Hi all we decided to work on lowering my anxiety level and the dr wanted me on an antidepressant i figure if i am going to have to take a med might as well be nortriptyline (they THINK i have MAV) … first off I am incredibly med sensitive!!!..so needless to say that I am TERRIFIED…Please send me your POSITIVE stories I am planning on starting them tomorrow night but need some good encouragement! please no negs or i will freak out and not be able to force myself to try them!!
My daughter uses it with great success: she had unremitting MAV at age 17 and was seen at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and she started low–at 10mg. For her, tiny dose increases make a huge difference. Although nortriptyline is related to amitriptyline, it is less likely to be sedating. It may actually cause insomnia in some people. The side effects come before the benefits–they’re the anti-cholinergic stuff–dry mouth, dry eyes, rapid heart rate, constipation, difficulty urinating–but they’re mild, if present at all in a low dose. She gradually titrated up to 25 mg, and wasn’t fully controlled, and the neurologist had her jump to 50mg, and for her that wasn’t a good dose–she got a week long headache. So, we backed down to 30mg, and that’s her “magic” dose. She’s been very stable on it. It does cause constipation.
Her current neurologist, when she switched to an adult neuro, wasn’t happy with her control at the time, and was strongly considering verapamil, but at the re-check she was doing better, so they stuck with it.
Now, he brings up weaning her off, and she refuses.
At first she gained weight–but the neurologist at Children’s had her drink gallons of gatorade. When she switched to water, and moved away to college, she lost it all and then some.
It may not be in some neurologists’ list of favorite drugs, but it’s listed in the eMedicine article as the second choice, after verapamil.
It has given her huge relief with minimal side effects.
I forgot–when Buccholz emailed me, he suggested playing around with 5mg increments–like go up to 35mg if needed. He seemed to like the drug choice for MAV.
Can’t give you any advice about your new med nortriptyline but understand completely your need to try an anti-depressant, I’ve been posting a few questions myself recently about the anxiety relationship with MAV and the need to have a med that lowers the anxiety levels. I take clonazapam which, amongst other things is supposed to have an effect on lowering anxiety levels, I take that with no problems.
I’ve just started taking an SSRI antidepressant called Lexapro and am only two days down the track but am quite med senstive to this particular drug it appears, so will reduce the med to a really low dose and work my way up from there. Once I was adverse to any suggestions of medication, but now I have absolutely no problem with trying anything that will help. From what I’ve read here, amongst the many posts, medication is quite often used in reasonably large doses in order to ease our chronic symptoms and many people are able to reduce their meds dramatically over time, so that’s all good news.
Good luck with the nortriptyline, maybe someone on this board with a good experience might be able to give you there positive viewpoint. I know though, that you’re not alone and I’m only too happy to be trying this new med, I’ve come to the opinion that not just one med, but perhaps a combination of meds will help to settle the condition.
best wishes and much success, Judy