I just got back from my doctor with a script for nortriptyline. I took the 1-2-3 book into my appt and read where it said nori was the preferred treatment choice so she agreed to have me try it. I am currently on 30 mg of Cymbalta for anxiety and now trying the nori for the migraines. 10 mg for 1 week, 20 mg for 2 weeks and then 30 mg after that. I had no success with ami - left me too sedated, even on low dose, and it made me nauseous.

Looking for comments/suggestions on the nori. Do you think the tirate of the dosage is ok?

Tamasha— I think that is the way to titrate. I was on nort for 2 months, and thought it was not gonna work so I got off it. Well when I was weaning off, the doc had me take one pill every other day for 2 weeks. That last week of weaning off I felt completely normal again and I thought I had just gotten better on my own. Well about 3-4 days after my last dose, all my MAV symptoms came back. I should’ve waited longer before discontinuing. There is a small theraputic window for Nort too I’ve learned. You have to find the right dose and it can’t be too much or too little, so titrating up slowly like that is the best way to go in my opinion. For me, maybe I could’ve taken it every other day and that may have been what worked for me. Whatever you do, if you decide to dump it one day and notice relief while weaning off, don’t get off it!!! I made that mistake once, and if i ever get back on it, I’ll never make that mistake again. There are a lot of people that have gotten good results with nortriptaline.


Greg, I’d like to hear more about that biz of a just-right level for nortriptaline. I’d had the impression that too little would be, well, too little to do the job, either enough or more than enough would be effective, the only difference being in the risk of side effects. What have you learned otherwise? Did you read something about overdosage, or learn it through experience?


David-- I started nort at 25mg for 1 month then went to 50mg. 1 month later I didn’t feel any better from it, but when I started weaning off it, I took 1 50mg pill every other day for 2 weeks. During the last week of weaning off, I felt normal again. 50 mg. may have been too much for me at that time and when I was taking it every other day, that would have put me back at 25mg. per day. I should have just stayed at 25 mg. and not have been so impatient, maybe I’d of been just fine. I only gave nort 2 months to work and it probably was just starting to work for me. I heard that nort has a narrow thearaputic window from another member on here that got that info from a dr. I don’t think there was anything about overdose issues about that. It was just stated that too little or too much can make you worse.


Hi all

I am 1.5 weeks into my Nort at 10mgs a night. The only SE I’ve noticed is lightheadedness if I get up or move too quickly.

However, what I’m confused by is since I’ve started taking this drug I feel I’m getting worse every day - but what I cannot work out is if it is my condition getting worse or just SE’s of the Nort that I need to push through. If I knew for sure it was the latter then I’d been fine with it but I really dont know and cant really tell.

I’ve been having these brain zaps that used to only preceed a mini spin but now they’re constant and my brain feels like it’s being electricuted every 10 mins. My head just pulsates like my brain is swelling inside my skull or that it should turn into a raging headache but doesnt quite explode (Ive only ever been a mild headache sufferer).

I have cried every single day for the past week from either once to 10x per day and have shut every one out because I’m just not coping with how ill I feel and that I am so debilitated by this condition. Every time I try to ‘power through it’ I get hit tenfold the next day.

The rocking/swaying/motion feeling is getting worse
When I close my eyes now I can see the room moving (like being on a Waltzer at the fairground when your eyes are closed)
Falling asleep is getting harder and harder because I cant switch my brain off from the ramped up symptoms and that the bed feels like it’s on a 30ft ocean swell
My anxiety (which I never had before this) is starting to sky rocket
My depressive thoughts are going haywire (i.e. I’ll never meet anyone because who would want me in this condition, I’ll never get back to New Zealand, never travel again, never get my career back and all that crap)

I just dont know if I’m just at rock bottom this week after 4 months of being imprisoned in my home with this, totally isolated and the feeling of no light at the end of the tunnel or if my meds are just messing with me and I need to just ride it out (which I’m going to do regardless - no point falling at the first hurdle).

I was not fearful of taking the meds - my attitude is give me as many pills as you think I need to make me feel better (I’d eat them like Smarties) - I refuse to be scared by them or any side effects (obviously unless the side effects make you want to jump off a bridge!!).

Any insight, info, support would be so welcome at this point. I’m just pacing up and down the apartment playing my fav country music radion station and crying at every song that comes on and feel absolutely hopeless about getting better. My Reiki healer said ‘Carrie if you’re at rock bottom the only way is up’ - but it’s how long you have to spend at rock bottom that worries me…

Sorry to be so dramatic.

With love, Muppo xx

Muppo I may be wrong, but it could be the Nortryptiline causing you to be depressed.

I got this last time I was on Amytriptiline for a week. The anti depressant was giving me depression. I came off it, but after posting on another board, was advised that if I had stayed on a while longer this side effect would have passed.

I had taken the Amy years before without this side effect.


Im sorry you are feeling so badly and things are just awful for you right now. I hope things improve soon. I can’t comment on the medicne except that i have heard that folks get worse before better sometimes. I hope you feel better soon. At least you aren’t afraid of meds - I am!

My thoughts and prayers are with you!


I definitely can say that my experience with both Celexa and Prozac has been that I feel worse and then feel better. Although the jury is still out on the Prozac–I’m just not sure it’s the right med, but I’m going to give it another two weeks after bumpimg up to 20 mg tomorrow. I definitely felt increased anxiety and even dizziness with Celexa and with Prozac.

The side effects usually wear off after the first several weeks. It’s just getting through it that is the hard part. I find that Benadryl, meclizine (sometimes), and Ativan help with the initial side effects. This time around I’m using Ativan more than I’d like, so I’m not sure Prozac is working as well on my anxiety.

