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Are antihistamines contraindicated with MAV


I went off my diet over the holidays. Craved dark chocolate, aged cheese and wine. I also ended up with a sinus infection from a virus along with my dust, mold and cat allergies. I tolerated the antibiotic well but my doctor wanted me to start on Zyrtec daily. I have been having horrible nightmares and the most depressing is when I wake up and get out of bed in the morning the room starts to spin and I have to quickly lie back down until it subsides. The vertigo sensation had stopped for 6 months so having this start back up again is so depressing. I stopped the Zyrtec today and I am hoping I don’t wake up with vertigo tomorrow morning. Are antihistamines contraindicated with MAV? Has anybody had an increase in symptoms with antihistamines.


hey, i have been taking levocetirizine for 2 months now, almost everyday for hives while I tried a different formulation of my med. Doctors said there is no problem, i havent seen much changes in my symptoms, just craving more carbs and also feeling a little tired in the morning. I cut down to half
pill two nights ago. Is it helping with your sinus? Maybe try to cut back?


There’s a few archived posts on this subject to be found on here if you use the Search facility. Pizotifen which is used to treat migraine in UK (not available in some countries including US) is, I believe, an antihistamine. Having said the Cinnarazine is also. Personally one of those made me really dizzy and that was pre-chronic MAV in my case. I was given it to control sickness.

Guess the vertigo is a sign you’ve pushed the MAV too far probably the combo of consuming so many food triggers plus a virus and BAM. The room spins. Trigger avoidance was obviously working well to keep symptoms at bay. Blocked sinuses could cause dizziness/vertigo on its own. I’ve a friend who suffers like that for which she takes Sudafed with Paraceutomol included which helps her. Helen


The Zyrtec was helping but I stopped it yesterday and I didn’t wake up with the room spinning this morning, although, I woke up with a headache and neck ache, eyes feel weird and just feel woozy. Pushing myself to get to work. (Im late) I may switch to another antihistamine and go slow with it or cut the Zyrtec in half. Going to read the antihistamine archives posts. Im trying hard to not get depressed with this weird feeling again. I have to go back to my strict diet and start wearing my theraspec glasses. I especially need to wear the glasses in restaurants I stopped wearing them because I was embarrassed that people were staring at my weird glasses. I have to get over that. I was so busy with the holidays that I didn’t check in that much on this board but I need to start checking in daily and reading what others are going through and their helpful advice on this condition. I need the support and encouragement. Thanks.


I wouldn’t feel too awkward about the glasses. I’ve received open compliments about them when I went new places with them. They’re kind of trendy looking, except they’re tinted red but people think that’s cool.

Even with the compliments I know I’m avoiding my head feeling like crap, so always remember it’s to feel good and not for a tiny moment in time there’s someone you’ll probably never see again looking at you (be it for a good judgement or in poor judgement).


I’ve been on several different antihistamines without any noticeable effect other than they help me with seasonal allergies. Hope you start feeling better soon. In general I’ve only heard that antihistamines help people.

I also had really bad nightmares when MAV first started. My bet is that it has more to do with your body knowing something is really wrong (vestibular or ?) then the antihistamine.


I’ve dreamt many times I have vertigo only to wake up to find it wasn’t a dream. It was very real! I have also woke up with really bad anxiety - as if I was about to be taken out and shot I’d describe it - and a psychologist told me that’s Body Anxiety where your brain recognises some change is occuring and it doesn’t like it. Almost as if it’s warning you. Helen


What do I do about the nighttime anxiety and waking up anxious about the vertigo? I also had brain fog the whole day at work. Do you think I need to talk with Dr. Rauch about medication for this? I don’t even want to go to bed now.


The vertigo and brain fog are both part of the condition and I suspect the anxiety results from it too. I understand many consultants in US like you to maintain the diet for four months prior to reassessment and possible medication. Check with your doctor’s admin and find out your next steps. The anxiety if it stems from the condition should lessen once the condition improves meantime it helps to get good at talking yourself up. Go to bed telling yourself you may wake up with vertigo so it won’t surprise you but you aren’t afraid of it, it can’t kill you. You are young and strong and can and will get through this. Same with the anxiety. I think like this. There are three ‘of us’ sharing this body, a physical body, a brain, and ‘Me’. The anxiety is the brain telling the body something’s wrong. I am the ‘Me’ and I’m not involved. I’m detached and I find the anxiety boring. Don’t try to stop the anxiety. Just accept it’s there. It will rise, and fall again. Just aim to be detached from it. Won’t claim this as my own work. It isn’t. It was a suggestion made to me by a pyschologist. Helen


I haven’t found a real cure for it, but Helen has some very good advice. When I wake up with anxiety I typically work on slow breathing, particularly the out breath. Sometimes try to think of something pleasant instead, or things to look forward to. Its pretty hard though when you feel dizzy and disoriented.

