Sunday, April 19, 2009

Valium and meniere's disease

Usually the only reason that anyone takes valium is for anxiety and nervousness. At least that was what I always thought. But it is helpful in its own way with MM.
I guess it was about the fifth trip to the emergency room from work, when I first heard about valium. The doctor on call asked all the usual questions about what medications I was taking. I told her the Antivert and a diuretic. She asked if I had ever taken valium. I told her no. She wrote out a prescription for 10 mg.
I took it till the medicine ran out and frankly I didn’t see any difference. I didn’t hear about valium again till I went to an inner ear specialist and he told me to begin taking it. He prescribed a 2 mg dosage. I begin taking it once in the morning when I woke up and I believe that it has been effective along with my other meds.
Why does it work? Simply put it relaxes the vestibular system. And you only need a small dosage which is good because the valium will make you tired. I know that the 10 mg made me tired.
Ask your inner ear specialist if it is right for you.

38 comments:

  1. Some of the striking informative tidbits associated with the anti-anxiety medication valium make it apparent that valium is a prescription-based drug for treating anxiety, it belongs to the medicine group termed as benzodiazepines and is duly approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) for treating anxiety disorders.

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  2. David, I am in the same boat as you with the meniere's. After several trips to the ER, my attending doc asked me if I had been prescribed anything at all for the mieniere's. When I told him no, he was very upset (not at me) that I had never been offered anything, so I was immediately started on valium, zofran, and meclizine. To me this was a huge miracle. It worked. I was told that valium is, indeed, a vestibular depressant and works in conjunction with the other meds. I wouldn't be without it!

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  3. I have had meniere's for eight years and tried
    a low sodium diet,diazide,antivert and steroids.nothing worked.finally after several drop attacks my ent gave me a prescription for
    valium and it works. why didn't he give it to
    me years ago instead of letting me suffer with
    severe vertgo,vomiting,and drop attacks.

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  4. Valium is good for me too along with the other stuff. I am glad you are feeling better.
    Stay in touch
    David

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  5. Hi Guys.
    Does the valium help with the deafness?

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  6. Hi everyone,

    I was diagnosed with Meniere's back in September of 09 although some of the symptoms started over 4 years ago. I can honestly say that my life has been turned completely upside down since the diagnosis. I can tolerate the ringing in the ear and the hearing loss but this vertigo has me pretty screwed up. I am on a diuretic and I have been taking meclizine and the vertigo attacks occur daily. I don't know when they are going to hit and how hard they are going to hit. The spinning sensation comes hard and the speed is like warp speed. I have just been given a prescription for valium and I haven't even picked it up. I guess the most difficult part is trying to figure out when my life will be back to normal if ever. I mean will I be able to return to school? Everything feels so out of control... I am new to Meniere's and up to this point I can honestly say that I hate it


    Ana

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  7. Hi Ana,
    I take the valium every day and I think it helps but then again it is hard to say what works with meniere's disease. I also take the meclizine but only when I feel an attack coming on.

    In my own situation and what others have told me the attacks come and go. You may have an attack every day for a while then you might be attack free for months.

    The best advice that I can give you is to continue to read as much as you can about meniere's so you can work with your doctor to find the best way to go to help with the symptoms. And if you aren't happy with your doctor look for another meniere's is too terrible a disorder to just accept that things are never going to get better.
    good luck and stay in touch.

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  8. Two days ago started on Valium 2mg 3x a day along with my usaual regime of a water pill & Vertigoheel 2x3 daily . 1st day felt pretty clear headed and confident. Yesterday while scrolling through an article on the Internet I got hit again (to a lesser degree).Any idea how logng it takes Valium to work.
    Joe K.

