We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the medicines.ie website. Find out more

Janssen-Cilag Ltd

50 - 100 Holmers Farm Way, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP12 4EG, UK
Telephone: +44 1494 567 567
Fax: +44 1494 567 568
Medical Information Direct Line: +353 1 800 709 122
Medical Information e-mail: medinfo@janssen-cilag.co.uk
Customer Care direct line: +353 1 620 2300
Medical Information Facsimile: +44 (0) 1494 567 445

Summary of Product Characteristics last updated on medicines.ie: 13/09/2017
SPC Sibelium 5 mg tablets

Go to top of the page

Sibelium 5 mg Tablets

Go to top of the page

Each tablet contains 5 mg of flunarizine as flunarizine dihydrochloride.

Excipients with known effect:

Each tablet also contains 57.42mg lactose monohydrate.

For the full list of excipients see section 6.1.

Go to top of the page


White, oblong tablet inscribed 'J-C' on one side and 'FL 5' on the other side.

Go to top of the page

Go to top of the page
4.1 Therapeutic indications

In the prophylaxis of migraine. The limited information available for periods longer than 12 months has shown flunarizine to continue to be effective. Patients should be regularly reviewed to assess their response to treatment, and if a sustained attack-free period is established, interrupted flunarizine treatment should be considered.

Go to top of the page
4.2 Posology and method of administration

Adults and elderly (18 years of age and older):

Starting Dose

Treatment is started at 10 mg daily (at night) for adult patients aged 18 to 64 years and at 5 mg daily (at night) for elderly patients aged 65 years and older. If, during this treatment, depressive, extrapyramidal or other unacceptable adverse experiences occur, administration should be discontinued (see Sections 4.4 and 4.8). If, after 2 months of this initial treatment, no significant improvement is observed, the patient should be considered a non-responder and administration should be discontinued.

Maintenance Treatment

If the patient is responding satisfactorily and a maintenance treatment is needed, the same daily dose should be used, but this time interrupted by two successive drug-free days every week, eg Saturday and Sunday.

Even if the prophylactic maintenance treatment is successful and well tolerated, it should be interrupted after 6 months and it should be re-initiated only if the patient relapses.

Children, Infants and Neonates: Not recommended.

Go to top of the page
4.3 Contraindications

Use in patients with current depressive illness or with a history of recurrent depression (see Sections 4.4 and 4.8).

Use in patients with pre-existing symptoms of Parkinson's Disease or other extrapyramidal disorders (see Sections 4.4 and 4.8).

Sibelium Tablets are contra-indicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to flunarizine, or to any excipients contained in the formulation.

Go to top of the page
4.4 Special warnings and precautions for use

Flunarizine may give rise to extrapyramidal and depressive symptoms and reveal Parkinsonism, especially in elderly patients. Therefore, it should be used with caution in such patients.

The recommended dose should not be exceeded. Patients should be seen at regular intervals, especially during maintenance treatment, so that extrapyramidal or depressive symptoms may be detected early and if so, treatment discontinued.

Female patients with a history of depressive illness may be at particular risk of depression during chronic treatment with this medicine.

Accumulation may occur if given at dose levels higher than recommended, with an increased incidence of side effects.

In rare cases fatigue may increase progressively during flunarizine therapy. In this event, the therapy should be discontinued and possibly initiated again at a lower dosage.


Flunarizine tablets contain lactose monohydrate. Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicine.

Go to top of the page
4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction

When used in conjunction with anti-hypertensive drugs, dosage of the latter may need adjustment.

Galactorrhoea has been reported in some female patients on oral contraceptives within the first two months of flunarizine treatment.

Excessive sedation can occur when alcohol, hypnotics or tranquillisers are taken simultaneously with flunarizine.

The pharmacokinetics of flunarizine were unaffected by topiramate. After repeated dosing in migraine patients, systemic exposure to flunarizine increased by 14%. When flunarizine was co-administered with topiramate 50 mg every 12 hours, repeated dosing resulted in a 16% increase in systemic exposure to flunarizine. . The steady-state pharmacokinetics of topiramate were unaffected by flunarizine. Chronic administration of flunarizine did not affect the disposition of phenytoin, carbamazepine, valproate or phenobarbital. Plasma concentrations of flunarizine were generally lower in patients with epilepsy taking these anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) compared to healthy subjects given similar doses. The plasma protein binding of carbamazepine, valproate, and phenytoin is not affected by co-administration with flunarizine.

4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation

4.6.1 Use during pregnancy

There are no data from the use of flunarizine in pregnant women. Animal studies do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryonal/ foetal development, parturition or postnatal development. As a precautionary measure, it is preferable to avoid the use of flunarizine during pregnancy.

4.6.2 Use during lactation

It is unknown whether flunarizine is excreted in human milk. Animal studies have shown excretion of flunarizine in breast milk. A decision on whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to continue/discontinue therapy with flunarizine should be made taking into account the benefit of breast-feeding to the child and the benefit of therapy to the woman.

Go to top of the page
4.7 Effects on ability to drive and use machines

Since somnolence may occur, especially at the start of the treatment, caution should be exercised during activities such as driving or operating dangerous machinery.

Go to top of the page
4.8 Undesirable effects

The safety of Sibelium (5 to 10mg/day) was evaluated in 247 flunarizine-treated subjects who participated in two placebo-controlled clinical trials in the treatment of vertigo and migraine, and in 476 flunarizine-treated subjects who participated in two comparator-controlled clinical trials in the treatment of vertigo and/or migraine. Based on pooled safety data from these clinical trials, the most commonly reported (≥ 4% incidence) adverse reactions were: Weight Increased (11%), Somnolence (9%), Depression (5%), Increased Appetite (4%); and Rhinitis (4%).