I also think CBD oil before bed helps me keep anxiety down and sleep better. Another option to try is melatonin (3mg low dose slow release), although it usually just makes me a bit groggy. Meditation can help, but it takes a lot of will power with MAV. I’ve tried other sleep medications like Trazedone, but my nightmares got worse. It was like my body was saying “no seriously, there is a problem, wake up!”

Sorry to hear you’re struggling with nighttime anxiety, its really awful, I had it every morning for about a year. Eventually you start worrying how bad the next day is going to be because you aren’t sleeping. :grimacing: The best thing is to get MAV under control and anxiety will naturally come down. You will get there!


I got 5 hours of sleep last night. My husband is using cbd oil and is trying it for pain. I am going to try it tonight along with the deep breathing before sleep. I have to relax or I am going to get stuck in this depressive/ anxious state. Ok, I got it. The plan is try cbd oil, think pleasant thoughts along with deep breathing and meditation, stick with the diet, and wear my theraspecs. Thank you all for your suggestions and support. I will check back in to let you know how things are going.


How are you doing today?
I have silly question(s)…
Is your head raised up on pillows while you sleep (to alleviate the pressure to the head during sleep) so you’re not laying flat or somewhat flat?
Also, are you doing a nasal cleanse at all to clear out all the junk?
I learned mid last year I couldn’t take an antihistamine (not a fun night; all the side effects listed I felt for a good 3-4 hours.)
So, when sinus issues rise, I drink turmeric and ginger tea (use the actual spices and boil water, then dump the spices in of 1/4 tsp for about 10 mins).

I got about 5 hours sleep last night due to the rising pressure and the impending ice storm/snow storm about to hit New England. I feel for you in Boston!


These are not silly questions. Today, I woke up feeling off and dizzy ready to go into a full blown spin… I tried cbd oil for my insomnia last night that I have been having the last couple of weeks and it helped me get a little more sleep…about 6 hours. I didn’t sleep all the way through …I woke up a couple of times then went back. I have chronic sinus issues that I had somewhat under control but they have definitely flared and its exacerbating my mav. I was sleeping on two pillows but decided to go flat to give my neck a break but lying flat makes wake up feeling worse. When I sleep on two pillows it helps the mav for some reason. I am going to go back to sleeping on two pillows tonight. My doctor gave me a steroid (budesonide) to put in the saline rinse for severe inflammation. I am sure the blocked sinuses are definitely making my mav worse. I will try the teas. I have ginger tea but it is the tea bags. So get the actual spices for both turmeric and ginger?


Sorry for the late response.

For the pillow situation:
As noted by @turnitaround he’s even stated that laying flat increases head pressure at night which causes the spins in the morning. I lay on 2-3 pillows. 1 is really squishy and the other 2 are firm. I put one against my headboard and squish it into the crack and then use the 2nd firm pillow and pitch it on a curve so it looks like |\ except much less steep, cause again you want to be easy on your neck but also have your head upright to alleviate pressure. The 3rd squishy pillow goes on the middle/top of the \ because I’ve noticed with my pillows being firm if I lay my head directly on them with my ear to them then I wake up slightly dizzy due to the suction pressure on my ear (sucks, I know).
There’s an article on here about the curved pillows so it’s a gradual incline which would be easier on your neck (I understand the back/neck pain associated with trying to sleep on 3 pillows not perfectly positioned)

As far as the tea situation:
I have turmeric spice and ginger spice in bottles. I haven’t had any tea bags since I’m cautious as to everything I try, so I can’t comment on your tea bags and the potency of the ginger in them. Ginger is great for dizziness/nausea and also loosens any bugs that may be internal.
Turmeric is awesome for anti-histamine properties which is why I have that as well for the sinus issues, it’s also noted as an anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant. I do 1/4 tsp of each into the boiling water (roughly a cup and a half of water, it almost fills my contigo bottle) then immediately put it to low and wait 10 mins, so it essentially steeps. I make sure not to have any of the loose spices fall into my tea when pouring into my contigo bottle. I’ll add honey to my bottle if my throat is hurting as well, but I only use the honey sometimes because I notice it’ll think my mucous. For me, because I’m pretty sensitive I drink about a gulp every 30 mins. it was an hour before but I’m building upto being able to have a gulp every 30 mins. If I didn’t follow that guideline for myself then I’d get slightly dizzy; MAV isn’t fun.

Nasal cleanse:
I do the nasal cleanse more towards the morning or early afternoon and go for a drive (this helps me, some people don’t need to do this) so it all comes out. I noticed the pressure in elevations pushes it out (gross, I know), but it works for me and isn’t sitting in my nasal cavities.

