Meds helping headaches, but not vestibular symptoms

Feeling sick and down as usual. I have to travel 2 1/2 hours to the house that we are in the process of purchasing. The inspection is today. I do not know how I am going to navigate through the house. I suppose my husband can do that while I just sit in one spot. I wasn’t going to go at all, but the sellers want to meet us. Hope I can hide how ill I feel for a little while. I get so distressed about how such formerly effortless activities become so very difficult and not enjoyable at all. I would love to enjoy life again. Sorry for the tangent, and on to the subject. I decreased my Verapamil dose significantly, from 480 to 120 mg, because after being on Verapamil for months at 480 I saw no improvement. I am going to start Effexor or Nortriptyline shortly. I have an appt with Dr. Priesol at Mass Eye and Ear in 10 days, and I know that he suggests Nortriptyline. I will discuss with him. His thoughts are in line with Dr. Rauch. However, I believe I want to take Effexor as I tried Nortriptyline before and couldn’t get too high. I noticed that I am getting headaches almost daily again and believe that my headaches were not as frequent or as severe when on the higher dose of Verapamil. I didn’t even notice that, as I can live with the headaches (although they’re pretty severe). I just want the dizziness to GO!! My question is, can a med help with headaches and not the vestibular symptoms? How can this be, if headaches and vestibular symptoms are BOTH symptoms of migraine? If my vestibular symptoms are migraine related shouldn’t every migraine related symptom have disappeared? I am aware that there is probably no answer to this. My only conclusion is perhaps Verapamil wasn’t potent enough to rid me of all my sxs. Any thoughts on this matter will be appreciated. Sorry so wordy. My brain isn’t working properly, as I’m sure many of you can relate too.

— Begin quote from “MAVLisa”

My question is, can a med help with headaches and not the vestibular symptoms?

— End quote

YES! I don’t know why, but I know they can from experience. Verapamil did the opposite for me. It helped my vertigo but not my mild to moderate headaches. It actually gave me mild headaches as a side effect. On the other hand, Topamax helped my headaches but not my aura symptoms. I was only on it for two months because I experienced horrendous side effects. Yet, for Rich, Topamax took care of everything except for his one last aura symptom. So I guess the why has something to do with our individual biological makeup.

I know others here have had similar experiences with various meds.

Based on what you are saying, maybe you should stay on the Verapamil to keep the headaches at bay, and then add the Effexor (or Nortriptyline) in an attempt to treat your other symptoms.

Good luck, Lisa. You’ve suffered with this way too long already.


Since I was able to get my headaches under control with diet and lifestyle changes the biggest problem I am still dealing with is the motion intolerence and the aniexty.

The Valium is certainly helping with the anxiety and seems to also be suppressing the motion problems but I know how careful you have to be with these type meds. I have been unable to tolerate anything else to this point.

Could you ask them about something to take when you have to go into these uncomfortable circumstances as it sounds like your anxiety is heighten each time you are presented with this type circumstance. Not that you would take it daily but when needed until you can at least get your symptoms under a manageable level.

It becomes a vicious cycle when you feel like you cannot function and even normal chores become overwhelming.

Bless you heart having to move right now…hopefully you can find some relief soon.

— Begin quote from “MAVLisa”

My question is, can a med help with headaches and not the vestibular symptoms?

— End quote

Hi Lisa

When I took Propranolol, it completely eliminated my nausea whilst it had no effect whatsoever on the other symptoms. I just found that so weird and couldn’t get my head around how it works. Therefore, I can well imagine that other meds could work in the same way ie. helping headaches but not the vestibular symptoms.

I hope your house move goes as well as it can for you.

Becky x

Thank you for everyone’s input. I finally got a call back from Dr. Cherchi (hain’s colleague) yesterday, who said that I should stay on Verapamil at the point that it decreases my headaches and add effexor. I wouldn’t be able to add Nortriptyline because it is constipating like verapamil. He said that even though all migraine symptoms are part of a migraine, different symptoms have their own mechanisms of action.

Marci - thanks for the advice. that seems to be what Dr. Cherchi said as well.

Timeless- thanks so much for the input. I rather not take benzos because, for me, they only make me extremely tired. Also, I do not panic in specific situations. My anxiety is mainly global worries that I will never be “normal” again. I am also very sad about all of this.

Becky - thank so much! I hope you’re continuing to progress.