For those who've had success with SSRI's

My doctor just started me on Cymbalta. It seems to bit helping a little bit with the dizziness already but I know it’s early so I don’t want to jinx myself. How long do the SSRI’s (I think Cymbalta is an SNRI) take to be effective…is it six weeks before you feel the full effect? Also, when do doctors usually increase your dose if needed? Thanks for any info!


Hi Colleen,

When I was on Cipramil initially, it took about 6–8 weeks to feel the full MAV killing effects. I sat on 10 mg for too long but once I hit 15 mg, it all pretty much stopped.


Thanks Scott,

Can I ask why you stopped the Cipramil?? Was it because of bad headaches (I think I remember you posting that somewhere else). So far, I have not had any headaches with the Cymbalta…let’s hope it continues.

I just thought I would mention a woman named Barbara who is at 100% with a combination of Prozac (75mg) and Topamax (75mg). she loves them both and will never stop taking them. Just thought I’d post that


I “know” someone with mdds (also migraines) who is symptomfree with topamax + paxil at a lower dose than 75mg. I wouldnt start with trying paxil though, since it apparently can be quite hard to come off.

Hey Colleen,

Can I ask why you stopped the Cipramil?

I had been on it for over 4 years and really wanted to know if I could get by without it. It also seemed to cause more headaches for me although these days I wonder if it really was. It caused me to gain about 15 kg and was a libido killer too. The irony is I may need to go back there if Effexor doesn’t work out. I’m already getting some weird side effects from Effexor. My right heel is killing me! Yesterday I could barely walk on it. I did a search on the web and it is associated with “bone pain” in some cases. I’m just hoping it is some temporary thing.

Glad Cymbalta is working out so far. Keep us up to date on it. It may be one I should think about if these others don’t pan out.

Cheers … Scott 8)

Thanks Scott,

I have been on the Cymbalta for a little over a week and I can honestly feel a difference. The weird eye stuff (not being able to focus on things) is getting better every day. I also feel less “drunk” than usual. The side effects have been minimal which is great because usually I am usually pretty sensitive to meds. I actually feel like myself…only less dizzy. My husband said he has noticed a difference in my mood too. He said I seem “less stressed”. I really hope this continues!

Hello Everyone,

I’m pretty new here but I know Scott from another forum. I just started taking Effexor for MAV two days ago and I feel a little bit strange…
I don’t know if I’m thinking too much about it or not. I don’t have a normal job right now; I’m freelance because I can’t work the same hours having this condition. I’m sure some of you understand.
I don’t really like to be on any meds … I miss my old non dizzy life like everyone else. :expressionless: My worries are that if this helps to get rid of the dizziness do I have to take it my whole life??? Has anyone had a good experience taking Effexor, Topamax etc and then stopped and been ok?
I don’t want to be addicted to a med for the rest of my life.

I was on Cipramil 10 years ago for depression and it helped, and it was easy to get off. Dr. Hain (my doctor) said that there has not been any proof that Cipramil helps migraine…I wish there was… :cry:



Emma, I tried Effexor for 2 months. I am not sure I gave it a good enough time to really know for sure whether it would help but it made me very anxious and I was grinding my teeth very badly and not sleeping well. I also thought my dizziness was a more pronounced. It wasnt a bad experience but it just didnt help and was causing too many other issues. I went slowly up to 75 mg. I am now trying nortriptyline. I am at the end of my first week without many side effects (some headaches and waking up groggy). Good luck. I know there have been some good success stories on Effexor. Ben

— Begin quote from “emmasaga”

I was on Cipramil 10 years ago for depression and it helped, and it was easy to get off. Dr. Hain (my doctor) said that there has not been any proof that Cipramil helps migraine…I wish there was… :cry:

— End quote

Welcome to the board Emma! Really glad you’re here. And also great that you saw one of the best gurus you could possibly have seen for this migraine junk.

I wanted to add that even though Hain said there was no evidence for Cipramil and migraine per se (he’s absolutely right - there are few studies that have examined SSRIs and migraine beyond Zoloft and Prozac), it does appear that the SSRIs do work for this in some cases for MAV (but like all these meds this particular one may or may not work for you) at least in removing dizziness from the equation. I have seen a number of people recover quite well with the aid of SSRIs – or at least partially. As it turns out I also took Cipramil and it took me to feeling about 95% and kept me there for most of the 4 years I was on it although, not surprisingly, it did not clean up the headache component of this for me. I know another girl here in Sydney who also had VN and was made well on Cipramil as well, though I have no idea what happened to her in the end. I think she had MAV actually because she would always complain about sudden blurry vision. I didn’t know what MAV was then though. There’s a few other people on the board here who have had some success with Prozac and Zoloft.

Anyway, definitely follow what Hain has said of course and give Effexor a fair go. It’s got the best proven track record in this class of meds. Just know that if you rule it out after a few months, Cipramil could be worth another go and maybe with the addition of second agent such as Verapamil. Of course consult Dr Hain with any of this first. If I can’t handle the Effexor I will probably go back to either Cipramil or Lexapro myself (lex uses the exact same active molecue but in a cleaner mixture).

I didn’t realise you’d had VN first (as I did … as did Violet from the healthboards, Hannah who is here and also Tesss). It’s amazing how frequently this appears to happen. I would love to see this investigated by one of the groups in the US. My own hypothesis on this is (actually Dr Rosalyn Davies in London mentioned this to Hannah) that even if someone has the smallest predisposition to migraine, a bout of VN causes enough trauma to the central nervous system to kick off MAV. Those without a “migraine brain” generally recover from VN in the textbook 6–12 week trajectory as long as there aren’t eye-sight complications … or they may need VRT to get to the finish line.

Lastly, I’m not surprised that singing, playing your guitar and piano is difficult seeing that you had VN. You will be fine again but will need to compensate for this. What has to happen first though is control of the migraine. Once migraine stops interfering, your brain will sort out the problems associated with guitar playing. I still have problems with guitar because I have not actively played daily to fully compensate. In addition I still have not snuffed out the recent migraine activity. There was a guy on the Healthboards (named “Comeandrelax”) who was a lead guitar player in a band. He got hit with VN and developed MAV. It took him a while but he did fully recover his ability to play guitar and sing without feeling dizzy even though he hadn’t cleaned up the migraine completely. He simply wouldn’t give up and just kept playing daily until it stopped messing with him.

Finally, this is what Dr Rauch (another great neurotologist in the US) had to say about migraine:

— Begin quote from ____

Even if migraine is not the primary cause of some of our patients symptoms, it causes intensification of symptoms to the point that the migraine inhibits treatment of the primary problem. Migrainuers are the only patients who get worse in vestibular rehab PT. I consider this diagnostic of migraine: If I see a patient who tried VPT but quit after 1 or 2 sessions I know they’re a migraineur. The migraine trumps every other dizzy diagnosis. Until I control the migraine, I really cannot treat the uncompensated vestibular neuritis, intractable BPPV, or Meniere’s syndrome.

— End quote

See the following clip from Dr Rauch on MAV: … dizziness/

Keep us up to date on how Effexor is going for you!

Best … Scott 8)