Symptoms Changing


It’s been awhile since I have posted, but this is always my go to place when I have a question. I have been operating at about 85-90% for the past couple of years with Topamax 150mg a day. Would have a few spells here or there but nothing that a dose or two of Valium couldn’t handle. This past January I switched neurologist, someone closer to home. We had some very good conversations and he seems very knowledgeable about MAV. He felt he could get me that additional 10-15% or at least tweak me to where I was better then I was, so we added Lexapro. The plan was to eventually decrease the Topamax. I need to say here I NEVER HAD HEADACHES, I was one of those who had everything but, vertigo being my worse symptom.

Now here we are June, I am now up to Lexapro 10mg, down to Topamax 100mg. Mood definitely better, gained 15 pounds, NOT GOOD, but knew that would happen. Biggest surprise…vertigo improved but I have headaches. It’s almost like I traded one for the other.

Has anybody dealt with this ?

Thanks Cecilia

Hi dreamer,

Sounds great well done

Symptoms changing is very common. Mu symptoms have morphed and changed

Dr s told me that its not uncommon for patients to start to get headaches and become more of a classic migraine sufferer on the path to recovery

V interesting. I have been on pregabalin for a few months and 3 weeks ago had a classic migraine with aura which I haven’t had since my chronic migraines transformed into MAV. I have also just had a v bad headache for 4 days due to my period. I haven’t had a vertigo attack for 5 weeks but have had headaches and feeling unwell makes the general dizziness not great so it is difficult to say if things have improved overall.
I had heard that the dizziness can change back into headaches. If I avoid a vertigo attack in a weeks time then maybe the pregabalin is starting to kick in. Hope the headaches improve though!

hoping so much that the dizziness changes back to headaches and then the headaches go too. all my best to you

Cecilia-lexapro as an ssri can cause headaches as a side effect but if your dizziness has decreased it may well be the migraine changing.

Lisa-thank u for your kind words. I have been thinking about u and how your treatment is going. Will u need to do rehabilitation after your treatments to rewire your brain or will the antibiotics sort everything out xx

Hi Cecilia
You must have been getting better as I was joining the forum so it’s wonderful to hear that you have been doing well for two years on Topamax. I’ve just got to 100mg of Topamax and wondered whether I would ever get to 90%. I’m still pretty unbalanced! However, I did have the bad headaches - at one stage daily and take Dothep,100mg which stopped them but didn’t help the vertigo!

What I wondered was, how frequently you are now getting the headaches and whether your doctor can tell if your migraine brain is still active or are they a side-effect of the Lexapro? You also said your mood is definitely better since reducing the Topamax and introducing Lexapro. Did you find that the Topamax was making you feel depressed?
It’s a puzzle - trying to get the balance right. A med to stop the vertigo, another to stop the headache, and another? to increase mood?? The problem, of course, is if one of us finds what works for us then it’s not always going to work for someone else.
Still - it’s good to share and give us us hope to keep trying. Good luck Cecilia.

Hi Rob,

I hope Dr S is right about the headaches worsening being a sign of being on road to recovery. The past two days I’ve had the worst headaches of my life. Painkillers aren’t touching it, the propanolol isn’t preventing it… I struggled brushing my teeth last night as my head hurt so much.

Am so hoping they wear off next week as its my birthday Monday and really want to get back to work on Tuesday.

This illness really is a test of a persons grit and determination - it’s just so hard!

Hi Cecilia,
Hello fellow Topamax 100mg and Lexapro 10mg user! I am also on the same dose, have been for some time. Dehydration is my killer! I must keep the fluids up. Also eating well I have pretty much excluded all nasty preservatives from my diet (obviously some you can’t avoid - but no prepackaged long life food). Stress is a killer for me as it just tenses up my shoulders and neck bringing on a tension headache (can’t really blame that on the meds!). What is a changer is also the hormone factor once a month (sometimes I’m lucky and the brain will miss it all together!) but usually I get headaches and flu like symptoms around that time.

Thinking back when I first started the Lexapro - it was a lot like upping a dose of Topamax with the increase in headaches, so not knowing how long you have been on Lexapro??? It may need a while to settle. I personally started with 5mg for a quite a few months before my neurologist upped it to 10mg. Hopefully everything will settle down soon and you will back up to 90% and heading to that 100%. Keep in touch - I’m very interested to hear how everything is going!! All the best. :slight_smile: