The Vestibular Migraine Community

Does taking Meclizine work for MAV


Anyone taking Meclizine or Dramamine/Antivert to help with dizziness ? As a last resort after trying many medicines did any of you resort to just taking Meclizine on a need basis.

Meclizine is not addictive like the benzos and it is available over the counter. There are non-drowsy variants of it. Just that i am not sure it works for MAV. Can it be diagnostic to say if it works it ipoints to an ear related issue ? (Probably a question for the doctor ?)

Some folks in here suffer for 10 years and longer. I am dead sure it does not take 10 years for one to compensate so at that point might as well throw in the towel and start taking Meclizine. If it works It still beats ear surgery which can have consequences.

I am currently on Amitriptyline but was advised by few folks, instead of struggling on a daily basis just resort to Meclizine. I am not close to throwing in the towel yet but was curious to see if anyone in the MAV universe has seen benefits from it.


If you’re on Amitriptyline and am not having bothersome/significant side effects I would definitely give it a full, long trial. When I first got the dizziness my PCP recommended Meclizine and it helped me at first but then stopped working. I tried it again years later when the dizziness got a lot worse and it made me feel worse.


My theory is that dizziness = uncompensated. Unbalanced you cant do much about just hope it improves. Meclizine definitely is a vestibular suppressant so you definitely need to take that sparingly or it will slow compensation. As you know I’m at a point now where I have a remaining mild ‘disability’ but meds no longer help/are needed


Thanks Jess09. The plan is to stick to Amitriptyline. I had taken Meclizine during my acute phase when i was suspected to have Vesibular Neuritis and it worked. For the migraine scenario i think it is not useful as it did not work for you. Wish you good luck and pray things are moving in the right direction.


Hi James,

When you say imbalanced do you mean where you find there is some tilting of the ground ? Correct me in my below definition of 50 shades of dizziness( i can write a book !!)

dizziness = light headed and feeling like you might faint…kind of like pre-syncope
vertigo = spinning sensation like you are on a merry-go-round
imbalance = walking on foam/trampoline and feeling like tilting or pulling

So you experience some mild “disability” you mean imbalance ?


Yeah these are so hard to describe aren’t they?

Vertigo is often spinning at its worst but it can be a lighter ‘rushing’ sensation.

Imbalance is the ‘going to fall over maybe, unsteady, not so sure of my footing’ feeling.

Tilting maybe another one entirely :).


Before my official diagnosis of BPPV and MAV, my ENT prescribed meclizine. It didn’t help me at all. My specialist who diagnosed me prescribed Klonapin, which made me manic, so I stopped taking it and opted for natural supplements and dietary restrictions. I still have imbalance with dizziness, but have not had a full vertigo episode in about a year. It can’t hurt to try the meclezine though. We are all different, and your cause may be different than mine. Good luck!


Laura have your BPPV episodes stopped?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Meclizine. My vertigo episodes have stopped since my Amitriptyline start. Imbalance is my primary concern especially when i walk it feels uneven. DIzziness is there but not a major hindrance. I hear from @turnitaround that imbalance will slowly resolve and you can be 95% and above. Pray that we see this day soon.
Good luck. God bless.


For the most part, the BPPV has slowed to a minimum. Every now and then, if I turn to my right side at night, or move my head too quickly in any direction, I start to spin (vertigo), but as long as I move back to a regular head position quickly and take some deep breaths, I can overcome it. Right now, I can feel pressure in my right ear from sinus issues, and I’ve been very off balance for the last week. If only there was a real solution! I am thankful it’s not worse, but it is still annoying.


So true. I keep reminding myself where i was when all this started and now i am in a relatively better place.


Try to avoid it if you can, Laura. I find that the more you ‘let it spin’ the more it will spin again.


I definitely agree with you, James.


I took 100mg per day of meclizine for 15yrs before getting to a specialist that put me on Nort. The specialist said the meclizine totally disables your ear balance system and I needed to get off of it. It also started making me dizzy. It would take the terrible vertigo away but I would get really dizzy. I did feel pretty normal when I was taking it.


How is the Nort working for you ? How long you taking the Nort ? Is it working better than the Meclizine.


@GetBetter You’re welcome. I hope the Amitriptyline will work for you. I’ve been debating trying Meclizine for an acute issue I have going on, just to try to stop the cycle. I have Xanax that I’m on and that helps it slightly but maybe for only 2 hours tops, if I’m lucky. I’ve had extreme off balance/motion sickness feeling for 6 days now with horrific ear and jaw pain and tilted feelings. Aleve barely touches the pain and headache (mainly back of head and neck pain). I’m between neurologists, don’t really have a knowledgeable doctor to talk to, and don’t know what to do. Not to mention I haven’t been able to ride as a passenger in a car for the entire month of October, so I don’t think I could get to a doctor anyway.


Hi Jess,
Sorry to hear. Have you tried any of the migraine prophylactic. If your situation is so bad you should start with one of them. I recommend Amitriptyline. You can tell your neurologist to put you on Vestibular migraine meds and start the trials until you find one that works for you. Xanax will not work for the long haul but is good to take the edge off the bad attacks. See the medicine flowchart at the bottom of the below page. Hope you get a break soon.


Nort is working pretty well. I was able to get off the meclizine over about an 8 to 10 month period. I ramped up pretty quickly to 100mg of Nort and stayed there for about a year. I started to feel kind of faint and light headed like my blood pressure was to low so I had to come down to 50mg. I have been at 50mg for a year or so. I seem to have a little improvement about every 4 to 6 weeks. It’s slow going and the feeling that I’m gonna get the spins is still there a little off and on but I am much better thank God. I have had to throw in about half a 25mg of meclizine every once in a while, like maybe once every two weeks. I don’t know if that’s because I have eaten a migraine trigger food or not. Still working on the whole migraine diet thing.


Yes my progress with Amitriptyline is quite similar. With every passing month I seem to be getting a little better. Previously restaurants were a problem but now it is manageable.


@GetBetter Yes and yes, thank you I am quite aware of this chart and the recommended migraine prophylactics. And yes I also know Xanax won’t work in the long haul, lesson already learned but too late. My first neurologist had me try at least one med from each class of the prophylactics, but the only one I was able to stay on for 3-4 months was Zoloft and I noticed no change, good or bad, on that. (that was before I developed medicine sensitivity too) If I had ANY small side effect he took me off the medicine right away. I was young, 24, and naive and had no idea how bad that was. Or how EASY those side effects were back then to what I was facing now. The Xanax worked for me and was able to keep me working, which at the time I needed to do as my husband was still in college and then took awhile to find a full time job. The first neurologist told me the Xanax could be addictive but again, naivety, I thought addiction was only psychological and had NO idea it could also be physiological. Last year under the advisement of a new doctor I tried to slowly taper the Xanax but got way too dizzy not to mention suffered horrid withdraw effects worse than any flu or anything I’ve ever experienced. If I can ever feel better and get my functionality back I’d like to try to get off the Xanax again. The good thing is that I haven’t had to add any more Xanax, and am on a low dose (0.5 mg 2x/day).

Amitriptyline was recommended to me but I did try it 3 times and got much dizzier each time and was unable to stick with it. I still may re-visit it but my current doctor doesn’t want me to yet. Nortriptyline was even worse and that one I will not re-try. Plus I would benefit from the additional ingredients in the Ami that the Nort doesn’t have.