Verapamil – anyone unable to handle it?

Hi All,

I’m wanting to give Verapamil another shot soon. It seems to me that most people on here have not found it difficult to take. I tried it twice about 1.5 years ago and it mucked up my stomach and made me feel very dizzy immediately. Has anyone here had to discontinue the med for being unable to tolerate it?

Hannah mentioned to me that a neurologist she saw recently said that it’s worth going back to a med that was unsuccessful initially. Sometimes they work better the second time around after some time has passed. So Verap it is on top of low-dose Paxil by the looks of it.

Thanks … Scott 8)

You already know my story on this fella. I took it for 8 weeks and the constipatiopn was just too much vs the little benefit I was seeing. I simply couldnt hack the constipation - apart from that its a breeze.


Hey Scott,

I had a similar situation to yours when taking Verapamil. It made me feel really dizzy almost right away. Looking back, I think I should have started at a lower dose initially because right away I started at 120 mg. It was probably too much for my system to handle. I think Nance did it the right way…for us med sensitive people. She started with a smaller dose and then worked her way up to 120. I think it’s worth another shot. Good luck with whatever you decide!

:slight_smile: Colleen

I am EXTREMELY med sensiti8ve and the only side effect that I had with Verapamil was constipation. For me, it was MUCH easier to handle than other meds. Maybe it’s worth a second shot.

Scott, I have been taking Verapamil for about 5 weeks with the only real side effect a little constipation so far. I am now on 180 mgs and will go up to 240 soon. It may have made my dizziness worse in the first 2-3 weeks but I seem to have settled back down to my normal dizziness now. It has not helped yet, however. I also just added low dose Klonopin in the am and pm, not sure if that is doing anything good or bad to be honest. I am willing to give the Verapamil another few weeks and reassess…will keep you posted. Ben


I think I have been on it a year, and have had no side effects. As far as possible constipation, I make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and I ALWAYS have a bowl of Shredded Wheat and most days I have a fiber bar throughout the day aswell.
Keep us posted!!!


Hi, I am also very curious about people’s responses to verapamil. I recently started it at 20 mg twice daily (40 mg total) as I am small with low pulse and blood pressure. My doc wants me to stay on this dose for 4-6 weeks. I was wondering if others saw any response at such a low dose? I am currently dizzy 24/7 and am unable to sleep as I have vertigo spells when I try to go to bed and am woken up very early with vertigo. Did anyone else experience this when starting verapamil or in general?

Hey Lisa from NY -

You might want to check under “success stories” and read Nance’s story. She’s at 100% most days from Verapamil.


Thanks Molly! I actually read her success story and as I am just embarking down the med pathway, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the one. It would feel like winning the lottery, better. I was wondering if there were others out there with good experiences and success with verapamil like Nance and their experiences with regard to my questions. I’m so glad I found this forum. Everyone here is a true hero.

Hey Lisa -

Another great story is Howie. He’s on Verapamil and Zoloft and doing quite well. Who is your doc in NY?

Best of luck!


Hi Molly,
Yes, I saw Howie’s success story as well. Same doc as his, Dr. Newman, although it took me 13 months to get to him as I have been to all the top docs in NYC and no one diagnosed me with MAV. My vestibular therapist suggested I make an appointment to see him. Are you in NY as well?

I know this is an old thread but it does seem an appropriate place to put my story. I’d like it here in case someone else is helped by seeing it, although I hope it never IS needed.

I’m someone who is unable to handle Verapamil. It’s extremely rare but does happen that some people have their heart adversely affected by calcium channel blockers. I’m one of those people.

I didn’t experience any negative side effects for the first four weeks after starting Verapamil. About four weeks in, my husband and I came home one night after seeing a show and were relaxing in the lounge. After a while, I started feeling a little funny and decided I probably needed something to eat but didn’t really feel like eating. Soon after, I noticed I could feel my heart beating and something seemed a little strange about it. I started checking my pulse at my wrist and wasn’t sure if I was doing it incorrectly so tried again on the carotid artery. I then asked my husband to check it and he summed up properly what was going on - 4 beats and then a break before the fifth. At the same time as the next beat came in, I would feel slight discomfort in my chest. It also felt as though it was quite an effort for the next beat to come through.

This was pretty scary - I’ve always been extremely healthy, barring the migraines and a round with Glandular Fever about fifteen years ago and heart problems in the 40’s isn’t known in my family. I promptly rang our After Hours Doctors number because I knew for sure I’d get straight through to a nurse. She was sufficiently concerned to send an ambulance around which arrived pretty rapidly, showing they certainly take heart problems seriously. Hearing the ambulance arrive prompted me to get out of the corner chair by the phone and back over to the couch where they’d have room somewhat sooner than I’d expected to need to. To be honest, I’d not really felt like getting up and moving again but the ambos really weren’t going to have room.

The ambos couldn’t find anything unusual but gave me the choice of being taken into the hospital anyway. Well, I knew what HAD been happening so I said, “Yes, please.” I was monitored on the short trip to our hospital and checked on arrival in triage. The triage nurse also couldn’t find anything unusual and I got the distinct impression that she thought I was being a hypochondriac. However, I knew that I’d felt a bit funny again while waiting for her to come and see me, even though it seemed to have passed off again and didn’t let her attitude worry me; I wanted to see a doctor and get properly and thoroughly checked. After all, as I’d been saying to my husband while waiting for the ambulance, I really wasn’t that old and this was my HEART!

