Which medication helps with vertigo?

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Acute vertigo is very threatening for those affected and often goes hand in hand with anxiety, stress reactions and nausea all the way to vomiting. However, it may take some time until the causes are found and ideally eliminated. Time in which an effective treatment with specialized medication can help relieve symptoms and avoid chronicity.

The cause of vertigo can be very different, but the symptom itself always arises in the head. Effective drugs therefore have a damping effect on the brain and thus suppress vertigo. At the same time, this cushioning always causes some dizziness and can lead to different degrees of fatigue. But this in turn leads to an increased risk of falling, which you want to avoid in any case.

True tranquilizers, as they have often been in the past and of which benzodiazepines (e.g., valium) are the best known, are therefore obsolete today. Instead, in acute dizziness Dimenhydrinat, an antihistamine that works against travel sickness and is freely available in the pharmacy. However, since dimenhydrinate, as a high-dose single substance, is still relatively tired, a combination preparation of lower-dose dimenhydrinate and cinnarizine is the drug of first choice, especially for longer therapies. It suppresses the vertigo without making you tired or increasing the risk of falling. The preparation is prescription.

In Méniér’s disease, Betahistine stabilizes the inner ear and has been shown to prevent vertigo. In contrast, it is not as effective as the above-mentioned combined preparation of dimenhydrinate and cinnarizine. Betahistine must be taken regularly as a preventive drug and is subject to prescription.

Some prescription free natural remedies can reduce vertigo in individual cases. Especially in older patients who are already taking many medications, or a non-organic dizziness they are therefore a good alternative.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (Specialist for Otorhinolaryngology)