Last but not least, salt gargle:
When you wake up do a salt gargle (roughly 1/4 tsp or less of salt in a cup and then add warm water). I tend to not add much water so the salt is more noticeable/potent. Gargle each time for roughly 10 seconds then spit. If it’s working you’ll notice mucous and such coming out. Do this same thing at night too. This cleans out all the gunk sitting in your throat.

Make sure it’s not too dry (50 RH is good) or too wet (summertime I use dehumidifier) in your home since this also exacerbates sinus issues.

I hope this helps.


Thank you so much for taking the time to respond back. I don’t know what I would do without this forum. This MAV is making me so nervous especially when I wake up. Now I understand why being elevated stops the spins in the morning…head pressure. I am so stinking sensitive. Nobody can touch my head. I went to a trigger point massage therapist and they were working on my temples, neck and shoulders and when they were finished and I got up I almost passed out. I had to quickly find the table and hop back on until I came to. Now I am understanding why all these symptoms are happening. I kept thinking I must be headed for a stroke (I’m not kidding) until I went to Dr. Rauch and he finally diagnosed me. Im going to use your method for the pillows with a gradual incline which will help my neck too. OMG I have so many problems, MAV, sinus problems, neck problems but that’s ok I could have something worse. I am going to go to Whole Foods and pick up the turmeric and ginger but not today. Boston got hit with a snow storm and then it rained on top of it and the snow is so heavy. I will be doing the nasal rinses everyday. I totally slacked off on them because I didn’t want to do anything that moved my head to trigger a vertigo attack but I have to stick with doing the rinses because the sinuses so clogged. The last two suggestions will definitely help too, the salt gargles and especially the humidifier. It is so dry both at home and at work. Will order the humidifier on Amazon. Thank you so much for your help in helping me get get this under control. This is a constant battle until each one of us knows what are triggers are and avoid them. Checking in daily on this forum is like a tranquilizer. I feel less anxious with all the support here.


I am a fan of the neti pot. Something to try if you haven’t already.


I tried the net pot and it’s that head position thing with me. When you tip your head to one side to use the net pot, I feel like I am about to get the spinning. With the bulb syringe I just keep my head straight. I think you get a better cleansing with the neti pot but unfortunately, I am so over protective of my head position. I think I might be over protecting too much.


Sorry to hear your morning didn’t go very well. I’m aware Boston got hit with snow/ice (finally snow!) since I’m only an hour 15 mins from it and I’ve also seen Dr Rauch haha. I’ve been watching the weather channel all day. The barometer pressure has been rising quickly which has been getting me a little bit off.

Regarding the nasal cleanse comment, I use the bottle as well, not the neti pot. I noticed I get light headed if I do the bottle later in the evening and also I get stuffy at night if I do it too late cause it’s still trying to drain while I sleep. You’re probably not over protective since you probably actually have a gauge on what head positions and angles trigger your dizziness due to your neck. Over time it should ease up but it takes a long time over a period of time. Imagine slowly pushing a rock up a hill very slowly. It takes a long time but you make progress with each moment (think every month for progress and look back to see what has been better as far as ANYTHING like able to take a shower for 30 seconds longer without dizzy or under florescent lights for X amount of time longer than the usual without being dizzy, etc)

Be careful with the head tipping back for salt gargling because you may get slightly dizzy from it. When I do it late it makes me slightly dizzy but goes away after a minute or so when I wait for time to pass instead of redoing another gargle.

Just remember, we’re all in this together and we understand where you’re coming from. This forum has been a Godsend for me as well and we’re all here for you too. If you have questions, feel free to ask them, because I’m sure someone has either experienced it or tried a certain food and you can gauge from there, etc.


We’re neighbors! I am west of Boston in Concord. Does the positional head movement problem come with MAV for most people or is it just with people with MAV and neck problems? Yes, I am realizing that doing the nasal rinse later in the evening is a big mistake. I did the nasal wash in the morning and evening yesterday and woke up slightly off balance with a spin that could happen if I don’t watch it. Although, the stress of the Patriots vs Kansas City game last night didn’t help my MAV. That was so stressful!


OMG the Pats game hahahaha. I texted my brother immediately after they won and mentioned how that game was a heart racer. There’s another MAV member who lives in Boston on here who I met with and speak to; texted him after the game too with just a WOW, that was a real heart racer. That game was incredible.
I’d say it comes with MAV, cause realistically at some point people will complain of their neck aching at times (the vestibular system trying to compensate due to an increase in barometer pressure/weather or whatever the case may be so it puts pressure on the neck).
Haha yep, gotta be careful with the rinse. :slight_smile:
I’m just south of the CT/Mass border.