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Flunarizine is a calcium channel blocker widely used for migraine prevention and the management of vestibular disorders such as vertigo. Although not FDA-approved, it is prescribed in various countries for its effectiveness in improving cerebral and peripheral vascular disorders. Flunarizine works by inhibiting calcium influx into cells, reducing blood vessel constriction, and enhancing brain blood flow. Available in 5 mg & 10 mg tablets, it should be taken once daily at bedtime. Users should be aware of side effects like drowsiness, weight gain, and potential movement disorders. Interactions with CNS depressants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants may increase these risks. Regular medical supervision is recommended to monitor effectiveness and manage any adverse effects. Flunarizine offers a significant benefit in controlling symptoms related to its indicated uses.

Flunarizine Overview

Flunarizine is a calcium channel blocker extensively used to prevent migraines and manage vestibular disorders like vertigo. Although not yet approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Flunarizine is prescribed in several other countries and is renowned for its beneficial impacts on cerebral and peripheral vascular disorders. Flunarizine helps by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into cells, which plays a crucial role in reducing the constriction of cerebral blood vessels. This action not only aids in migraine prevention but also enhances brain blood flow, which can be beneficial in managing symptoms associated with cerebrovascular disorders. 

The drug also exhibits antihistamine and anti-serotonin properties, which contribute significantly to its effectiveness in treating symptoms of vestibular disorders, such as dizziness & imbalance. Available primarily in tablet and capsule forms with 5 and 10 mg strengths, Flunarizine should be taken once daily, typically at bedtime, to minimize potential drowsiness. The starting dosage is usually 5 mg, which can be increased to 10 mg per patient response and tolerance. For the best results, it’s important to use Flunarizine consistently and under continuous medical supervision, as it may take several weeks to show full effectiveness.

Patients should be cautious of side effects like drowsiness, weight gain, and potential extrapyramidal symptoms, which include movement disorders. Serious side effects necessitate immediate medical attention. Interaction with other CNS depressants, antipsychotics, and antidepressants can enhance these side effects, and concurrent use should be carefully monitored. Given its broad application in neurological and vascular therapies, Flunarizine remains a preferred option for patients needing effective management of their conditions, provided healthcare professionals closely supervise its use.

What Are the Uses of Flunarizine?

  • Migraine Prevention
  • Vestibular Disorders
  • Cerebral Vascular Disorders
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease

What Are the Forms & Strengths of Flunarizine?

Flunarizine is available primarily in the following forms and strengths:

  • Tablets/Capsules: 5 mg and 10 mg.

What Are the Recommended Dosage of Flunarizine?

The dosage recommendations for the various uses of Flunarizine can vary based on the condition being treated and individual patient factors. Here are general guidelines for some of the common uses:

Migraine Prevention
  • Initial Dosage: Typically, the starting dose is 5 mg orally once daily at bedtime.
  • Maintenance Dosage: If well-tolerated and necessary, the dose may be increased to 10 mg daily.
  • Maximum Dosage: 10 mg per day is generally the maximum recommended dose.
Vestibular Disorders
  • Initial Dosage: 5 mg taken orally once daily at bedtime.
  • Maintenance Dosage: Depending on the response and tolerance, the dosage can be maintained at 5 mg or increased to 10 mg if needed.
  • Maximum Dosage: 10 mg per day.
Cerebral Vascular Disorders
  • Initial Dosage: 5 mg once daily at bedtime.
  • Maintenance Dosage: May be adjusted to 10 mg depending on clinical response and patient tolerance.
  • Maximum Dosage: Generally does not exceed 10 mg per day.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
  • Initial Dosage: Start with 5 mg daily at bedtime.
  • Maintenance Dosage: Depending on efficacy and tolerability, it may be raised to 10 mg daily if required.
  • Maximum Dosage: 10 mg per day.

[Note: Remember, these recommendations may vary from person to person. Discuss it with your medical professional, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Use Flunarizine? 

Flunarizine is effective in preventing migraine headaches and managing vertigo. For optimal results, follow these guidelines and steps for using the medication.

  • Take as directed by your healthcare provider.
  • It is typically taken once daily, usually at bedtime.
  • Common dosage is 5-10 mg per day.
  • Swallow the capsule whole with water.
  • It can be taken with or without food.
  • Use consistently for best results.
  • It may take several weeks to show full effect.
  • Do not stop abruptly without your doctor’s supervision.
  • Regular follow-ups with your doctor are essential.
  • Report any unusual side effects promptly.
  • It may cause drowsiness; use caution when driving.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking flunarizine.
  • Store at room temperature, away from moisture and light.

[Note: Your medical professional will decide the appropriate amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines & studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Flunarizine Work?

