Medications for Dizziness

  • By Dizzy & Vertigo Institute
  • August 31, 2021

As creatures of habit, we prefer the easiest solution. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best solution. As long as it requires the least amount of effort. That’s why there exists an entire class of medications for dizziness which are widely prescribed and used.

Ironically, there’s a long list of medications that cause dizziness. But that’s beside the point.

Are over-the-counter medications for dizziness effective? Sometimes. Are they something you should use long-term? Most certainly not.

However, many dizzy patients find themselves using OTC dizziness medications for years of their lives without ever getting the proper treatment.

Medications for Dizziness

Undoubtedly, the pharmaceutical industry has developed some great medications for dizziness. We cannot deny that. And they can be used short-term on patients who are really in a bad state.

These are some of the most widely-used medications for short term dizziness:

  • Meclizine
  • Promethazine
  • Bonine
  • Antivert
  • Dramamine

However, these dizziness medications are a band-aid solution. An accessible, temporary fix that only temporarily alleviates symptoms.

Using over-the-counter medications for dizziness is like patching a hole on your roof with paper towels. It might work for a day or a couple of hours, but you’re committing to changing those paper towels every day… And who wants to do that?!

There are too many types of dizziness and sources of dizziness to just take a pill and expect it to solve your problems. For instance, you might be taking Antivert when your dizziness is actually caused by high blood pressure. So what’s the right way to treat dizziness?

When working with your physician and knowledgeable vestibular specialists, it will be determined if medications are necessary and the potential risk certain medications can have on slowing down the vestibular compensation process. 

There are a few classes of prescription medications useful in the treatment of vertigo. And working with your physician will determine what specific regimen makes the most sense for your cause of symptoms.

They can be used to alter the severity of symptoms (a good example of this would be when vestibular suppressants like anticholinergics and benzodiazepines are used for Ménière’s disease and briefly used for vestibular neuritis), or when prescribed to address the underlying cause of migraine associated vertigo (prophylactic agents L-channel calcium channel antagonists, beta-blockers and tricyclic antidepressants). 

For BPPV and bilateral vestibular disorders, medications (over-the-counter or prescription) are not currently recommended and starting vestibular rehabilitation therapy is vital.

The Right Way to Treat Dizziness

First and foremost, if you experience frequent dizzy or vertigo spells, then you need to find the right doctor to diagnose your problem. Unfortunately, too often, people visit the wrong doctors to treat their dizziness. That’s why there’s The Dizzy Diagnosis Conundrum: Why Dizzy Patients Struggle to Get Answers.

Following up with your primary care physician and getting medical clearance is important. Once your doctor has evaluated you, following up with the right doctor for dizziness is a Vestibular Audiologist, such as the team at the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute.

Vestibular Audiologists have the proper equipment to pinpoint the source of many types of dizziness. Whether it’s coming from the inner ear, the brain stem and nervous system, or even from other causes (hydration, blood pressure, stress, etc.). Vestibular Audiologists specialize in dizziness.

Fixing dizziness longterm happens through Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy. It’s a program that encompasses recalibrating the input the brain takes in between the ears, eyes and muscles through Visual Desentization, Optokinetic Exposure, Gaze Stabilization, Habituation and/or Canalith Repositioning. All of which are used to naturally reset your balance system and build your body’s ability to reset its own balance.

To understand our process for treating dizzy patients in detail, head over to this article: How We Treat Dizziness – What To Expect Working with the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute.

We know that life is hectic. And adding dizziness on top of it only makes things worse. So, we understand why you might be tempted to reach for Antivert or Dramamine. But there’s a better, long-lasting solution out there for you. And it starts with a consultation at the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute.

You can reach us at (310) 954-2207 or by filling out our contact form.

We’re standing by, ready to help!

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