The Vestibular Migraine Community

Cured? 80+% better on Diazepam


#1

I read the story on another forum of a woman with similar symptoms to my own who was able to make herself feel better taking Valium (Diazepam). - http://www.healthboards.com/boards/inner-ear-disorders/661962-cured-mav.html

I’ll keep this post short.

I got a strip of 5mg Valium from my doctor and it was obvious how much better I felt… I have my life back. This would suggest to me that anxiety, stress and anger are the cause of my migraine related symptoms being triggered.

I have started therapy with a counsellor to discuss ways to control anxiety and stress so that I hopefully won’t have to rely on Valium, which, is addictive with prolonged use I’ve read. Even my doctor warned me of this.

I don’t know if its the same cause for everyone but, for me, it’s my stress and anxiety levels… I can actually go out and do stuff now and not only that but I have much less social anxiety.

I hope this post helps someone.

Paul


#2

Great news Paul. Anxiety and Stress are definitely a factor in worsening ones symptoms. I hope you continue to see improvements!


#3

Be careful about relying on any benzo medicine like Valium. After trying verapamil, topamax, and zoloft with no relief, the first neurologist I saw put me on Xanax. It made me feel much better, I was able to continue working for awhile and lead a normal life, even travel. He told me it was addictive but I was naive and thought that was only a psychological issue and didn’t think I could ever “think” I needed more and more of the drug. I didn’t understand the physiological part of addiction at all. He kept me on a low dose for a few years and told me not to come back unless I felt worse. Well, eventually I couldn’t work again, the dizziness got much worse, and the Xanax didn’t help as much as it used to. (and the prescribing neurologist moved his practice out of state so I couldn’t go to him to get me out of the mess he put me in) I tried to taper off of it, got 25% lower, and couldn’t go any further without severe anxiety that affected my stomach (doctors thought I had an ulcer, treated me as such, made me go through an endoscopy, which showed everything was normal and it was probably just the extra anxiety causing all the abdominal pain). Now I’m back on the same dose of Xanax, but can barely function because the dizziness is so bad. Am trying to get on other medications but am having trouble tolerating them.

At least Valium is longer lasting than Xanax so it’s not the most addictive benzo out there. It does help, but perhaps not a long term solution. Not in my case at least. But, maybe you won’t have that issue. I still think I was lucky that the Xanax worked a few years for me without needing more. I haven’t given in to taking more, even though my doctor wants me to (after all I went through to try to get off of it and couldn’t, how could I possibly take more?)

Basically, I feel like the Xanax was a band-aid, and something they put me on that basically put off the inevitable that I needed to find a medicine that helps that I could stay on more long term. In the meantime I got so much worse and am now very stuck, as I am having so much more trouble trying new meds.


#4

I have ended up in the Emergency Room a few times over the past years. I had severe vertigo, vomiting, nystagmus , tinnitus, etc. They put me on an IV which included Valium. It totally stopped my problems. They gave me a few Valium tablets to take until I could see a physician. But no physician wanted to see me on Valium as a solution since it is addictive (I was very aware of that when I stopped taking the few pills I had been given). When I finally connected with an oto-neurologist, he put me on the Migraine Diet and Nortriptyline. He feels this is a much better way to handle these problems. It reduces the vertigo and other symptoms if you are willing to commit to it. You can be on Nortriptyline for awhile and then go off, as needed. There are other medications, also. I am so glad that you have some temporary relief but I hope you have access to a knowledgeable neurologist who can help you find a less addictive medication to take. A Valium, or half a Valium, may be okay once in a while to “reduce some over stimulation of the facial nerves” but no one seems to suggest it as a daily solution to ongoing problems. You are not alone - we all do worse when we are anxious and under stress. But I know that I am overall doing better at controlling symptoms if I am on the diet, aware of and trying to reduce other triggers and know that I have Nortriptyline if I need it. I do have a resultant damaged inner right ear which is easily aggravated and not easily fixed. I wish I had known about Nortriptyline 8 years ago. Good luck to you. Keep researching. (www.vertigotalesandtastes.blogspot.com)


#5

please read this article that paul put on,especially those that are stressed and suffering anxiety, it just made so much sense to me!