Flunarizine works primarily as a calcium channel blocker, explicitly targeting the brain and blood vessels. It inhibits the influx of calcium ions into cells, which helps reduce cerebral blood vessel constriction and improves brain blood flow. This action also decreases neuronal excitability, potentially preventing the onset of migraines and other neurological disturbances. Additionally, Flunarizine has antihistamine and antiserotonin properties, contributing to its effectiveness in treating vestibular disorders. It stabilizes cell membranes and modulates neurotransmitter release, helping to balance various neurological processes. The drug also exhibits neuroprotective effects by reducing the release of inflammatory mediators and protecting against cellular damage from hypoxia. Its ability to enhance cerebral glucose metabolism and prevent platelet aggregation further contributes to its therapeutic effects in circulatory disorders. These combined actions make Flunarizine effective in treating various conditions, including migraines, vertigo, and certain types of dizziness.

Important Safety Information for Using Flunarizine

What Are the Side Effects of Flunarizine?

Flunarizine can cause several side effects, some of which are more common than others. Here are the common side effects associated with Flunarizine:

  • Drowsiness and Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry Mouth
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms

While Flunarizine is generally well-tolerated, it can occasionally cause serious side effects that require quick medical attention. Here are some of the more severe side effects associated with Flunarizine:

  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms: These include movement disorders for instance tremors, rigidity, and involuntary muscle contractions, which can become permanent in some cases.
  • Depressive Disorders: Flunarizine may induce or exacerbate symptoms of depression, potentially leading to severe depressive episodes.
  • Parkinsonian Symptoms: The drug can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, such as bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity, and tremors, especially in elderly patients.
  • Increased Risk of Falls: Flunarizine may increase the risk of falls, particularly in older adults, due to its effects on dizziness and, potentially, motor control.
  • Hepatic Disorders: Rarely, Flunarizine can affect liver function, leading to symptoms like jaundice, elevated liver enzymes, and severe liver impairment.
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions: Although uncommon, some patients may experience allergic reactions, including rash, itching, swelling, and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.

[Note: This list does not include all possible side effects. Always talk to your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]

Are There Any Warnings for Flunarizine? 

  • CNS Depression: Flunarizine can cause central nervous system depression, leading to symptoms such as drowsiness, fatigue, and decreased alertness. Patients should be cautious when performing tasks requiring mental alertness, like living or operating machinery.
  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms: This medication can induce extrapyramidal symptoms, including tremors, rigidity, and movement disorders, particularly with long-term use. These effects may be irreversible in some cases, especially in elderly patients.
  • Depression Worsening: Flunarizine has been associated with depression or may worsen existing depressive symptoms. Patients with a history of depression should be closely monitored, and the drug should be used with caution in this population.
  • Weight Gain: Patients taking Flunarizine may experience significant weight gain. Regular weight monitoring and dietary adjustments may be necessary.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: The safety of Flunarizine during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established. It should be used only when needed and when the potential benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Drug Interactions: Flunarizine may interact with other medications, particularly other CNS depressants, increasing the risk of side effects. Patients should inform their healthcare professional about all medicines they are taking.

What Are the FDA Boxed Warning for Flunarizine?

Flunarizine is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, therefore, does not have an FDA-boxed warning. However, clinicians and patients should be aware of its potential risks in countries where it is used.

What Are the Flunarizine Precautions?

When using Flunarizine, several precautions should be observed to ensure safe and effective treatment:

  • Monitor Neurological Effects: Flunarizine can cause drowsiness, fatigue, and, in rare cases, movement disorders such as extrapyramidal symptoms or Parkinsonian effects. Patients should be monitored regularly for these neurological changes.
  • Assess Mental Health: Due to the potential worsening of depressive symptoms, patients should be assessed for signs of depression regularly, and Flunarizine should be used cautiously in those with a history of depressive disorders.
  • Heart Health: Flunarizine is a calcium channel blocker that is beneficial for certain conditions. However, its effects on heart rate and rhythm should be monitored, especially in patients with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Flunarizine should be used during pregnancy only if necessary, as its effects on the fetus are unclear. Women who are breastfeeding should also be cautious, as the drug can pass into breast milk.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol can heighten the sedative effects of Flunarizine, leading to increased drowsiness and dizziness. Patients should avoid or limit their alcohol consumption while taking this medication.
  • Be Cautious with Activities: Due to its sedative effects, patients should be cautious when driving, operating machinery, or involving in activities requiring alertness until they know how Flunarizine affects them.

What Are the Contraindications of Flunarizine? 

Flunarizine has several contraindications where its use is either not recommended or should be carefully considered. These include:

  • Parkinson’s Disease: Flunarizine may exacerbate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or induce Parkinsonian symptoms in susceptible individuals.
  • Depression: Patients with a history of depressive disorders should avoid Flunarizine as it can potentially worsen depressive symptoms.
  • Pregnancy: The safety of Flunarizine during pregnancy has not been established. It should only be used if the potential benefits of the medication outweigh the risks.
  • Breastfeeding: Flunarizine is excreted in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. Its use is generally not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Hypersensitivity: Individuals with a known hypersensitivity to Flunarizine should not use the medication due to the risk of allergic reactions.

What If You Missed a Dose of Flunarizine?

If you miss a dose of Flunarizine, take it as soon as you remember unless it’s close to the time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dosage and continue your regular dosing schedule. Please do not double up doses to make up for the missed one, as this could increase the risk of side effects. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding missed doses.


[Note: If you have missed a dose of Flunarizine and are unsure about the next one, immediately consult your medical expert or pharmacist.]

What Happens If You Take Too Much of Flunarizine?

Taking too much Flunarizine can lead to an overdose, resulting in severe drowsiness, confusion, and potentially cardiac issues such as a slow heart rate or low blood pressure. In extreme cases, it might cause respiratory depression or coma. Immediate medical attention is crucial to manage these symptoms effectively and prevent serious complications.

[Note: If you consumed more than the prescribed dose of this medication, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]

How to Store a Flunarizine?

  • Keep at room temperature (20°C to 25°C or 68°F to 77°F).
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place.
  • Keep away from moisture.
  • Store in the original container.
  • Keep the container tightly closed.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not store it in the bathroom.
  • Avoid excessive heat.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Do not use it after the expiration date.
  • Discard unused medication properly.
  • Keep track of the number of capsules remaining.
  • Do not transfer to other containers.
  • If traveling, keep medication in carry-on luggage.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare expert regarding the proper disposal of unused medications and any questions you may have related to their storage.]

What Medications Interact with Flunarizine?

Flunarizine can interact with several other medications, which may affect how it operates or increase the risk of side effects. Here are some types of medications that commonly interact with Flunarizine:

  • Other CNS Depressants: Flunarizine may enhance the sedative effects of other central nervous system depressants such as benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam), opioids (e.g., morphine), and alcohol. This can lead to increased drowsiness and reduced alertness.
  • Antipsychotic Medications: Combining Flunarizine with antipsychotics like haloperidol or clozapine can increase the risk of extrapyramidal symptoms and other neurological effects.
  • Antidepressants: The use of Flunarizine with certain antidepressants, particularly tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), may enhance side effects like drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Antihistamines: Medications with antihistamine properties, especially those that cause drowsiness (e.g., diphenhydramine), may have their sedative effects increased when taken with Flunarizine.
  • Beta-Blockers: When combined with beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), there may be an additive effect on reducing heart rate and blood pressure, which needs careful monitoring.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Since Flunarizine itself is a calcium channel blocker, using it with other drugs in this class (e.g., verapamil, amlodipine) can potentiate effects like hypotension (low blood pressure) and bradycardia (slow heart rate).

[Note: This is not a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Flunarizine. Make sure to tell your medical expert about any prescription, over-the-counter medicines & herbal products you’re taking.]

What Are the Flunarizine Alternatives?

[Note: Your doctor will choose the best alternative for you. Don’t use any of these medications without consulting your healthcare expert. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.]

Flunarizine Cost & Coupons

The cost of Flunarizine can vary widely based on your insurance coverage for prescription medications. If your insurance plan includes prescription drug benefits, it’s important to check whether Flunarizine is covered and to understand your cost responsibilities, which could be a fixed copay or a percentage of the drug’s price. However, not all insurance plans cover Flunarizine. Many individuals seek alternative purchasing options to reduce costs. A practical option is to buy Flunarizine online from Canadian pharmacies, which can be more affordable. Purchasing Flunarizine from Canadian pharmacies can be a cost-effective strategy for those in the USA. At Polar Bear Meds, a reputable source for Canadian medications, you can use the coupon code WELCOMEPB10 to receive a 10% discount on your first purchase of Flunarizine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Flunarizine lead to weight gain?

Yes, Flunarizine can potentially cause weight gain. This side effect is relatively common among users of the medication. To help manage this, incorporating regular physical activity and opting for home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals can be beneficial. Additionally, monitoring your dietary intake and perhaps consulting with a nutritionist can provide personalized strategies to counteract weight gain while on this medication. Keeping a regular check on your weight & discussing any significant changes with your certified healthcare expert is also recommended.

Is it safe to discontinue Flunarizine without consulting a doctor?

No, stopping Flunarizine without consulting your doctor is not advisable. Abruptly discontinuing the medication can lead to potential side effects or a resurgence of symptoms. It is essential to seek guidance from your healthcare expert, who can advise you on the safest method to taper off the medication if necessary. Your doctor might adjust your dosage gradually to minimize any adverse effects or to effectively manage the underlying condition for which Flunarizine was prescribed. Always follow your doctor’s instructions for medication adjustments to ensure your treatment remains safe & effective.

Is it safe to take Flunarizine daily?

Flunarizine is typically prescribed daily; however, your doctor might advise you to take it only on specific days (such as Monday through Friday). Your doctor will clearly explain this regimen. If you miss a dose, skip the missed one and resume your usual dosing schedule at the next scheduled dose. Generally, treatment with Flunarizine lasts between six to twelve months.

Is Flunarizine safe for individuals with kidney issues?

Flunarizine is not advised for individuals who have a partial or total obstruction of the urinary tract, as it can lead to kidney failure. If you have any kidney-related conditions, it’s crucial to inform your medical professional before starting this medication to ensure it’s safe for you to use.

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