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  • Verapamil, week 3

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    Old 10-12-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
    willholl
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    Verapamil, week 3

    Hi all,

    I've taken 16 doses of Verapamil, and no improvement, if anything I am feeling worse. I did have a flu shot and a period during this time but shouldn't I have noticed some, even minimal, improvement by now? I've had to leave work early (9:30 AM) one day, work from home for four days, and call in sick for one day. I'm not sure if I'll make it in tomorrow, either, and I had to miss my friend in the Chicago Marathon today, and my college Homecoming yesterday. I am really unhappy about this; I was truly hoping and thinking I might feel better by now. I guess it's back to the doctor for me!

    CK, any help for you with the Verapamil?

    willholl

     
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    Old 10-12-2008, 04:47 PM   #2
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Willholl--

    I'm sorry to hear that you are not seeing quicker and better results. I think it can take time, so maybe that's all it is. Of course, it sounds like many folks have to try lots of meds to find the right one(s). I also have tried one med with poor results, but there are tons more out there.

    Just wanted to say I hope you feel better soon!! It is hard to feel worse than "normal".

    Violet

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 06:47 AM   #3
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Hi WIllholl,

    I am not feeling better. I have not felt well for the last couple of weeks. I really feel like I have some virus or something on top of it all. My stomach has been bothering me and I have had some really bad headaches. I talked to my dr and he says he doesn't think it has anything to do with the Verapamil. I would agree. He said some people can tell a difference in a couple of weeks with the Verapamil, some it can take 3 months and then you increase the dose. I am going to keep on keeping on to see if it kicks in. I am frustrated. I don't want to give up on this med because it is the one with the least amount of side effects. I'm sorry you are missing things that are important to you. I can certainly understand how that feels. Hang in there, Willholl, I'm thinking about you.

    CK

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 06:54 AM   #4
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Oh,

    Just wanted to mention that I have had alot of blood work done in the last week. I'll let you know if is shows anything.

    CK

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 08:47 AM   #5
    willholl
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    CK and Violet,

    Thanks for responding. CK, your doctor is saying up to three months to notice improvement? That seems like a long time! Dr. Hain's office didn't give me a timetable, but my primary care doctor said that if it is going to help me, I should notice improvement in about a month. At that point, I am going try other things, like acupuncture and VRT. I don't mind taking meds if they help, but if they don't, I'm sure it's better for me that I don't take them. As rough as this is, I think right now I'd rather risk staying where I'm at and trying some non-drug therapies than take other drugs and possibly deal with some of the disabling side effects that I've read about here.

    I've been having trouble with headaches, too, and they don't meet any of the criteria I've seen for migraines. How can I know if I truly have MAV, when my only symptom is feeling dizzy (which can be caused by decompensated VN as well, I think) and none of the MAV treatments seem to be helping, at all?

    Wishing a balanced day to everyone,
    willholl

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 05:18 PM   #6
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Willholl,

    I don't know how we are suppost to know. It is very frustrating. I have been on several meds before and they did not work. I am starting all over with the Verapamil. It is the drug with the least amount of side effects. I know that it is finding the med or the combo that works for you. My dr said up to 3 months for the Verapamil. I am going to try it for that amount of time. At that time we will talk about changing doses and/or adding a new med. You are on a very small dose so I wonder if you were on a higher dose if that would change anything. If you find anything in the non-med catagorie let me know. I hope tomorrow is a better day.

    K

     
    Old 10-13-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Hi there Willholl--just a quick note about headaches. I never thought my headaches were migraines until I learned a bit more about migraine characteristics and triggers. I get head pain that is mild to moderate...often it responds to 3-4 advils, but not always. They will continue all day until I go to sleep if I don't treat them. I sometimes feel nauseated, but not usually, and the headaches are not usually one-sided and I usually don't see lights or throw up (typical "migraine" things). However, I get them around my period, I get them when I don't eat, I get them with caffeine withdrawal, and I get them when I don't get enough sleep--all are associated with migraine. I also get them after one food--white wine. Keeping a "headache diary" can help you zero in on whether or not you have any triggers you can pin down.

    Anyway, my point is that even seemingly mild headaches can be migraines. You may indeed not get them, but it's worth really charting them to help get to the bottom of it. Of course, one can get migraine headaches and still have an inner ear problem...it just makes it all worse and complicated!

    Note: I'm doing VRT and it is helping my eye movements to be a bit more normal, but I still feel pretty dizzy so far...

    Violet

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 08:59 AM   #8
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Violet--I found your comments about 'charting headaches' and the characteristics of your headaches to be interesting. What sorts of things do you record in a headache diary--I see that you mentioned keeping track of your sleep, your diet, and your cycle, but is there anything else to consider? I tend to feel worse when it is stormy/humid, and right after my allergy shot--do you notice changes in the weather too? I am going to talk with my allergy/sinus doctor and see if the shot dose may need to be adjusted. I tried a nasal antihistamine that he prescribed last night and it sent me over the moon, but at least I can tell the doctor now that it doesn't help!

    I have an appointment with Dr. Cherchi on the 29th (VRT too) and I'm thinking of asking him about taking an antidepressant instead of the Verapamil if i haven't noticed any improvement. Apparently it can take awhile, but it would be nice to notice even a minimal improvement! I'm thinking maybe helping the 'dizzy anxiety' might be a good idea...

