Flunarizine - Oral

Pronunciation: flew-NAIR-eh-zeen

Common Brand Name(s): Sibelium

Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Uses

This medication is used to prevent migraine headaches. Flunarizine is usually used when other treatments have not worked. It helps to reduce how often you get migraine attacks and may help lessen the severity of an attack. This medication belongs to the class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers.

Flunarizine is not effective in treating a sudden migraine attack. Consult your doctor about other medications you should take to treat a sudden migraine attack.

How To Use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using flunarizine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily in the evening before bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose, take it more often, or take it for longer than prescribed.

Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

It may take up to 6 to 8 weeks of continued treatment before the full benefit of this medication takes effect. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects

Drowsiness or tiredness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Increase in appetite, weight gain, nausea, heartburn, dry mouth, or anxiety may also occur. Although uncommon, unusual breast milk production may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

  • depression
  • increasing tiredness
  • movement problems (e.g., slowed movement, stiffness, restlessness, shaking, unusual/uncontrolled movements especially of the face/arms/legs)

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:

  • rash
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
  • severe dizziness
  • trouble breathing

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Precautions

Before taking flunarizine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • depression
  • Parkinson's disease
  • a certain type of movement disorder (extrapyramidal syndrome)

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • liver disease

This drug may make you drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially movement problems and shaking.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug are:

  • anti-seizure medications (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital)

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.

Overdose

If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, weakness, agitation, confusion, fast heartbeat.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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