Temporary Symptomatic Relief Agents

Dear all

After being “let out of jail” for several years with the help of Pizotifen, I am now three months into a mammoth MAV relapse (not responsive to pizotifen this time so am just commencing Topamax). Although off work to avoid accidentally killing any of my patients when the world tips up, I just can’t bear to completely surrender my life again and so have been determedly trying to get out socially from time to time. My query is this, I have found suprisingly that going out and having a good few drinks gets me through an evening without any huge worsening of my symptoms following this - I’ll be a shaky dizzy wreck on arrival at the bar due to tackling the underground and trying to negotiate people on the street etc, two drinks later I feel soooo much better. It’s the kind of thing I don’t really want to raise with my Dr as I realise it makes me sound like either an anxiety case or an alcoholic (please can I just assure you I am neither) but I just wondered (i) whether other MAV sufferers find the same relief with alcohol, and (ii) what other agents people use to get temporary symptomatic relief (obviously not ideal to turn up drunk to a business meeting!) - my Doc suggested Piriton??

Thanks x


First of all, congratulations on giving a science-y sounding title, which we can easily turn into the acronym TSRA - rather than its common or garden variety name - booze :lol: .

Interestingly, this feeling you’ve described from alcohol has come up before and I remember quite a few of us (myself included) reported the same thing. That when a bit tipsy (not rolling drunk) we experienced relief. My theory at the time was that as the rocking, wonky, spongy vertigo feeling is not that different to being a bit tipsy we just don’t notice the symptoms when we actually ARE a bit tipsy.

I can’t remember if anyone came up with an explanation any more solid than that.


Welcome Dizziblonde!

Very glad to see you at mvertigo although unfortuantely it’s for all the wrong reasons – this migrainous vertigo crap.

If I arrive at a restaurant or bar and feel lousy, having a few drinks doesn’t do me any good and I’ll end up much worse with serious head fog. If I’m good then I might have a gin or vodka but that’s it. Beer and wine will do me right in the next day.

As for temporary symptomatic relief? There is one drug out there that is as close to a miracle as you’ll find: valium. If it weren’t for the fact that it was addictive I’d be doing lines of it by the hour. If you’re in a bind, knock back between 2.5 and 5 mg and that should do the trick. I’d be dead without the stuff.

Cheers … Scott

I think that Valium and Alcohol both affect GABA levels in the brain…surely there must be some correlation??

consider this excerpt:

“GABA’s main function is to inhibit excitatory neuro-activities so that the brain can remain stable,” said Andrew T.A. Cheng, Distinguished Research Fellow and professor at Academia Sinica in Taipei. "When one consumes alcohol, GABA levels rise in the brain, providing sedative effects

from Wikipedia on GABA
GABAergic Drugs
GABAA receptor ligands
Agonists/Positive allosteric modulators: alcohol,[30][31][32] barbiturates, benzodiazepines, carisoprodol, chloral hydrate, etomidate, glutethimide, L-theanine, kava, methaqualone, muscimol, neuroactive steroids, nonbenzodiazepines, propofol, scullcap, valerian, volatile/inhaled anaesthetics.


I get relief from a glass or 2 of (white) wine for most of my symptoms - and actually a bit more relief on a bad day so alcohol has that positive effect for me. I don’t notice any negative after effects the next day unless I have too much . In fact my experience of MAV is a bit like being tipsy as per Vic’s comment…but without the staggering :smiley:

re temporary relief agents - I carry my “Valisman” (valium as a talisman) around with me and that gives am a psychological crutch to lean on - as Scott said some people actually do take a small dose of benzos and get relief - go figure…actually TAKING the pills rather than carrying them around :lol: I certainly had some (not extraordinary but noticeable) improvement from antihistamines when things were bad pre-preventer medication - Phenergan (promethazine) works quite well for me but does make me drowsy. Periactin (cyproheptadine hydrochloride) is slightly less effective (again for me) but doesn’t make me as sleepy.

Thanks Guys, I did anticipate that a lot of people would be using valium - seems to be the best thing out there. Sadly pretty hard to get hold of over here, I did ask my GP last time I saw him but he was very reluctant to prescribe this until I’d exhausted all other treatment (preventative) options. Maybe time to explore the black market…