#6

Which article?


#7

this one, the one about the lady that got better on 5 days rest and diazepam she explains all about the stress side of things!


#8

mellybob - I would agree that Valium is a quick fix. It did work for me when I was given it at the ER. But addictive medication for the long term is not a solution. It does not heal the problem and you will continue to need more and more of it. When you go off of it the MAV will return. I am sorry to say that I do not feel (from all the research) that we will ever be carefree (but I still hope for that). But there are ways to control it. People have been successful with Nortriptyline and Amitriptyline while they reduce triggers that push them over the threshold of tolerance. If stress is your biggest trigger, then you must find ways to reduce it (not easy) If head motion aggravates the problem, then work on that. Have you eliminated caffeine and alcohol and MSG to weigh their effects? Hormone changes really affect some women. That begins in the 40’s and escalates in the 50’s. That too affects anxiety and coping with stress. I am so happy that she had some good temporary relief from this very frustrating problem. If you go that route, find out from your physician how long you can stay on Valium? Also ask: Does he have other MAV patients and did he prescribe Valium for them and how long did they stay on it and did they have to increase the dose over time? Does Valium cure MAV? We would all like to know his answer to the last one. Maybe MAV medication is a better solution while you reduce triggers. Good luck. (www.vertigotalesandtastes.blogspot.com)


#9

Valium is a vestibular suppressant to be used in the very short term for acute vertigo episodes. When used long term for chronic vertigo the drug will eventually stop working. Then what? Be wise and try other methods for chronic issues. They may not be quick fixes but are a much better alternative .
I was given Valium to use for any severe acute vertigo that could not be controlled . I’ve never used it but it is sitting comfortably in my drawer just “in case”.


#10

NYGAL is that true of Amitriptyline too?


#11

I, too, have it sitting in the drawer for that purpose. I took 1/2, one time, and it helped/ It is a kind of comfort knowing that it is there if I have a bad episode. I go on a short course of Nortriptyline to avoid more serious issues. Tonight I am starting 10 mgs a day for two weeks.


#12

UPDATE:

I am still taking Valium but have recently upped the dosage to 10mg daily.

Recently I totally abandoned the diet and have been consuming food I shouldn’t so this has definitely played a role.

My current aim would be to get back on the diet 100% and also to reduce Valium intake to 5mg every other day.

I should add I went to a concert the other night… a very very loud one! This was the trigger for what I’d call a full blown relapse to the point where it’ taking 10-15mg of valium a day to give me any kind of relief. There’s been an almost popping like sensation in my left ear ( in which I also have constant tinnitus) since the concert… I think the loud noise is a serious trigger for me. no more concerts :frowning:

I tried nortriptyline for around a week, that was the first medication I tried… The horrible horrible drug, Would rather just deal with the symptoms. Didn’t give me any relief and I didn’t feel like I actually slept the whole week… I just wasn’t myself.

I’ll keep people updated as things progress.


#13

Turnitaround,

Are you asking if I think amitryptline is a suppressant or if it stops working after some time? I know the tricyclics antidepressants effect multiple neurotransmitters in the brain as well as areas of the brain that control our balance. So, I’m not sure what method of action occurs that helps us to suppress our imbalance or vertigo.
Need to ask my neuro.
Now, if your asking if I think amitryptline or Nortryptiline stop working at some point, well I don’t know. I myself found some relief at a starting dose of 10mgs 7 months ago. I’ve recently needed to up the dose to 25mgs to maintain the same level of control. If this continues perhaps these drugs might also stop working . I would hate to think this is the case.
I think one can be controlled on these drugs once the correct adequate dosage is achieved.
No risk of dependency with these drugs like the benzodiazepines.


#14

but it might just break the migraine cycle??


#15

do you believe this is for life spinninggirl1? sorry for all the questions it gets confusing!


