They cranked up my dose of verapamil…turns out the nonexperts who were trying to help me had me on a nontheraputic dose (theraputic is 40 mg 3 times a day). I am now with Michigan Ear (yay, experts at last!).

So…anyone else taking this much? And if you don’t mind sharing>>>>what does one successfully do about the most common side effect of this drug (see below)?

I am eating enough oatmeal, dates, prunes and activia to jet-propel an elephant into orbit, but NOTHING IS MOVING.

Thought I’d ask here before I call their office and ask them…



I’ve had a PM to you sitting in my outbox for almost a year, wondering how you are doing. I joined this forum a year ago and read your story. I found it so interesting and have wondered if you were still doing well or walking on seat cushions.

My next med will be verapamil, it’s right around the corner for me. To move my bowels faster i use flaxseed, i find it works better than anything else. you can buy it already ground, but then you have to keep it in the freezer. Or you can grind it yourself in a dedicated coffee grinder type machine. You want to start with 1 T a day and see how that works. If it doesn’t go higher. Sprinkle it on anything edible or drinkable.

Good luck with that and let us know how you’re feeling.


Flax seed! Aha! Off to the health food store tomorrow…I am adding everything to the arsenal. Hmmm…prune juice could be unfortunate. Skip that one.

160 mg of verapamil a day makes me feel like I am on a recreational drug and it’s like my ahem bowels turned to quick-crete. If I can’t go, will I explode? :oops:

I am better in many ways and worse in others. Topamax side effects became too much for me (raging tantrums, hair loss, talking like a robot, forgetting stuff in 5 minutes, dental caries—they don’t tell you that stuff, do they? Great drug from mars) and I went off.

Verapamil kept things under control–sort of–but things started getting bad again as far as ear insanity and balance. Haven’t had any vertigo episodes on verapamil.

I have been busy, and pretty sick, for about a year. Now the economy is sick, too. sheesh. How are you?

did the hair come back?

sort of…and very importantly, the hair stopped falling out. The wads of hair in the shower when I washed it were pretty scary. I still have a thin spot right in front–I try to hide it but I hate seeing my scalp gleaming under there like a bald man’s pate. Hmm…maybe mineral powder…maybe I should have it flocked…

Really, they don’t list those side effects in their literature. It did stop the migraine in its tracks, and would have been a good drug for me if I didn’t have a life and only sat and watched soap reruns while wearing a wig.

some people take topamax and don’t have any of these side effects. and they lose lots of weight. I got all the bad stuff! they could have had my extra 40 lbs instead…

Hey guys-

I’ve had luck with magnesium supplements. I started taking it after I read migraineurs are usually lacking it. Its in the Migrelief that I take (Feverfew, magnesium and B-2), but I also take daily supplement of 250 mg.

Just a suggestion.


Thanks, AZ. I have some in the cabinet…I think I will wait until I stop feeling loopy and can actually “go” to add anything new to my drug cocktail.

Oh yeah…another thing about verapamil…they are supposed to take blood tests to check your liver function while on it and nobody did this for TWO YEARS. Which is another reason one should go to an expert.

Right, magnesium is used as a laxative also. Good idea, Kim, but how much do you need for a laxative effect? I’m taking 400 mg a day and it doesn’t do a thing for me laxative-wise. i think i read somewhere that you have to take about twice that dose.

flaxseed has a lot of nutritional benefits to it - it will lower your cholesterol and LDL, etc.

Yea, my hair is thinning, i don’t like hearing that you’re completely off Topamax and it didn’t all come back. I don’t like that one bit. Some people say fish oil helps but i take as much as I’m allowed.

well it’s good to see you thornapple!

Keep us posted and good luck with the verapamil and especially with the flaxseed and magnesium.


well i do phone consults with Hain and he doesn’t mention all those blood tests you’re supposed to do either.

I use which is what the doctors are supposed to use for their drug information. one of the things it lists is safety monitoring. So when I go see my doc i take my list of tests i need done. If I didn’t look them up myself, they wouldn’t be done.

The other thing that is supposed to happen is, when you tell your PCP what meds you’re on, they are supposed to look up in their prescribing index to see what safety monitoring is to be done.

Thornapple you bring up a good point. Everybody should ask their PCP to check their prescribing index to see if they are getting their safety monitoring.

I just looked up verapamil in epocrates and came up with: liver function tests, blood pressure, heart rate and EKG.

