Why was verapamil used for migraine protection?
Preventive medications are different from rescue treatment medications for migraines. Prevent medications help to lower the number of total monthly attacks, how long they last, and the severity of migraine attacks. Doctors used to think that elevated pressures in blood vessels might result in migraine attacks, and this is the major reason verapamil was prescribed. There is little proof of verapamil’s effectiveness in preventing migraines. This is why it is not the first medication from doctors.
The Canadian headache society guidelines for preventive treatment of migraine gives a weak recommendation. The American Family physicians’ guidelines also say that verapamil has weak proof of effectiveness for migraine prevention. Verapamil helps to treat cluster headaches. The research was done in 2019 and it showed that verapamil for cluster headaches is very effective. A verapamil dose of 360 milligrams (mg) per day treated people with chronic cluster headaches and those with episodic cluster headaches had one less attack per day with verapamil.