#16

Yes, i’ve seen one report of Amitriptyline no longer working on this site, but not heard that from any other source. However I take that report with a pinch of salt because you have to also be aware that symptoms can escalate at any stage. I’m sure my symptoms escalated significantly from the initial onset, but they did so well before I started meds. I’m fairly sure, especially observing the symptoms that my medication doesn’t manage so well, that I reached crescendo about 6 months after starting Ami, and since then my underlying symptoms have improved very very slowly.

btw, 25mg sounds about right to me as a longterm dose - i’m almost completely well controlled at 20mg in that I can lead an almost normal life, though break throughs happen.


#17

That is a good question. I wish I had a crystal ball. I believe my problems could be for life because the MAV began 6 months after my last period. Seems like it was definitely hormone (or lack of) related. (To be honest, however, I was also under a lot of stress at the time.) My whole system had/has changed. But a friend of mine had migraines up to menopause and then they disappeared. If you have read my blog, you know that when left untreated, I get the full range of horrible symptoms. The GOOD NEWS, so far, is that it is treatable and I can have control over this problem. I follow both the the Migraine Diet of no alcohol, no coffee, no major MSG, and some foods like banana, avocado, aged cheese or more than a taste of chocolate. I also add the histamine diet which really overlaps the MIgraine diet, but adds no dairy, no berries and a few other things. Swelling of the sinus aggravates the nerves, etc. There is a strong relationship between histamine intolerance and migraine. Much overlap. When I am overloaded from uncontrollable triggers (heat of summer, too much activity and head motion, series of storms coming in, maybe too much exercise, etc.) and I cannot recover with ;Allegra or an occasional Advil, then I can go on a short course of Nortriptyline. In the beginning, I was on 25mgs for 3 weeks, 50 mgs for 3 weeks and then 25 mgs for three weeks. Then I was off for 14 months. The second time I went on I was on 10 mgs and then 25mgs and then 10. My allergies are getting worse and I am aging and I have a hard time controlling the ear fullness. My right inner ear is probably damaged. My doctor is trying me on 2 weeks of 10 mgs. just to get my system back on track. I have been dealing with MAV for 8 years. I t seems like it will always be here but I can control it with diet, trigger avoidance and medication as needed. I have a good oto-neurologist who works with several patients like me, but I have permanent ear damage and hearing loss. I have to accept this, deal with solutions that are offered and not get bogged down worrying about what is in the future. Hope this is helpful. (www.vertigotalesandtastes.blogspot.com)
But maybe you are young. When I was in my early 40’s, I had 2-day episodes. First day was loud tinnitus in my right ear. Second day I was nauseous and then vomited (sorry!). Then the episode was over. This happened 3 times so I went to the first ENT. He thought I could have a brain tumor and wanted me to go to a world renowned Ear clinic in Los Angeles. I said “nah”. I went to another ENT I knew, and she did a RAST blood test for allergies. (This was before anyone knew about MAV, etc.) The test revealed that I had high histamine levels for Egg whites, legumes (soy), peanuts, citrus,white potatoes and wheat. Low levels for tomato and milk. So I strictly avoided these for a few months and the whole thing disappeared for 18 years. I drank coffee, ate chocolate and had a drink on Saturday night and had no problems. I even eventually consumed rotated amounts of the other foods. No problems until menopause. Funny, those foods are on the histamine and/or migraine list. Maybe it is a good idea to try avoiding the foods on the migraine diet. Maybe it will help you.


#18

sorry to hear that spinninggirl could I ask how old you are? im 37 and wondered if mine might be hormones although my relapse came after a short bout of stress, im pleased you can almost control yours :slight_smile: ive never done the diet but I did quit caffeine 5yrs ago when this started!


#19

HI mellybob. I added a note to the above that will interest you. It is definitely worth a try. I know it is not easy. I wrestle with it all the time and I cannot stay away from chocolate and a little ice cream and cheese. I had much more control when I was younger. And a more compliant attitude. (www.vertigotalesandtastes.blogspot.com)


#20

thank you I know I should try it but I feel so god damn miserable with all this and I don’t want it to take my favourite foods too, I feel I have no life at the min I get stressed about everything including the diet :sweat: