Vertigo is a symptom wherein one experiences dizzy spells and nausea. This symptom often leads patients to seek consultation with an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician (ENT).
93% of vertigo is diagnosed as Méniére’s disease, a disorder that affects the inner ear and additionally causes fluctuating hearing loss, the sensation of ear fullness or pressure, and ringing in the ear (tinnitus). The most debilitating symptom, however, is episodes of severe vertigo. When patients suffer from severe vertigo, eighty-percent notice an impact on employment status and an increase in need for medical attention.
It’s estimated there are 600,000-750,000 cases of Méniére’s disease in the United States, with 45,000 to 60,000 new cases diagnosed annually. The average age of onset is between 20 and 50 years old but the majority of patients are 40 years old or above. While there is no significant difference between the number of men and women affected by Méniére’s Disease, women are two to three times more susceptible to Vertigo than men.
Worldwide, one of the most frequently used medication for Meniere’s disease is Betahistine, which is thought to reduce symptoms through its action on histamine receptors. Other medications used to treat Meniere’s disease include diuretics, meclizine, diazepam, or anti-nausea agents.
According to a report from a Consensus Conference on the treatment of Méniére’s disease (Acta Otorhinolaryngol Italia), experts advocate the use of betahistine to reduce the number and severity of vertigo attacks. The use of Betahistine seems to be at low risk of major side effects.
In the United States, Betahistine dihydrochloride USP is available through Accredited compounding pharmacies. Typical doses are 8mg, 16mg and 24mg.
Contact Health Dimensions to speak with a Clinical Pharmacist to learn more about the benefits of using betahistine for vertigo caused by Méniére’s Disease.