Newly diagnosed :-(

Hi all. I hope I can get some support and some help from some of you. I live in NZ and haven’t been able to find too many places to get support - friends are great but don’t really understand what it is like. Would love to hear from anyone down here in “Godzone”. I am a 40 yr old female. I was diagnosed with MAV after a number of episodes of severe Vertigo - unable to stand, vomiting constantly, sweating, nystagmus - the whole hog. Taken to hospital via ambulance from work once (very embarrassing and not recommended!) Was prescribed Buccastem to take when the vertigo hits, and that takes about 25 minutes to kick in. I was told to only take 4 a day but I find that for a full on attack, I have to have all four at once (they dissolve on your upper gum) to get it under control so that I can function enough to get home to bed. I am on Prozac and have been for about 5 years. Looking back the very first migraine associated vertigo attack I had was within the first week of taking Prozac. I have pretty much had migraines since I was a teenager though, this was just a new twist on the whole thing. :slight_smile: I didn’t take to the Prozac too well, but panic attacks were keeping me housebound so I had to do something and persevered. All good until a couple of years ago when the MAV started. Still on the Prozac but am considering weaning myself off.

I’ve resigned myself to getting the vertigo, and figure the best thing to do is try to prevent the migraine in the first place. So … no chocolate… making sure I drink about 1.5 litres of water a day …try to keep my salt intake down. All the boring stuff. Anyone considered a link between hyperventilation and migraine attacks? Also, what about Gingko as a preventative as it’s supposed to increase blood flow to the brain?

Doctors have suggested taking beta blockers to prevent migraines but I’ve heard so many bad things about these types of meds.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this and hopefully reply.

Sorry you are experincing this stuff…we can all empathisize.

I will say that I personally got a lot of information from a specialist in MAV, Dr. Timothy Hain, who has developed a great, informative website. If you check out I think you will get some good insight.

Prozac isn’t supposed to be great for MAV, although another antidepressant, Celexa, is a first line med another specialist uses. It is similar to Prozac, and if you aren’t getting much from Prozac, it would be an easy transition and probably worth a shot.

It is very common to use antidepressants as a form of treatment for MAV. Prozac and other SSRIs only target one neurotransmitter, which is serotonin. Commonly prescribed antidepressants are the tricyclics, which target additional neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. Nortriptyline and Amitriptyline are two commonly prescribed. A lot of people have got well with these meds, but I don’t recall anyone getting well on Prozac alone, although I’m sure it’s possible.

There is no need to resign yourself to suffering. There are many drugs that are quite helpful at managing symptoms…along with diet and lifestyle changes. A really good book is “Heal Your Headache”. Identifying your triggers has made a big difference for many as well.

The med trials are typically frustrating and annoying but when you get relief…it’s worth it to get your life back.

Good luck and keep us informed on your progress!


Hi Alex and Kelley,

Welcome to mvertigo Alex! I hope you can find the answers you need here to remove this migraine hassle from your life and manage it better.

Just thought I’d chime in on two things. I know two people who have MAV and have gained total control using Prozac. One lady was adamant that she would never use an SSRI again after a bad time on Zoloft. After 2 years and lots of push from her doctor (and me to try another SSRI) she hit gold with Prozac. Check out the thread here: … p?t=626029

I wouldn’t hold my breath on Ginko doing anything for migraine beyond a placebo effect. There’s no evidence for it being useful for migraine in a controlled trial.

Best … Scott

Thanks Scott and Kelley

I appreciate your taking the time to reply. I’ve ordered the book “heal your headache” and will check out the thread re the prozac and MAV.

Is it normal to feel fine for a while - maybe 3 months or so - and then have a period of time (say, 3 weeks) of feeling constantly off balance and not wanting to do anything strenuous or turn your head too fast and having flashes of vertigo but it not sticking round for any huge length of time?

Thanks again. Very much appreciated:-)

Im so sorry you are suffering. It brought tears to my eyes when I read your post. You are young. I hope and pray you find a solution so you can get your life back. As for advice I cant give any. Im new at having silent migraines myself. I just ordered the Heal your headache book. There is so much information on this site. You are at a good place and welcome to the forum.