Once I was admitted, they put me in a bed, started monitoring and we waited. Soon the strange pulse and unpleasant feeling in my chest came back. It transpired that I had a Second Degree Type 1 heart blockage, also known as a Wenckebach block. Simple explanation is that the Verapamil was interfering with the electrical current in my heart and making it difficult for the heart to beat correctly.

The treatment was fairly simple; they told me not to take any more Verapamil and kept me on the monitor until they were satisfied that my heart was back to normal. They also ran tests to ensure there had been no damage to my heart, which thankfully, there wasn’t.

I asked the hospital doctor why it was that when I stayed put that the problem returned but the ambos and triage nurse had been unable to find anything wrong. He explained that moving around caused the release of noradrenaline and this had regulated my heartbeat, and since I’d been moving around just before each time the paramedics and the triage nurse checked me, they found nothing.

So there you are; it’s such a rare reaction that my own doctor exclaimed when he heard what had happened that he hadn’t seen a patient with that problem in over 20 years (the hospital was slow getting the paperwork out to him so it was me that told him) but it is a known side effect of calcium channel blockers and he said that beta blockers may cause the same problem.

I was actually quite sorry to be taken off it because it seemed to be working well and asked my doctor if it was worth trying again at a lower dose but he quite firmly vetoed the idea! :lol:

The good news since then is that it looks like I’m one of the people who responds to dietary modification. A couple of months ago I got onto the diet as outlined in “Heal Your Headache” and breezed through the migraine that I had four weeks ago, even going to visit someone during it. Since then I’ve had a niggly head at times when I would normally expect a migraine and have just have a very short-lived migraine which I think was brought on by over-doing it - it’s been pretty hectic this last week and particularly Thursday and Friday. Both migraines responded to Naramig which used to be quite hit and miss (but mostly miss) before getting on the diet. For someone who has disabling headaches lasting two days more often than fortnightly, that’s a big step forward. So I’m hoping the diet IS responsible and it isn’t just some kind of remission.

What a trip…you just answered the question I just posted! Thank-you, Scott! Just found another…one from Tilly…must have
been looking in the wrong spot! Thank-you both!


I just tried Verapamil for the second time (now down to 20mg 2x a day) and it wires me up and I just had an attack of vertigo (after having a great day) about an hour after taking it. I had to take some valium becasue I thought the attack was going to get violent! And I’m very jumpy while trying to sleep. I’m starting to wonder if I really have MAV because my neurotologist saw a Dehiscence in my right ear and I also had a positive VEMP and ECOG test. He still wanted to treat for MAV to know for sure. He said if I had ANY improvement we would have the answer. I’m on day 2 and can’t stand it. I hope you can take Valium with Verapamil because I just did! I can’t take much more of this not knowing what is really wrong with me!

One good day, 2 bad days and awful restless sleep!!! How long does it take for Verapamil to work? Maybe I don’t have MAV after all? Maybe it is SCD after all. Does anyone have any good things to say about Verapamil or MAV vs. SCD? I am really struggling and would love some imput.


I feel like my verapamil has stopped working along with keeping me awake at night. I have woken up with a horrible headache! Also, when getting a migrAine, does anyone’s lower eyelids get puffy? Maybe that’s why I was always misdiagnosed with sinus problems. Maybe the blood vessels swell up in the eyes too?

I was put on verapamil for a constant headache I had about 7 years ago after irritating an old injury in my neck. I don’t remember my exact dosage, but I took it for about a year - maybe a bit longer. I was suffering from my legs becoming very swollen while on the medication, and at first I tolerated it alright, then it really started to bug me - especially when the swelling wouldn’t go down for a few days. Anyway, after a nerve ablation (which is basically a nerve-block) my headaches were gone, and even though I was still getting a migraine aura once in a while, I wasn’t having painful headaches anymore so I decided to stop it in order to get rid of my swollen legs. I didn’t notice a significant change after stopping the medication, either - I told myself if I did notice worsening of symptoms I would begin taking it again, but they didn’t. I guess you wouldn’t technically classify me as not being able to take it - I definitely tolerated it well, and it seemed to decrease a little of the headache pain before the procedure. I didn’t have any horribly adverse reactions to it at any time - except the swollen legs. I’ve always had pretty low blood pressure, so perhaps it was low blood pressure from what is also a blood pressure med which caused the symptoms in me.

Also, I wake up in the morning with extremely puffy eyes once in a while. Not sore (I can wear contacts even), but just puffy. I will say that it’s mostly after I was crying the night before, but it has happened when I haven’t cried at all as well. Perhaps using my tear ducts and scrunching the muscles in my face irritates whatever causes it at other times?

I don’t know if verapamil is the same, but I know some other medications for other problems can become less effective over time, but I don’t know if one can develop a “tolerance” for it or not. Of course, I’m not a doctor, and I guess anything is possible. Something also could have changed in how you get your headaches or something and thus the verapamil is no longer controlling it as effectively?

I’m just throwing a bunch of ideas out there - maybe something will “stick” for ya. :slight_smile: Hope this helps in some way, and I hope you feel better, soon.
~ Shelly