Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Verapamil...

11 posts in this topic

Posted

I recently read an article (that I think I linked to from somewhere here) about Bipolar II disorder without mania. http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/frameset.html

It got me thinking. I've never had a typical manic episode. I don't have severe mood swings... unless you count feeling really sucky and then just sort of sucky and sometimes really good (but normal good, not manic) as mood swings.

Anyway... one of the medications mentioned is Verapamil - a "calcium channel blocker" typically used to treat hypertension, angina, and heart arrhythmia. It's also commonly used off-label as a prophylactic treatment for migraines.

But what really interests me is that it's primary use is for treating heart arrhythmias. I took it in the late 80s when I was pregnant and having issues with rapid heartbeat (which, in retrospect, I think were panic attacks).

For the last eight months ago, I've been having all kinds of funky, irregular heartbeat stuff going on. My resting pulse has always been quite high. I've been chalking it up to the Imitrex - and maybe that's all it is, but it lasts for weeks after I've taken a dose. Maybe it's anxiety. Maybe it's arrhythmia. I'm sure the Adderall doesn't help.

If you've taken this med as an antidepressant, mood stabilizer, or migraine prophylactic (or any other reason, actually), please share your experiences/thoughts.

Thanks!

Sunshine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Sunshine,

I tried verapramil as a mood stabilizer and it didn't work for me, but it does for some.  i've read studies on using it as a mood stabilizer for women during pregnancy because it is somewhat safer than other meds in that regards.

after trying  verapramil, i did some research into the usage of newer calcium-ion channel blockers in the treatment of bipolar.  there are a couple of very promising studies on the use of Nimotop (nimodipine) for the treatment of bipolar. 

nimpodine, unfortunatley, is a rather pricey medication.  in one article i read that after sucessfull treatment with nimpodine, a patient was switched to a simmilar (but cheaper and time released medicine) called DynaCirc (isradipine.)

i am currently taking DynaCirc at a very low dose and i have noticed that it smooths out my moods. 

According to my doctor, verapramil was once more widely used as a mood stabilizer but it is only effective in a small percentage of patients. 

The usage of calcium-ion channel blockers as mood stabilizers is not a standard mode of treatment, and is not widley studied.  There are some studies on it, and discussing it with your doctor can't hurt.

Pubmed abstract of a study on nimpodine and other calcium ion channel blockers in the treatment of mood disorders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks, Penny. I've got great Rx coverage, I'll look into Nimodipine, too. Do you know if there's any evidence to suggest it helps with migraines, as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks, Penny. I've got great Rx coverage, I'll look into Nimodipine, too. Do you know if there's any evidence to suggest it helps with migraines, as well?

no idea about migranes.  nimpodine is used to treat aneurysms usually and is used in the short term and SUPER expensive.  you'll have to go to bat with your insurance to get it covered for long term usage.  if you do end up using it, please let me know how it goes, i'd be curious to see the difference between that and the cheaper med i settled for.  (for a while i was calling nimpodine my "potential prince charming" b/c i'm silly like that.)

best,

penny

(ps, at the end of that article i linked to, they mention sucessfully switching patients from nimpodine to DynaCirc.  As a side note, i was able to get onto DynaCirc b/c my doctor is willing to try experimental/non traditional treatments when the side effects are low.  and most calcium ion channel blockers have fairly low side effect profiles.  but it is experimental... so...  anyway.  hope you let me know what your doctor thinks of the idea.)

Edited by Penny Century

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

My pdoc is exceptionally unconventional/non-traditional, too. So unless I'm missing something and it's a really bad idea, I think he'll be open to giving it a try. Maybe try the Verapamil first then the other two if that doesn't work.

I've been really surprised by what my insurance will cover. They haven't balked at anything yet. They even covered Provigil for off-label use (almost unheard of). They cover shit when it comes to my pdoc visits, but I can't complain about the Rx coverage!

I'll keep digging. Thanks again for your response.

~Sunshine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Have you tried propranolol? It's used for arrhytmias and actually lots of other cardiac stuffz, and also for treating aggression, anxiety/panic and some side effects from psychotropics (like akathisia and tremor). It's cheap. It's relatively safe (unless your cardiovascular system is REALLY messed up). It's been here for ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Any evidence that it has antidepressant or anti-migraine properties? That's what interested me the most about Verapamil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Any evidence that it has antidepressant or anti-migraine properties? That's what interested me the most about Verapamil.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've taken Verapamil for about 12 years for hypertension.  It controls it wonderfully.  Since I was already on it, my pdoc conferred with my md and they doubled then tripled the dosage in an attempt to chase away the depression.

Unfortunately all it did was give me kick ass headaches.  I stayed on the double dose two months and the triple dose one month, them dropped back down to my regular dosage for the hypertension.  The heaches I had with it were almost unbearable.  They tried things like cafergot for migraines, but nothing worked except dropping the dosage.  It did nothing for the depression.

Maybe it will work for you. ;)

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Any evidence that it has antidepressant or anti-migraine properties? That's what interested me the most about Verapamil.

grr.  i had a nicely worded reply and i swear i posted it but it dissapeared.

i don't have time to re-write it, so below are links to a remedyfind review of propranolol for migranes, and the abstract of a study on propranolol for mood disorders.  i originally found the abstract in a journal, but a link to that will probably not open for you, so i found the same abstract on the good drug guide site, which i usually don't like, but it's just a reprint of an abstract from a real journal, so the info is legit. 

if you want more research i can look for more.

http://www.remedyfind.com/rm-330-Inderal.asp

http://nootropics.com/propranolol/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Penny... thanks - I'll check out the links.

Daniel... thanks for sharing. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic. Boo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I am currently taking Verapamil ER 120 mg as a migraine prophylactic. I had daily headaches for over a year--tried Topamax (stopped the headache but gave me a UTI and kidney stones), Elavil/Amitriptyline (a TCA that made me depressed), Neurontin (did nothing), Keppra (still nothing) and as a last resort before going to Depakote, I was put on the low dose (120) of Verapamil. It works! It's awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0