Thanks Thornapple, i didn’t know about that,


Hey Jul -

Everything I’ve read on magnesium, (as far as taking it for migraines), the limit is different for everyone. Some are more deficient than others, but it can be safely taken as long as its not giving you diarrhea (sorry). Its been awhile since I’ve read up on it, but if my memory serves me correctly (and most times these days it doesn’t, so DON"T hold me to this), but the dosage can be anywhere from 300 - 800 mg. daily. Depending on the person.
All depends on how things are moving!!! :mrgreen:

Magnesium really does have different effects on everyone. I took 150mg of chelated magnesium per day (a type of magnesium that is designed to be better absorbed and cause less stomach upsets) and it had a terrible laxative effect on me (sorry!!). I think I have the most sensitive body in the world - I can’t tolerate much at all, even magnesium!

I tried to get hold of some magnesium solution as I read it causes less ‘problems’ but guess what - I can’t get any in the UK! Typical.

Becky x

Hi Becky-

Are you taking the migrelief? (I was gonna say if so, don’t forget you are getting some in there, so that might be all your body can handle) :smiley:


Hi Kim

I couldn’t tolerate the migrelief because it gave me a funny tummy so I tried the chelated magnesium but I couldn’t tolerate that either. Typical!



I’m sorry to hear that. I was hoping you were gonna love that stuff. :frowning:


IT was probably the feverfew in the migralief that gave you problems. The good news is, there are other nutrients that affect migraine besides feverfew and magnesium. And even still, there is something you can still do about the magnesium.

First, try some Coenzyme Q10. 100mg 3x per day is the recomended dosage for migraine. Vitamin B2 is also recommended at 400mg per day. Those are typically not stomach-upsetting so you could try them. There are two things you can do about the magnesium. One, start at a much lower dosage of magnesium in order to let your body get used to it and slowly build your way up, OR, go for intravenous mangesium drips if you can find a nutritionally oriented doctor near you. I have had plenty of vitamin infusions with magnesium because I couldn’t tolerate it orally. And it won’t upset your stomach :slight_smile:


Thanks for the tips Boslee.

I do think it was the Magnesium in migrelief that was causing the stomach upset because when I took it on its own it also caused the same problem. I might try with a smaller dose and try and build it up.

I have been taking 3 x 100mg CoEnzyme Q10 daily for a few months and it helps with the tiredness I get from taking Propanolol. Hasn’t helped the migraine yet though! I’ll certainly try the fish oil supplements as well.


unfortunately these supplements are all hit or miss :frowning:



Please be careful with fish oils - they are very popular and certainly have a lot going for them when used intelligently. But they need to be taken with caution. For one - for us migraineurs, they have one big strike against them. They come in these big thick gel caps = tons of MSG. If you’re on a strick MSG diet, you’d be better off buying fish oil liquid, which is really hard to swallow, literally. Anything you take in a gel cap, including Co-Q is loaded with MSG. So the benefit which you may get is certainly not worth it is you are MSG intolerant.

I just tested this by ditching any supplement that came in a gel cap - what a difference it made! i guess MSG IS one of my triggers.

In addition, fish oils dramatically reduce your clotting time. I’ve heard, read, people taking high doses of fish oils (as high as 6000mg) which is now known to be to be be very dangerous, especially when mixed with drugs which also reduce your clotting time - not something to be taken lightly.

I’m not sure what the recommended dosage is for migraineurs is anymore, but at one time it was pretty high, like 4,000mg daily? That’s considered way too high today among medical professionals.

As well, if you’re going to take fish oils, you want to take the correct combination: EPA/DHA with EPA being the larger component.

Thats all i’ve got.


I’m editing my post because I found a moderate interaction between verapamil and aspirin. I had originally suggested a different kind of fish oil. But in this case, it looks like a bad idea. Fish oil is not nearly as strong as aspirin but might as well not take the risk. So, I would take a coq10 product that comes in an orange box and disolves on your tongue. No natural flavors and no gelatin. That will solve the MSG problem and just skip the fish oil. I do not believe omega 3 from food will be an issue. It’s an essential fatty acid and it is needed by every cell to function. I would just make sure you are getting some by way of fish or DHA-enhanced eggs since walnuts are probably out. Good call on the fish oil Julie!

But for people not taking verapamil or other meds that affect clotting time, if you are taking Carlson’s fish oil, don’t concern yourself with DHA/EPA combinations because Carlsons is peffectly balanced to begin with.


There is no argument about being MSG sensitive, you either are or you aren’t. it’s an individual thing. You don’t need to ask a neurologist whether the risks out-weigh the benefits, you need to find out for yourself.

When did i say anything about fish oil being dangerous to take with verapamil?

there are plenty of meds, plenty, which have an effect on clotting time, besides aspirin. In fact you may be on one without knowing it right now. you mix too many of these together and even a small dose of fish oil can throw you into a dangerous situation. I have no idea what meds Becky is taking.

If you don’t have to worry about the ratios, why is your liquid favorite perfectly balanced? the ratio must have been important to them.

Oh well, i tried,