Give them some time to get into your system and see how it goes. I think the biggest mistake people make is only giving a med 4 weeks and then giving up. It easily took 6-8 weeks for Celexa to take the dizzies way down for me.

Hi Anne,
I was wondering if the Celexa took the dizziness way down, how did you get on the Prozac? you might have mentioned it elsewhere, but I didn’t see it

Kelley, I stopped Celexa due to weight gain and thinking I was feeling better. At the time I was going off a diagnosis of postpartum depression/anxiety, not MAV. A couple months after I stopped, the dizzies were back and they put me on Prozac since I didn’t want to go back on Celexa.

Then I did more research, found this site and went back to the report from my neurologist and neurotologist who both thought it was migraine back in 2009. I went back to the neurologist, and he still says it’s migraine, and so do I after reading so much about it. If Prozac doesn’t work then I may switch to Celexa, not sure yet. Maybe nortriptyline or a beta-blocker? I’m glad there are a lot of med choices!

Sorry you’re feeling so bad Muppo. :frowning: The thing that has helped me the most through this is knowing that I’m not alone and that others have found some relief from prescriptions.

Keep us updated on your progress. Wishing you the best. :slight_smile:


Muppo, I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time right now. I really think it’s the meds kicking in, and the first few weeks are always the worst. Try to stick it out and see if the nortriptyline will help you–you won’t know for a few weeks. It’s hard, I know, it sucks to feel so awful when you want to feel normal and well again asap. I learned the first time around with anti-depressants that you often feel worse before better, the anxiety and depression can get worse initially. But I’m glad I stuck with it in the end.

Turn off that depressing country music and put on some upbeat dance music! Watch comedians online–I’ve started doing this to make myself laugh more as I find I feel better when I’m laughing and smiling. Sounds silly, but it helps me at times.

You can get through this, you can. And if you can stick it out for a few more weeks you may just feel sweet relief from the nortriptyline! All the best to you.

Muppo, it sounds like you’re going through hell. I hope it’s one of the higher levels of hell, but I’m not really up on the architecture. What I can identify with particularly is feeling helpless; getting worse when I try to power on through; not feeling safe about going out and doing (working/learning).

Update on the Nort and trying to work out if it’s ‘my’ med or not… Start date 1st March.

4 x nights at 5mg
2 x weeks at 10mg
1 x week at 15mg
10 x nights at 20mg
2 x nights at 25mg … and continuing

**Side effects: **

First week of being on the 10mg felt so ill/suicidal. Thought I was going to die from how bad I was feeling and was a full blown train wreck.

Since then the changes I’ve noticed are:

Emotionally I now feel a lot better. Those horrible ‘jumping off a bridge’ thoughts have gone and I’m not in tears half as much (just the odd behemoth meltdown) but over all I feel a bit happier.

Ill feeling - that overwhelming ill feeling that is so hard to describe has really eased off over the past couple of weeks. Dont get me wrong, I dont mean the ‘symptoms’, I just mean the ‘I feel so bloody ill’ type feeling like you just cannot get out of bed. I am able to get out most days, go to the supermarket, drive and do all that stuff (to a degree I cant overdo it) and dont feel as ill.

Symptoms - symptoms that I have noticed that have lessoned are the ear fullness/pressure (have only had this a few times rather than all the time), the popping has gone down by half, the brain zap electric type shocks I was feeling in my head have gone down somewhat and the throbbing feeling in my head (like pain without the headache) has eased a bit.

However, the daily dizzies and the rocking still prevail along with my slightly off vision. I dont have visual vertigo per see in terms of looking at something that will set me off and the same with smells, it’s just that unrelenting rocking/pulsating in my head that hasnt changed at all. In fact sometimes it feels worse as I am now getting it in the mornings as soon as I wake up whereas it only ever used to start around lunchtime and ramp up as the day progressed. When I’m moving I dont feel it at all.

I have also been taking Valium each day for the past week - somewhere between 2mg and 4mg split dose am/pm. I ate a piece of cheese Monday night and then my head went nuts afterwards so mum/dad said we’re going to experiment again with that cheese next week to see if it is a trigger or if it was just coincidence.

I feel like there is a buzzing in my brain all the time, like a pressure buildup and my brain wants to escape, like something in there is continually firing on all cylinders.

I dont know if the higher I get on the Nort, whether it will start to target these remaining, but heavily persistent symptoms.

I just read on another post that someone was up to 150mg Nort and it has done NOTHING for them and I’m wondering whether I’m tolerating the drug so well is because it’s not actually doing anything and my body doesnt care about it and maybe I’m just having a ‘good period’ with my MAV… it’s so hard to tell!!!

I’ve probably tempted fate and today will have a mini spin, ear fullness, popping, pressure and be sick as a dog by 7pm!!!

Thoughts on the above people?

Role on Friday so I can see Dr S!!!

Peace out, Muppo xx

Hi Tashma,
The titration sounds fine, just remember to let youre body do the talking.
If and when it’s sitting well with you, then titrate, I believe slow like a snail is often best.
Good luck with everything.


For those on Nortriptyline/Nori - what doses are folks on and are you feeling better? I have made huge improvements over the past few weeks but still have a lot of residual symptoms.

I’m on 30mg p/n for past 2 wks. The evenings are still the worst when my brain really starts buzzing and ramping up but it’s not as bad as it used to be.

If I could just find something to take in the evening to keep the brain buzzing away, I’m convinced I’d be 99%!

Dreaming of benzooooooooosssssss…