Verapamil inhibits voltage-dependent calcium channels. Specifically, its effect on L-type calcium channels in the heart causes a reduction in ionotropy and chronotropy, thuis reducing heart rate and blood pressure. Verapamil's mechanism of effect in cluster headache is thought to be linked to its calcium-channel blocker effect, but which channel subtypes are involved is presently not known.
Verapamil is an L-type calcium channel blocker that also has antiarrythmic activity. The R-enantiomer is more effective at reducing blood pressure compared to the S-enantiomer. However, the S-enantiomer is 20 times more potent than the R-enantiomer at prolonging the PR interval in treating arrhythmias.
LD50=8 mg/kg (i.v. in mice)