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  9. Hi Joseph,
    I can't really say how long it takes the valium. It is always best to consult with your doctor on that.
    David

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  10. Hi, Will the Valium work once an attack has started? Susan

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  11. Hi Susan
    some folks find that taking a valium when they feel an attack coming on helps. They put the pill under their tongue and let it disolve this way it gets into the system faster. I have tried it a few times and it has helped to a certain extent.
    Thanks for the comment and stay in touch
    David

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  12. Susan, When I feel an attack starting I grab for the valium instantly and it may not prevent it entirely, but it sure does lessen the intensity and duration. I now know that I can take one and lie down for about half to 3/4 hour and then get up and get on with my life. However, I have had shunt surgery so my attacks are very rare and mild compared to pre-surgery. Loree

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  13. I have a question for Loree: How long ago did you have the shunt surgery? And how has it changed your symptoms? I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old, had vertigo for a year and then the symptoms subsided until I was 24 years old. That was last spring. At first it came back, with a vengeance, with the fullness of ear. I didn't have a vertigo attack until a week ago. I've had one a day since then. Since last spring I've been taking a diuretic daily and I thought it was helping....

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  14. I agree with Loree.
    If I have enough warning and get a valium down, I can sometimes avoid the attack completely, although I will still feel shaky sweaty and nauseated.
    If the vertigo attack has already begun, I quickly place the tab under my tongue and let it dissolve. It won't stop the attack once it's begun, but it lessens the length and severity.
    Without Valium I am guaranteed a violent 5 hour attack. With Valium, not as violent, and may only last 1-2 hours.
    It's a life saver for me.
    I used to really worry about addiction, but when the only thing standing between you and 5 hours of a living nightmare is the medication, my worry about addiction went out the window.
    I don't take it daily unless I'm in cluster attack mode.

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  15. Have had Meniere's since 1997. If it wasn't for Diazepam (generic for Valium), I wouldn't be where I am today. I take if BEFORE an attack might happen so that I can drive, do chores, etc. If you wait and take it during a dizzy spell, it won't take hold very fast and you will be left lying in bed until it helps. An ear doctor, after many tests, diagnosed Meniere's and precribed Diazepam (1/2 2mg. 3 to 4 times per day. Some folks just don't believe I have Meniere's (they should be dizzy!) and don't understand the use of Diazepam. I tell them to call my doctor and ask him! Terrible, debilitating condition no one understands unless they are struck with it.

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  16. Hi Rachie I see you were diagnosed at 14 ..that must have been so hard for you.. mine started at 19 and it has stopped me doing certain things ..because of the spins I wasnt able to learn to drive ..have you been able to do that?
    As for medication (I was never offered Valium but Stemetil worked for me) this eventually stopped helping and I had a decompression of a sac surgery at age 26 and this helped me for nearly 20 years.

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  17. hello mel
    its seems in england they give you stemetil/buccastem, rather then valium, which i think is absurd.
    heavy use of valium is addictive, while heavy use of buccastem can bring on neurologial disorders.
    i only found out about valium from this site, as the majority on here are american.
    regards
    ali from london:)

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  18. Yes thats the case with many different drugs Ali ..will what your takings benefits outweigh the disadvantages..
    I am also from a London borough.

    In general the doses of Stemetil prescribed for Menieres are not the high antipsychotic doses that could bring on neurological disorders ..
    Initially I was taking just 5mg twice a day this went up to 3 x a day before I had the decompression of sac op I was then back on 2 a day for 19 years..then up to two 3 x a day until the labby op ..since then 13 years ago no medication for menieres .

    For me the use of stemetil was appropriate and extremely useful at the time.

