I’m new to this forum. My husband suffers from what was finally diagnosed as Migrainous vertigo after several frustrating years. A neurologist prescribed amitriptyline and told him to take it when he feels MV coming on and to take it “as needed”. Has anyone had experience using this drug?

Both my daughter and I have migrainous vertigo. When she was first diagnosed, at age 17, our ENT gave her some amitryptyline at 10mg, to take every night. She hated the sedation, and stopped it. Ultimately, she was put on nortriptyline, and has done well on it for several years, although she had to find the right dose for her–she titrated up from 10 mg to 30mg.
Preventive meds, like the amitriptyline, are given continuously.
I know a woman who was prescribed amitryptiline in college as an “as you needed drug” for her migraines–she found it unhelpful, and ultimately ended up on notriptryline daily.
Amitryptiline is a tricyclic antidepressant, and they work by elevating seratonin, norephinephrine, some have anti-histamine properties–the side effects are worse when you start them, and the benefit occurs with continuous use.
I’d suggest the eMedicine article, it explains migraine preventive drugs.

Hope he feels better.

Thanks for the reply. It definitely makes him very drowsy for the first 2-3 days. Usually he feels much better after 4-5 days and can go back to work. but he then stops taking it and can go up to 3-4 months without a relapse. I think that is why the “as needed” advice but it doesn’t make sense to me-especially since it takes 2-3 days for the side affects to start to go away.

Thanks for the input. It helps to know others are suffering with this.

Well, if he’s only sedated for a few days, then functional, and goes 4 months between episodes, maybe his doctor didn’t want him to have to take a medicine all the time.
Amitriptyline is usually considered a preventive med, not an abortive med.
Perhaps asking his physician for the reason for the “as needed” usage would clarify why he prescribed it that way.
One thing we’ve learned on this board, is that everyone has different approaches to the problem.

Early last year i decided per doctor’s orders to try Amtriptyline (Elavil)…and initially had some uncomfortable side affects of increased anxiety and not feeling well in general. But after one to two weeks the affects calmed down. I stayed on this medication for one year + maximum dosage(that is how despearate i am)…and it only helped very slightly. The worst side affect is urine retention. I decided to get off this med and begin Verapamil…been on it for over 3 months. It has given me some help with the Motion and tension in my head…but for some reason the last 2 weeks some of the symptoms have increased again. My hope is that things will calm down soon.


These 2 drugs are in the same class, so I wonder why such a difference in improvement between one and the other


— Begin quote from “Rich1975”

These 2 drugs are in the same class, so I wonder why such a difference in improvement between one and the other


— End quote

Hmm, which two? Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline are the same class, but verapamil is far from similar.

Yeah, the Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline. Go up several posts and someone was switched from one to the other. I wonder why such a difference in improvement


And so thought most people on here but I was surprised to find. Deep in the attached, that it can be used as an abortive too.

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Yes but you would become pretty drowsy I should imagine! :sleeping:

Interesting, I actually use propanolol as an abortive sometimes.

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I use it as an abortive. When things hit the fan and it’s been that way a couple of days, I throw ami in to my rescue mix. Given Fioricet, Compazine and Benadryl are also in that mix, I’m attempting to sleep hard at that point. I still never sleep more than 3 hours on that cocktail but it’s usually enough to boot the hard reset I’m looking for.