Including the above-mentioned adverse reactions, the following table displays adverse reactions that have been reported with the use of Sibelium from both clinical trial and post-marketing experiences. The displayed frequency categories use the following convention:

Very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to 1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,00 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data)

System Organ Class

Adverse Reactions

Frequency Category

Very Common



(≥1/100 to <1/10)


(≥1/1,000 to <1/100)

Not known

Immune System Disorders


Infections and Infestations


Metabolism and Nutrition disorders

Increased Appetite

Psychiatric Disorders

Depression; Insomnia

Depressive Symptom; Sleep Disorder; Apathy; Anxiety;

Nervous System Disorders


Coordination Abnormal; Disorientation; Lethargy; Paraesthesia; Restlessness; Sluggishness: Tinnitus; Torticollis

Akathisia; Bradykinesia; Cogwheel Rigidity; Dyskinesia; Essential Tremor; Extrapyramidal Disorder; Parkinsonism; Gait disturbance; Sedation; Tremor

Cardiac Disorders


Vascular Disorders

Hypotension; Flushing

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Constipation; Abdominal pain upper; Nausea

Intestinal Obstruction; Dry Mouth; Gastrointestinal Disorder; Dyspepsia; Vomiting

Hepatobiliary disorders

Hepatic transaminases increased

Skin and Subcutaneous tissue disorder

Hyperhidrosis; Urticaria; Rash

Erythema; Angioedema; Pruritis

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders


Muscle Spasms; Muscle Twitching

Muscle Rigidity

Reproductive System and Breast Disorders

Menstruation Irregular; Breast Pain

Menorrhagia; Menstrual Disorder; Oligomenorrhoea; Hypertrophy Breast; Libido Decreased


General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions


Generalised Oedema; Oedema Peripheral; Asthenia


Weight Increased

Reporting of suspected adverse reactions

Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via:

HPRA Pharmacovigilance

Earlsfort Terrace

IRL - Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 6764971

Fax: +353 1 6762517

Website: www.hpra.ie

e-mail: medsafety@hpra.ie

Go to top of the page
4.9 Overdose

Symptoms and signs

On the basis of the pharmacological properties of the drug, sedation and asthenia may be expected to occur. Cases of acute overdosage (up to 600 mg in one intake) have been reported and the observed symptoms were sedation, agitation and tachycardia.


Treatment of acute overdosage consists of charcoal administration, if considered appropriate and supportive measures. No specific antidote is known.

Go to top of the page

Go to top of the page
5.1 Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Anti-vertigo Preparations, ATC Code: N07CA03

Class IV selective calcium entry blocker, which reduces arterial and arteriolar smooth muscle spasm.

Go to top of the page
5.2 Pharmacokinetic properties

The drug is well absorbed reaching peak plasma concentrations within 2-4 hours, and reaching steady state at 5-6 weeks.


Flunarizine is well absorbed (>80%) from the gastrointestinal tract, reaching peak plasma concentrations within 2 to 4 hours after oral dosing. Under conditions of reduced gastric acidity (higher gastric pH), bioavailability may be moderately lower.


Flunarizine is >99% bound to plasma proteins. It has a large volume of distribution of approximately 78 L/kg in healthy subjects and approximately 207 L/kg in epileptic patients indicating extensive distribution into extravascular tissue. The drug quickly crosses the blood brain barrier; concentrations in the brain are approximately 10 times higher than those in plasma.


Flunarizine is metabolised in the liver into at least 15 metabolites. The primary metabolic pathway is CYP2D6.


Flunarizine is primarily eliminated as parent drug and metabolites through the faeces via bile. Within 24 to 48 hours after administration, approximately 3% to 5% of the administered dose of flunarizine is eliminated in the faeces as parent drug and metabolites and <1% is excreted as unchanged drug in urine. Its terminal elimination half-life is highly variable, ranging from 5 to 15 hours in most individual subjects after a single dose. Some subjects show measurable plasma concentrations of flunarizine (>0.5 ng/mL) for a prolonged time period (up to 30 days), possibly due to redistribution of the drug from other tissues.

Plasma concentrations of flunarizine reach steady state after approximately 8 weeks of once-daily multiple dosing and are about 3-fold higher than those observed after a single dose. Steady state flunarizine concentrations are proportional over a dose range of 5 mg to 30 mg.

Go to top of the page
5.3 Preclinical safety data

Preclinical effects of a CNS nature (e.g. sedation, salivation, ataxia) were observed only at exposures considered sufficiently in excess of the maximum human exposure indicating little relevance to clinical use.

Go to top of the page

Go to top of the page
6.1 List of excipient(s)

Lactose monohydrate

Maize starch

Magnesium stearate

Colloidal anhydrous silica


Polysorbate 20

Microcrystalline cellulose

Croscarmellose sodium

Go to top of the page
6.2 Incompatibilities

Not applicable.

Go to top of the page
6.3 Shelf life

2 years.

Go to top of the page
6.4 Special precautions for storage

Do not store above 25°C.

Go to top of the page
6.5 Nature and contents of container

The tablets are supplied in PVC/Aluminium blister packs in a carton containing 20 tablets.

Go to top of the page
6.6 Special precautions for disposal and other handling

No special requirements.

Go to top of the page

Janssen-Cilag Ltd

50-100 Holmers Farm Way

High Wycombe


HP12 4EG

United Kingdom

Go to top of the page

PA 0748/031/002

Go to top of the page

Date of First Authorisation: 30th January 2009

Date of last renewal: 29th January 2014

Go to top of the page

September 2017

Link to this document from your website:

Document Links

  Link to this page
  View all medicines
from this company
Print this page
View document history
Bookmark and Share

Active Ingredients

   Flunarizine dihydrochloride