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  19. Glad to find this active Meniere's blog. Have had since 2001, sac surgery 2002, revision 2011 w/ vestibular nerve destruction (Gent sponges intra- operatively). Didn't help although massive scar tissue removed. I'm in subset after subset of Meniere's: Intractable, vestibular variation, bilateral, BPPV bilateral, and persistent d/t apparent Utricular damage and this is permanent. So, now up to 10 mg Valium BID (Valium is definitely the drug of choice), along with the Meclizine, diuretic, Compazine, Scopalimine transdermal patch. My hearing has held up, but motion intolerance is so very severe that it is totally debilitating. PTs want to work with me on using a cane and other safety type measures; I may benefit some from the Vestibular Rehab although I haven't experienced benefit in the past and the Meniere's and BPPV are just getting worse and liken all Meniere's sufferers, symptoms vary, I'm a walking barometer, etc.. The CRP doesn't help at all because of the Utricular damage.
    All of you out there, suffering with this dread neuro-sensory disease: I feel your pain!
    I was in the health care field when hit with this and it took me 11 months to get a definitive diagnosis. I am under the care of Dr. Paparella (Mpls, MN); ppl come to him from around the world and for me, the only upside of this disease is that I am under the care of this Dr. with an astounding CV and who is a person of infinite compassion.
    My advise to anyone: don't mess around with local MDs or ENTs who are not experts in this specialty; you need to go to a major medical center after researching the Dr. you are going to see, do the e-research to find the best specialist in your region. If they are not widely published and cited on Meniere's, don't bother. The ESE/shunt surgery will preserve your hearing and with the proper 'cocktail' of meds, the vertigo can be controlled.
    I have noted that many US Meniere's speciality clinics are now using Gent infusion via the tympanic membrane; I find this scary because it is still under clinical trial so the long term impact on hearing, etc. is unknown.
    The vast majority of Meniere's patients can live a modified normal life once you get the proper meds, possible surgery and monitoring.
    I wish you all the very best in living with this disease and I hope that you are not taken down by it, as I have been. There is every reason to remain hopeful when diagnosed as to the type or variation you are suffering and you will be fully informed, if you are under the care of a good Meniere's specialist. You can get a fair idea of what the future holds once diagnosed in the early phases of Meniere's.
    Good luck!

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  21. I find a very low dose xanax helps - is that the same or similar as valium? Grahame

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  22. Hi - I have heard people refer to anti-vert. Is that the same as Stemetil. I thought Stemetil was only to reduce nausea but does it also reduce the vertigo?

    Cheers Grahame

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  23. hello grahame
    Compazine, Stemzine, Buccastem, Stemetil, Phenotil,
    are all same things
    it really helps with vertigo if your just about to get a bout.
    not something you should take too often. i take the british version buccastem. i wish they would give valium here cause me personally i would prefer that just before an attack.
    regards
    ali

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  24. Hi Ali

    Thank you for that information, I thoougyht it was for nausea only which I dont really suffer from any more. Now I will treat Stemetil as an Anti-vert and see what impact it may have.

    Do you happen to know if Xanax is much the same as Valium. I note others take valium as it assists. I find Xanax helps, I wonder if the two drugs are much the same or if I should switch.

    Many thanks

    Grahame

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  25. hello grahame
    from what i have heard they are from the same benzodiazepine family
    xanax i think is the stronger of the two. google to confirm
    start tai chi my friend.
    regards
    ali

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  26. I have had Menieres for 10 years now and it may have come from Lyme disease. I take Valium 5 to 10 mg when I first have the fullness coming on and it takes it away. I use Phenagren and Zofran when I'm over the edge and in a vertigo attack, that make me go to sleep and I awake with the menieres gone. I carry the drugs everywhere because it can hit me and bring me to my knees within minutes.

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  27. Grahame, I returned to my doctor recently because I am having some symptoms again, and she put me back on diuretics and... Xanax. It IS a benzodiazepine, similar to Valium, but I have not been able to find out what the real difference is between the two. I found this online:

    Alprazolam decreases seizures and anxiety and relaxes muscles by binding to receptors in the central nervous system. It belongs to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. These drugs depress the central nervous system like alcohol, opioids and several other medicines. They slow down the brain and body, helping the patient feel calm and relaxed.

    It's possible there are two reasons for prescribing it for Meniere's: To depress the nervous system, thereby calming the Meniere's response in the vestibular nerve; and to decrease anxiety and stress, which all of us recognize as a major trigger for Meniere's.

    Unfortunately, Xanax is one of the medications that will develop dependency, so it should be used very carefully. You will begin to tolerate it if you take it often and regularly, which means you would need more and more of it over time.

    And I agree with Ali that tai chi is an excellent idea. Also meditation and yoga. I'm trying all of those to deal with current stress levels.

