haven't had a migraine in 2 and a half weeks but I am really struggling with the side effects - depression, apathy, jittery and agitated,can't sleep at night. I don't want to go back to how the migraines were but I can't see how I can continue with the side effects. I reduced the dose from 10mg to 5mg a week and a half ago but things haven't improved. I'm either going to reduce the dose again or stop.

  • I do know what you mean... I couldn't take 10mg as fatigue was overwhelming and although I now take 5mgs I sometimes have periods of very low mood bordering on depression .... Feel apathetic and have no interest in life. I actually tried to contact my migraine doctor last week to see about stopping the flunarizine but I am scared to go back to the daily severe migraines.... between a rock and hard place :(... Maybe try the 5mg dose five days out of seven (maintenance dose) ? Maybe that will help? I feel for you.... It is not easy. Take care.... Let me know how you get on.

  • Hi, when I read your last post, I thought I had written it myself! That's exactly the problem I have now - not wanting to continue with the Flunarizine and not wanting to go back to how the migraines were before. I started trying the maintenance dose of 5mg every other day. But the depression and lack of sleep are just too much. Well done for lasting 15 months. That's amazing. I think I have to stop, so I have only managed 5 months. I feel terrible for giving up but can't take the side effects any more.

    My neurologist suggested asking the GP for an antidepressant to take alongside the Flunarizine, but I don't want to go down that route. They also suggested that the Flunarizine might have broken the circle of the chronic migraine - which would be fantastic, but I expect too much to hope for!

    I asked the Neurologist if there was a similar medicine and he said no.

  • I do understand... This is an awful illness and takes such effort to keep on fighting. Over the last 6 years I have tried so many preventative meds...all with horrible side effects which made me stop taking them. I totally agree with you that anti depressants are not a solution! They too have side effects! The flunarizine is the only one to give me some relief....so am worried that I might need to stop too.. Think that there are no other meds left to try.... Not much fun is it? Side effects still deprive you of your life.... :( Fingers are crossed for you... hopefully the cycle is broken and you will continue to be pain and pill free. Take care and please let me know how you get on... I don't know of anyone else who takes flunarizine.

  • Hi,

    Have you tried Botox injections or gammacore vagus nerve stimulator?

    I also use a lot of magnesium oil as it is absorbed better than the tablets.

    None of these made anywhere near as much impact as the flunarizine, but they get me so far.

    I took my last Flunarizine pill last Sunday, but the depression and lack of sleep are still there. If anything I have the feeling it's getting worse. Hope I'm not getting withdrawal symptoms.

  • Hi there... Sorry that your mood is still so low... I hope that once the flunarizine is out of your system you begin to feel more like you. I remember my doctor saying that it takes a while... Even a few weeks to clear the system completely. I have not tried Botox(not without negative side effects for some people) nor the vagus nerve stimulator... I am considering trying a Cefaly device though. Will try anything to reduce the frequency of these migraines! I take magnesium powder... Not sure if it helps but it won't hurt. I do hope that you feel better soon!

  • Hi,

    I have been taking flunarizine for 6 years now. My neurologist says he doesn't know why I would need to have a break after 6 months, and I haven't got any noticeable side effects. I am thinking about trying to come off it, as I now only have a migraine every 6 months or so, and my headache days are mostly manageable. I've not been able to find any information in English about the reason for not taking flunarizine for more than 6 months.

  • Never heard of it in New Zealand

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