Starting Verapamil - help!


New here - I just wrote my info in the relevant place.

Needless to say, I have both MAV and Multiple Sclerosis. Yay. :?

Am starting Verapamil but am scared as I tend to be hyper-sensitive. I have two boxes - one is 40mg tablets and the other is 180mg SR. I took one 40mg tab the other day as was very dizzy - ha so what’s new - MORE dizzy than normal - about two hours after taking it. That subsided about an hour later, after I vomited.

Is it mental to cut a 40 mg tab in half or 1/4s to start? I am so afraid of side effects, having had a seizure from codiene and some paradoxical side effects from other drugs…

Any advice on what to do and what to look out for is much appreciated. i live only with my 14yo son, and he’s obviously at school most days, so home alone most of the time…


Most of us Migraineurs are so med sensative thats for sure. I was sooooo desperate to feel better that I didnt care about the side effects though! Verapamil is a very easy drug…i’m not sure there are any side effect except for constipation (of which I didnt get) I am sure if your 40mg tab is SR or not, but the SR one is the one to take. You probably got dizzy after taking it for a myriad of other reasons, but a side effect I doubt was one especially at such a low dose. I am currently on 240mg SR 2x per day.
Migraine hates any change, so anytime we mix things into our daily lives that we normally don’t do our symptoms will rumble!!
Do you have the book, “Heal Your Headache” by Dr. David Buchholz? This is a must have for all us with Migraine. I felt soooooo much better after reading it and still refer to it regularly!

Hang in there!

Hi Pam, thanks for your reply.

The 40mg is not slow release. My neuro wanted me to go straight onto the SR 180 mg tablet, but I’m too chicken! I am not sure if the increased dizziness was a mix of normal MAV + a degree of panic as I sat around anticipating some awful side effect…

I ordered that book from Amazon in the US last week. I’m in Aus so it will take a while to get here.


I have the same feelings/fears about taking a new medication also. I start low and go slow, especially if it is a new class of drugs for me. You could take a half of the 40 for a few days and you’ll probably realize there aren’t any side effects and feel safer about moving up from there. Maybe try and keep yourself busy with something after taking it so you won’t be concentrating on “is that a side effect?” or constantly checking yourself for changes. Good Luck with your new meds and I hope they work well for you :slight_smile:

It needs to be the SR version though, thats the thing. Don’t even do the 40mg. I am thinking that you could cut the 180 in half, but I really think you will be fine with taking the whole thing. Do you have like a Walgreens drug store where you are? I call the pharmacist all the time with those kinds of questions. Where ever you get your meds from, the pharmacist should be able to answer that for you.


I think for my sanity, and because I am alone most of the time, I shall try the 40mg in half for a bit, as teddy said. The neurologists in the ER had no problem with the lower dose to start - it’s just my balls-out crazy neuro who thinks popping pills is a breeze who wants the SR straight up. Obviously the SR is better for the symptoms, as one would get a steady flow of drug rather than a hit…but I really am a big ole chook (that’s australian for ‘chicken’).

of course, having MS as well as MAV doesn’t help…half the time I don’t know which is which!

Hi, I also take Verapamil (360mg) I take the ER though, why is SR better Pam? I noticed slight increase in dizzinesd when I first started.but it went away, it has helped me, Im on 2 meds though. Very curious about this ER vs SR though.

I’m sorry mommy, I always get the 2 confused…mine is also the ER :mrgreen: