Finally Diagnosed/Topamax

I was finally diagnosed officially this week with Migraine Variant by a neurologist and prescribed Topamax 15mg (it’s a baby dose - I’m extremely sensitive to medications). Does anyone know if there is a difference between Migraine Associated Vertigo and Migraine Variant/Atypical Migraines??? (I never get vertigo, just mild to rampant dizziness plus plenty of the fun neurological symptoms and eventually the whopper headache). So far so good with doubling the dose of the Topamax as well. Hopefully with food trigger control and meds and I get a lot of my life back!! I’d love to hear from someone about this. (P.S. This forum is what prompted me to make an appointment with the neurologist based upon other’s symptoms and experiences in addition to other websites.) THANK YOU!!!

Hi Mini,

Very happy to hear you’ve seen a neurologist so hopefully on the road to wellness. Migraine is migraine - but there are a huge range of symptoms and they can change over time. Fingers crossed you get results with the Topamax.


Hi there,
As Vic said, the migraine conditon all comes from the same root. The drugs that work for all migraine conditions, all have about equal efficacy, but doctors will usually try to choose a med that might help with comorbid symptoms…for me, I had anxiety and depression going on at the same time, so I was prescribed an antidepressant. (I take Cymbalta). For others, it could be to help with high blood pressure, as some of them will lower it, or with any seizure activity, then the anticonvulsants are usually prescribed. Topamax a very popular med for Migraine, so as long as you are able to handle it, you should stick it out.
THere is a ton of info on this site, so you will find yourself learning a lot here.

Hi Mini,

Glad you were able to identify with the info here and got a dx to work with. Vic and Kelley covered it well. The things you asked about are all rooted in migraine and starting on a low dose of Topamax is a very good plan (along with lifestyle modifications). There’s another member here who didn’t see his symptoms stop on Topa until he had hit 50 mg and was at the 4 month mark. Unfortunately, you’ll likely have to remain patient with this.


Just a note of encouragement. Topamax did give me my life back. I do have some side effects but compared to the migraine/MAV that I had, they are nothing. I am still working on dosage but seem to be happy at 75 mg. I suffered for 6 years before I was properly diagnosed, it’s been 3 months of freedom now.

Seems like there’s not really an accepted “official” name for this - the neurotologist who diagnosed me called it migraine associated dizziness, and he said he didn’t treat it so I should see a neurologist; and the neurologist called it a migraine variant. And I didn’t get any “spinning” sensation either, “only” the feeling that if my head moved one way and I stopped it, it was still moving (when I knew that it wasn’t), plus the wobbly, off-balance feeling. (I also had a few tunnel vision auras that I thought were part of the dizziness - thinking I was extremely dizzy almost to the point of passing out - but later when I realized that it was aura on top of the dizziness, I knew I wasn’t really going to pass out: it was just making things more “interesting!”)

I too have been helped by Topamax. My neurologist said I could increase my dose every week or 2 as we worked up to the target dose, but a psychiatrist friend of mine suggested I make the increases every 2 weeks, so that’s what I did. I can’t drink Pepsi anymore - all fizzy drinks taste funny to me now. But that’s fine because they’re bad for you anyway, and I lost some weight I needed to lose. And being able to move my head without that awful feeling like it’s still moving is wonderful!

Hi Maryalice,
Can you tell me how you titrated your Topamax? What dose you started at, and eventually ended at?
That seems to be a fair trade…soda for normalcy…lol… :slight_smile:

Welcome to the club Maryalice. Isn’t it wonderful? First time I tried a fountain soda on topamax I thought they tried to serve me carbonated kerosene :-). BTW I titrated from 25 mg starting dost to 50 mg in 2 weeks to 75 mg in 2 months. The 75 mg was a bit early since my MAV returned. I do need to work a LOT on my triggers.

Hey Kenny – so great to hear that after all those years of suffering, you have finally beat this thing. Thanks for posting in the Success Stories thread. Stories like yours are so important for people to read.

Cheers and congrats … Scott :slight_smile:

Everyone - Thanks so much for answering and for your input. This forum is terrific. I’m especially working on the food triggers but that really is a work in progress since I wasn’t entirely sure I was a migraine patient until this week. I think that I may even react to brown rice which is a bummer since I don’t think I can eat wheat products. AACK. My neurologist wanted me to raise my topamax dose every 3 days until I reach 30mg twice per day. However, that may be a bit quick for me since even at 15mg the stuff seems to make me a bit woozy, so taking it during the day will be too difficult unless I take it with a cup of regular coffee - a counterproductive NO-No… So, I guess I’ll just take my time. I do think that the stuff helps me sleep better.