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So basically, I went to the hospital (*note: I live and work in China, and you go to the hospital to see a doc/specialist*). Saw one older doc -  he only prescribed me Ibuprofen. Saw a somewhat young doc, and she prescribed me Flunarizine/Sibelium .

The recommended dose of 2x 5mg capsules at night is what I took. I woke up the next morning with a CH (never had a morning one before). Lasted the usual 3 hours, then I had lingering head pain that knocked me on my keister the whole day. I thought maybe the meds were a rare side effect/cause, so I ceased taking it until I saw a doc again. He was also an older doc. He first said that flunarizine doesn't cause those headaches, but that "flunarizine was only for women and for their migraines" and NOT for CH, which I thought was weird as I had researched it and not once did i read that it was only for women. It also said that as a Calcium Channel Blocker, it was known to be used for CH treatment. Anyway, the same doc also prescribed me - you guessed it - Ibuprofen. 

So I took the flunarizine again on a weekend day, this time only 1 5mg capsule. Only side effects so far have been heartburn during the night and drowsiness the next day, which are going away. Still got some minor head pain throughout the day, but no CH coming back nor migraine. It's now been 2 weeks since the last CH attack. Not sure if it's due to the medicine being effective or if the cycle has ended (for now). Will take the full 10mg next time now that my body is better acclimated to the meds

Anybody else have any experience with Flunarizine? Insights?

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Flunarizine can't be prescribed in the US (or Japan) because it seems to create "movement disorders" related to Parkinson's disease.  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-37901-z

There was a time when it was also banned or limited in the UK -- not sure whether that's still true.  It does seem to be effective as a migraine treatment, but maybe not more effective than other calcium channel blockers with less risky side effects.  

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Interesting reading about it.  Since it only has limited availability it will be harder to get other perspectives.  It has been around since 1968 so there must be some track record.  A quick englished based literature search wasn’t helpful.  Since it is basically a calcium channel blocker with antihistamine properties I would suspicion it falls in the same success profile as most calcium channel blockers.  Sounds like you are at a disadvantage because you don’t get to see the same person or someone who actually has meaningful experience treating cluster headaches.  Wish the best for you.

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Yea I read the bit on how it can cause Parkson-like effects too ( do my homework first so I can ask the doc about diff treatments). They could've given me Lithium, but I'm skeptical of that. Luckily I found a chat group for expats to discuss doctors and dentists, so I will ask around. Already though, that one doc that gave me the Flunarizine recommended a list of other good neurologists from diff hospitals I can try and get ahold of. Luckily my cycle is over now ( I think since it's been 3 weeks, but who knows) so nothing is urgent.

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On 7/2/2020 at 6:06 AM, CharleyN said:

So basically, I went to the hospital (*note: I live and work in China, and you go to the hospital to see a doc/specialist*). Saw one older doc -  he only prescribed me Ibuprofen. Saw a somewhat young doc, and she prescribed me Flunarizine/Sibelium .

The recommended dose of 2x 5mg capsules at night is what I took. I woke up the next morning with a CH (never had a morning one before). Lasted the usual 3 hours, then I had lingering head pain that knocked me on my keister the whole day. I thought maybe the meds were a rare side effect/cause, so I ceased taking it until I saw a doc again. He was also an older doc. He first said that flunarizine doesn't cause those headaches, but that "flunarizine was only for women and for their migraines" and NOT for CH, which I thought was weird as I had researched it and not once did i read that it was only for women. It also said that as a Calcium Channel Blocker, it was known to be used for CH treatment. Anyway, the same doc also prescribed me - you guessed it - Ibuprofen. 

So I took the flunarizine again on a weekend day, this time only 1 5mg capsule. Only side effects so far have been heartburn during the night and drowsiness the next day, which are going away. Still got some minor head pain throughout the day, but no CH coming back nor migraine. It's now been 2 weeks since the last CH attack. Not sure if it's due to the medicine being effective or if the cycle has ended (for now). Will take the full 10mg next time now that my body is better acclimated to the meds

Anybody else have any experience with Flunarizine? Insights?

Verapamil is a go-to treatment to help prevent CH and is a calcium channel blocker.  

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