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JC Moose update trialing Effexor

Summary, in my original post April 2019 (my intro) I was having attacks every two months lasting 4-5 days after about 4 years of off and on attacks happening a few times a year. I am 55 and think menopause is a big factor in the increase of attacks. I have seen an ENT and OT both of whom diagnosed me with VM. I am not chronic, but my attacks increased to every 2 weeks which prompted me to start on a med trial. I also have PTSD so my OT decided to try Effexor to hopefully help both issues. It is the first and only medication I have tried so far and is the only medication I take. I started it late June 2019. I have no hearing loss but had numerous ear infections as a child and young adult. I have had tinnitus for over 30 years but it gets exponentially louder during an attack and I am very sensitive to loud or shrill noises. I have a very supportive family. I take magnesium for the headaches and that helps a lot.

Symptoms were, vertigo, varying degrees of dizzy with or without unsteady gaite, head pressure again varying degrees, brain fog, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, extreme tiredness, light headed, tinnitus. Once on the Effexor, I haven’t experience the vertigo or head pressure. My last attack was 18-21 Oct and it was milder with just some dizziness, diarrhea some minor brain fog and a little tiredness in the afternoons.

History,
I have had headaches throughout most of my adult life. In 2002 I was on a ship for a month and I had extreme headaches that I now look back at and realize they were migraines. As soon as I went on shore, the headaches were gone. After about 6 months I got back on ship for another month and the headaches returned. Went ashore and they went away. A few months later, I had dental work done (route canal) and I started having Migraines again. After about 8 months the headaches stopped. I had some dizziness with them but my major complaint was the headache. Around 2014 I started to experience the dizziness and vertigo for a few days at a time a few times a year. In 2016 I was sent to the emergency room by my PC due to the extreme head fog and dizziness I was experiencing. Testing resulted in nothing but I was found to be anemic. I continued to have occasional bouts of vertigo and dizziness until 2018 when I began experiencing it every 2-3 months.

Around Sept 2018 I saw an ENT, he thought I might have VM but referred me to a Neurologist who had an MRI done. MRI was normal so neurologist referred me to OT in Boston and also recommended I start Magnesium.
April 2019 I saw Dr. Rauch where I was diagnosed with VM and started the “Diet”. I think I figured out processed meat ie sausage, pepperoni etc were a trigger for me. I say I think because sometimes they didn’t do anything (seemingly) and other times they seemed to trigger an attack. Mostly what I figured out was that time was a big trigger for me. I could almost set my watch by the attacks and shortly after my original post I began having them every two weeks like clock work.
I decided I was running out of time figuring out my triggers and better get on some meds before I went chronic. I started on 37.5 mg at the end of June. Meds caused extreme nausea, trouble sleeping, sexual problems and tiredness. Side effects started to calm down after 2 weeks but the attacks were still going. After 3 weeks (mid July) I increased to 75mg and asked for the ER version which helped a lot with nausea. I was still tired for the first couple of weeks and had some negative sex side affects but since I was taking it in the morning now no problems with sleep. Attacks were still every 2 weeks with only a slight decrease in symptoms. In mid August, my mother passed so I held off increasing the dose until the end of August just to give it more time. I started on 112.5mg the end of August. Again, experienced tiredness and sexual problems but both got better after a couple of weeks. With the 112.5mg I experienced crazy dreams, vivid dreams and once nightmares. I am still experiencing the dreams but not every night now. I have still had attacks since going up to 112mg but they were not as severe. My last attack was 18-21 Oct. As of today 10 Nov I have only had some mild dizziness and a few headaches. I was able to bend over in the garden digging up veggies and not get dizzy at all in between attacks since being on the higher dose of Effexor. I am also able to go to the gym and do almost everything I was doing before without getting extremely dizzy.

Today I wanted to write this down to keep track of what has happened because I find myself “forgetting” how bad it was and what all I felt. Also in case someone else can benefit from my experience. I hope I am on the right track but time will tell.

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