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Old 08-24-2007, 01:40 PM   #1
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antidepressant/MAV update

I haven't posted in a while, though I've been lurking every now and then.

I was dx'd with MAV (with BPPV along with it) by a MA Eye/Ear otoneurologist in Boston in May. He suggested nortriptyline. Since I was being sent to a psychiatrist for anti-anxiety meds, he said that I could see him for the nortrip. But I didn't do well with the nortrip, and then tried citalopram (Celexa) at an EXTREMELY low dose. My experience with meds is that I am very sensitive. So we started in mid June at 2.5mgs. I've been slowly upping the dose at 2.5mg's at a time. I'm now starting 15mgs for the first time tonight. I am finally seeing the drug as a good thing for me, as I have seen myself get much happier on them!
I have gotten so much better as far as anxiety and just being able to deal with more of life again. But I'm not fully there yet, as I still experience the dizziness-off balance days-especially during PMS time or weather changes. And that sets off the anxiety alarms!!
I am thrilled to see that Howie is doing so well. I hope I'm on a similar path. First have to get this anxiety under control, and then throw something else in there. I have been working with the plan in my head that I will get my anxiety under control and if the citalopram works for the dizzies as well, great. But not sure that it will fully knock it out, so I'm planning to call the otoneurologist for a follow up appt and ask for some small dose of Verapamil to see if that will finally knock this thing out-but again, once I'm on a steady dose of the celexa.

I have enjoyed reading of Missy7777's successful appointment with the doc in CA. It has helped my anxiety a lot to really get a grip on the aspect of migraine and see that it IS possible to put the "beast back to sleep". That thought has helped me tremendously! I looked up the med that the doc suggested to you, Missy, and it sounds great, but also noticed something about people who are allergic to sulfa drugs shouldn't take it...DRAT, that's me!
I have a copy of the Heal your Headache book and have found yogurt and eggs are not a good match for me right now. Two foods I have always enjoyed!! I haven't followed the diet religiously, but have really tried to watch it. I also went off the birth control pills in Feb, and found the "optical migraines" that I was getting about 1/month since last June have stopped. Phew!
It took me a year to finally admit that the anxiety wasn't helping me any. I even look back and see that I had periodically had signs of depression too. This is when I hope that the celexa will just fix the anxiety, depression and therefore put the migraine to sleep for me, wondering if the anxiety/depr. has prevented me from relaxing and fully relieving the migraine symptoms. That would be nice, huh?!

Sorry so long. Hoping everyone finds relief SOON!! Thanks for listening.

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Old 08-24-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
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studyin HB Userstudyin HB Userstudyin HB Userstudyin HB Userstudyin HB User
Re: antidepressant/MAV update

Hi Wannarun,

Congrats on taking the bull by the horns and really having a crack at this with meds despite the fear you had. It's quite amazing just how much better you can feel once a med like an SSRI kicks in. You are essentially on the same path I have been on. The good news is that 15 mg of Celexa knocked out my symptoms almost entirely for a very long time. I then went off of it after 3 years earlier this year, had a stress out over a relationship, and off it went again. But now the Celexa isn't controlling the migraine, but has stopped any anxiety. You're right too about anxiety fueling this. It absolutely has to be removed from the equation.

Last night I had my first dose of Sandomigran or pizotifen. All is fine on it which is really excellent. I'm really hopeful that this will be the drug to kill this thing for me. If you find celexa doesn't work well enough for you and if you can't handle verapamil (which I couldn't) then pizotifen is doable with an SSRI at 0.25 mg. Keep that in mind as an option. A 2003 clinical trial here in Australia showed pizotifen produced "complete resolution" in a number of vestibular migraine patients. The doc told me I should also start reducing Celexa while increasing pizotifen to 0.5 mg if necessary.

Anyway, give yourself about 2-3 weeks at 15 mg and I reckon you'll be seeing the back end of this. Let me know how it goes.

Best ... Scott

Old 08-24-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2007
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Re: antidepressant/MAV update

I'm so pleased to hear that the Celexa is helping you! That helps me too mark it down on my list of meds to try someday (if I can't put the beast back to sleep with diet). I am sensitive to meds too, so Celexa may be a good match for me too!

How did you find that you are allergic to sulfa drugs and what are the symptoms of the allergic reaction just so I keep keep my sensors out if I decide to take the diamox. I read that diamox is a diuretic, so once I again I am trying a natural approach and am taking garlic and cranberry pills (natural diuretics) - but only around "that time" of the month. Yikes, last month was a doozy for me and I am dreading the next one which is due in a couple of days, which is causing some anxiety. And speaking of anxiety, it is a constant battle that is for sure. I actually went over to the anxiety board today for the first time - WOW there are a lot of people there too who are experiencing many of our symptoms. I could totally relate. The dizzies and ill-feelings really get my anxiety worked up. BUT, I can talk myself down. Just this week I had about three seperate visits to the gorcery store and started getting a little worked up (the music was WAY too loud in one of the stores, the bright lights, the crowds, ick), but I was able to stop myself from running out the door screaming (lol). And once you do it, you know you can do it again, etc...

Lots of migraineurs do have anxiety - but we learn how to control it. It, in itself is a "beast" and it TOO, can be put back to sleep.

Good news - thanks for keeping us posted!

Old 08-24-2007, 06:47 PM   #4
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Re: antidepressant/MAV update

Excellent Scott (about the Pizo)! Keep us posted for sure!

Old 08-24-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
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wannarun HB User
Re: antidepressant/MAV update

Scott and Missy,
Thanks for your replies.

Scott, so glad your body hasn't "freaked" over the pizo. I have read in the past about positive things from this med, but also read that this drug is not available in the US. don't know if that's changed or not...

I found out I was allergic to sulfa by being on a sulfa antibiotic a few years ago. I was mostly through the 10 days of the drug and noticed small hives on my legs that then spread from my chest all the way down to my feet. That was soooo itchy! For days!! I had to go on prednisone to combat the reaction. I also am allergic to amoxcicillan (sp??!!), learned that the same way, except the hives were not so dramatic.

I will keep y'all posted on the dizzies. thanks again for the support.

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