    It's so frustrating that we can't figure out what's going on without going through such extensive drug therapies!

    willholl

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 03:00 PM   #9
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Hey there, Willholl--

    I do think it's a great idea to keep a headache diary...I just bought a big monthly calendar for this purpose. My doc wants me to record the times of the headache (when to when), the degree of pain (1 to 3 or 1 to 5 scale) and the degree of disability (1 to 3). In addition, list any possible associated migraine symptoms....like nausea, tingling, fatigue, visual issues, etc. Finally, list any possible triggers--different or migraine causing foods you ate, weather issues, sleep issues, hunger, period/pms, etc. Some patterns may well emerge from this.

    I have found that going even 3 or 4 hours without a snack gives me a headache, and also not getting much sleep gives me a headache...of course the hormonal issues make me much more prone to getting headaches as well.

    I haven't noticed weather being an issue for me as of yet (I find it can take a lot of time to start seeing and understanding what's going on with all of these triggers); however, a relative of mine only gets headaches in relation to the weather...mostly during certain months of the year and before it rains. For years people told him these were sinus headaches, but now he knows they are migraines...the pain has taken him to the hospital several times! Fish oil has greatly reduced headaches for him.

    I feel like I recently read something about the humid thing...can't remember what, though!!!??

    I saw my vestibular therapist again today. She really wants me to take the prozac I was prescribed as well as the progesterone...sees another patient like me with positional vertigo and MAV issues who does this and has seen improvement (tho still dizzy). It may be that the nori would work well for you; effexor seems to be the other common AD prescribed for this stuff...let me know what your doc says! (By the way, she said I have three things going on: BPPV, vestibulopathy (from VN?/MAV?), and MAV...all of these originated with the same thing (VN?), but this is what I'm left with now--this stuff is complicated! You may well have more than one thing going on as well.

    Take care Willholl!

    Violet

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 03:20 PM   #10
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Willholl,

    I say stick with the verapamil. I am on 360 mg and it can take 6-8 weeks for a full effect...try to wait it out (very difficult, I know) Verap is a great med...give it it's due trial. that way you can say for sure wether this med works for you or not. If you stop before it's fair trial, then you won't really know for sure. Add in the other med if you want also.

    Pam 3

     
    Old 10-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #11
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Hello Everyone!

    I have been reading these message boards tonight with a lot of interest. Many of you sound like you have many of the same symptoms I am going through. To make a long story short, I am now on Verapamil and have been for nearly a month. My neuro-ot started me out on 80mg for a week, then 120mg for a week. Now I am at 240mg and I believe my doc will continue to up the dosage for a while in an attempt to find a "sweet spot."

    Over the last couple of weeks, I have been a bit more tired/fatigued than usual, but this is likely due to the Verapamil (as it is a common side effect). I haven't seen any kind of significant improvement in my symptoms, but I suspect I just need to give the meds more time. Its just so frustrating. I feel like I'm alive but I'm not really living. Everything I do at work and with friends seems to be affected by mind fog, dizziness and anxiety. Its good to know that I'm not alone in this and that there are others who have experienced what I am going through (although its unfortunate that anyone should have to experience this). If anyone has any tips for me (or anyone else), please share!

    My tips are: 1) Read "Heal Your Headache" if you haven't already. 2) Get regular exercise (it can't hurt and its proven to reduce stress and anxiety). I have a stationary bike that I ride for 25-30 min at least 4 or 5 times per week.

    Thanks,
    Have a balanced day.

    -E

     
    Old 10-15-2008, 08:46 AM   #12
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    E,

    No you are not alone. I'm also on Verapamil. I have my finger crossed that this med will work. How long have you had this?

    CK

     
    Old 10-15-2008, 09:54 AM   #13
    willholl
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Thanks for your comments.

    Given that I am getting what appears to be a very low dose of Verapamil, without any mention of upping the dose, I am wondering if that indicates some hesitancy on the part of my doctor to 'officially' diagnose me with MAV. The next step in my original treatment plan if I didn't notice any improvement on the Verapamil was VRT (which I am starting in two weeks, along with acupuncture.)

    Pam, from what you know, is it OK to take Prozac with Verapamil? I am going to ask my doctor for a prescription for that or something similar, because the anxiety and depression from this are really starting to get to me.

    Violet, what is vestibulopathy? Is that damage to the vestibular nerve? I think keeping a headache/dizziness journal is a really good idea. I'm going to see what I can come up with and see if I can see a relationship between something?? and the dizzies. I can't do much about the weather but lay low if it's going to be stormy/humid, but there may other things I can avoid. I'm guessing that I have a combination of things going on too. I hope to sort out what I can by the first of the year (given my insurance situation, that is when I had wanted to start trying to get pregnant.)

    willholl

     
    Old 10-15-2008, 04:29 PM   #14
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    Hi Willholl--

    I think vestbulopathy is just a general term for a problem with the vestibular system. I think my PT sees my eyes doing funny things that indicate this, but another dr told me that just based on my description of dizziness with movement. I think it is basically uncompensated problems b/c of the former virus.

    Keep working on the diagnosis/treatment ideas...we'll get there someday, and hopefully soon!!

    Violet

     
    Old 10-16-2008, 06:16 AM   #15
    willholl
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    Re: Verapamil, week 3

    From Dr. Hain's web site (under treatment/verapamil):

    "Verapamil is generally effective for migraine but it takes about 2 weeks to work."

    "Should start with dose mg. roughly = weight of patient."

    OK, so now I know I'm on a very low dose (about half my weight) but two weeks? Where do they get that number from, when others on this board are being told three months? Who's right?

    So frustrating!

    willholl

     
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