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  28. Hello
    does anyone know about gabapentin for menieres?
    this drug from afar looks very logical for our condition.
    my migraine specialist wants me to try it, instead of propanolol.
    regards
    ali

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Ali, I posted my experience under June 2009, What to do about tinnitus?
      I took gabapentin for barbaric tinnitus. Not only did it not work, but I ended up having vertigo attack, one after the other. A neurologist told me that was a very bad drug to put on patients with Meniere's. I don't remember exactly what he said but it was something about it affecting the fluid in the ear.
      You can always try and if you have similar problems, then you know not to take it.

      Delete
    2. This is the very strange thing about treating with Gabapentin. I have found references online that say it is a potential treatment for Menieres, as well as references that say it CAUSES Meniere's symptoms. That is very strange.

      Delete
    3. hello anon
      thanks for the post
      did you have menieres prior to taking gabapentin?
      regards
      ali

      Delete
  29. Dr. Timothy Hain has written a little about it on the American Hearing Research Foundation site:

    Sodium Channel Blockers

    A sodium channel blocker, phenytoin (Dilantin), has also been recently reported to be protective against motion sickness (Knox et al, 1994). The author of this review has had no success in limited trials in patients with severe motion sickness unresponsive to the usual agents. Gabapentin (Neurontin). oxcarbamazepine (Trileptal) and carbamazepine (Tegretol) are also sometimes successfully used in treatment of vertigo, although their use has not been studied extensively. Gabapentin has also been successfully used to suppress certain types of central nystagmus (Stahl et al, 1995). Since these agents affect GABA, which is important in vertigo, an antivertigo effect is reasonable. Recent agents have been developed for epilepsy which are glutamate antagonists, but at this writing, they have not been tried as treatments of vertigo. Anticonvulsants are also promising agents for treatment of vertigo.

    Another GABA agonist, baclofen (Lioresal), has shown some promise in reducing vestibular asymmetry. No human trials have yet been undertaken. This agent might be suitable for patients with uncompensated vestibular asymmetries.

    Here's a link if you want to read more:
    http://american-hearing.org/disorders/medical-treatment-of-vertigo/

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  30. hello peggy
    (Gabapentin). Comment: This new drug which is indicated for treatment of seizures also may be helpful in patients with vestibular disorders. No studies are available regarding this use. We have had encouraging results in patients with ongoing nystagmus.

    got that from the following site:
    http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/menieres/menieres_placebo.htm

    the site gives you some informative stuff that can help your menieres, and gabapentin is an option.

    i am becoming fascinated in gabapentin because it was my migraine specialist who recommended it. but why i think it could be beneficial is because their seems to be an overlap with menieres (kill 2 birds with one stone).

    i take propanolol which slows down my heart rate and also lets the blood flow better in my head.
    but gabapentin aims straight for the neurology side of things. at the end of the day menieres is very much a neurological problem (the nerve endings are not sending the right messages).
    the first time i had a drop attack (luckily i have only ever had 2) i realized that we really are not that far from epilepsy ie information overload, total confusion internally, wires getting really crossed.
    regards
    ali

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  31. Ali, I have also been thinking about the epilepsy connection for years. When I had an episode of aphasia last year I went through a number of tests with a neurologist, and they were looking for two things: Migraines (which I have) and a seizure disorder (which I don't seem to have). But I do wonder a lot whether Meniere's is a species of seizure disorder in its own way.

    But yes, it all does seem to come down to neurological problems.

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  32. I take gabapentin for shingles (internal) which my neurologist claims I have shingles behind my left eyelid, I also take methazolamid three times a week for my ENT claims I have meniere's disease. Don;t know what or who is correct, hate pills, I also take meclizine for vertigo, so many pills for just the Meniere, what do you think. thanks

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  33. I also have Meniere's disease. I was given gabapentin for nerve pain 300 mg. a day. After starting this drug within one week my ear started to fill with fluid and the pressure was really bad. I would not take this drug. After 1 month I stopped taking this drug.

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