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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Vertigo

10/18/1999

Question:

1. Is vertigo virual? 2. Does antivert conflict with other medications? 3. Does vertigo run it`s course in a consistant period of time?

Answer:

I am going to assume that your question was "is vertigo visual?"

some patients do describe symptoms of dizziness or vertigo as a result of visual stimulation (e.g. watching a rollercoaster on TV or watching objects go by in the car). And since there are neural connections between your visual system and your inner ear balance system, it is plausible that visual stimuli could produce symptoms of dizziness. however, it is rare to get true vertigo in response to visual stimuli. A work up by an ophthalmologist as well as an otolaryngologist would be useful in evaluating such a complaint.

Meclizine (as most other drugs) does indeed interact with other drugs and taking combinations of medications should be cleared with your physician prior to taking them. as an example, meclizine is an antihistamine type drug and should not be taken with MAO Inhibitors (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). Similarly, it can interact with certain antidepressants, pain medicines, tranquilizers, etc... So, as with any other medication, check with your physician before combining medications.

Depending upon what is causing the vertigo, it can indeed run its own course. Some forms of vertigo (e.g. Meniere`s disease) can "burn itself out" after a period of time, or can go for many years without any vertigo episodes. The difficulties lie in predicting how long it will take individual people to reach a quiescent phase. It varies markedly from patient to patient. Probably dependent upon multiple factors (genetics, dietary habits, overall physical condition, concommittant medical problems, etc), vertigo does not always run its course in a consistent period of time. This is why some patients can be managed conservatively, and others require more aggressive medical or surgical treatment for their vertigo.

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Response by:

Daniel   Choo, MD Daniel Choo, MD
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Otology/Neurotology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati