Venlafaxine (Effexor), Hot flushes, and MAV

Ever since the migraine specialist neurologist I saw told me if Propranolol was helping but not enough to Add In, I’ve on occasions toyed with trying Venlafaxine (Effexor) and even have a packet in the cupboard. When I phoned my doctor to request the script she was amazed I’d want to try this out for MAV. She has no clue about MAV and had never heard it is used indeed favoured by many as a preventative, she uses it successfully for depressant and also to reduce Hot Flushes. Apparently it’s the only alternative treatment to HRT available. Dr Hain speaks highly of it for both Visual Vertigo and Vestibular Migraine and I found it very interesting that he links hot flushes and blood pressure fluctuations in his article on ‘How migraine causes Dizziness’.

From my experience I’d say this doesn’t stop at menopause but continues.

Although I make no pretence of understanding the finer detail I’ve always linked my own MAV to fluctuating hormones. My medical history shows a strong timeline indicating this to be so. Since I ceased being dizzy 24/7 I’ve had more occasion still to see a much more obvious link in that I only seem to experience true dizziness (the internal upwinding rotary type) now when I’m actually having a hot flush. Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed The flushes seem to have clustered to the point I get a Hot Flush Day or Day’(s), and then sometimes ago several days without one. On a Hot Flush Day I experience lots, ten or a dozen and the dizziness which occurs with each one and then receeds gradually hangs around longer after each flush as the vestibular system winds up in sensitivity I suppose thus making the hot flush a trigger. Perhaps there’s a good reason Venlafaxine is used to treat both MAV and Hot Flushes.

Whilst researching Venlafaxine further I was fascinated to discover the following forum comments which goes to show that sensitivities to meds., and variations in response to same,in this case Venlafaxine is far more common than people would have us believe.

For those it concerns who have to educate their own medics all the above might prove useful. After all it’s good medical practice to find one drug to control two different conditions - though are they? Seems to me there could be very strong links somewhere along the line. Helen

Add me to that list please Helen🙄

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You gonna let Dr Hain know or should I? Helen

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I’m still amazed that the neurologist told me my MAV cannot be hormone related (a) I’m too old! And (b) because my onset was all backwards ie it occurred pre-menarche and from onset of menopause and kept away throughout my fertile years and despite the fact that my first ever vertigo attack (the start of MAV) occurred within weeks of my last ever period and that these days a hot flush is a trigger for instant dizziness. In fact now both seems to start together. How much more conclusive would it need to be I wonder. Helen


The most relevant bits for menopausal MAVers I found

”in a hot flash, the hypothalamus seems to sense that your body is too hot even when it is not, and tells the body to release the excess heat. One way the body does this is to widen (dilate) blood vessels, particularly those near the skin of the head, face, neck and chest. Once the blood vessels return to normal size, you feel cool again.”


”Hot flashes can be accompanied by other uncomfortable sensations, such as heart palpitations, a pressure feeling in the head, or feelings of dizziness, faintness or weakness.”

So many overlaps. References to avoiding aged cheese, chocolate and red wine and again listing Clonidine, Gabapentin and Venlafaxine to reduce hot flashes.

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