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    Information about Betahistine

    Betahistine uses

    Betahistine is used for vertigo and Meniere's disease. It helps to reduce the episodes of vertigo associated with Meniere's disease.

    How betahistine works

    Betahistine is a histamine analog. It works by improving blood flow in the inner ear which reduces the pressure of excess fluid in the inner ear. Excess fluid can send signals to the brain causing nausea, dizziness or spinning sensations (symptoms of Ménière's disease). Betahistine additionally dampens down the nerve signals sent from the inner ear to the brain. This relieves the symptoms of Ménière's disease.

    Common side effects of betahistine

    Headache, Nausea, Dyspepsia

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    Expert advice for Betahistine

    • Betahistine can only decrease the number and severity of attacks of vertigo (dizziness), hearing loss and tinnitus (noise in the ear), it will not completely stop them.
    • You may need to take Betahistine for 6-12 months to see if it helps to relieve your symptoms. If it helps, then you can continue to use it.
    • Do not take Betahistine if you have a history of hypersensitivity to betahistine or you have pheochromocytoma, a rare tumor of adrenal glands.
    • Take special care and inform your doctor if you have
      • History of porphyria
      • Peptic ulcer 
      • Asthma
      • Low blood pressure
      • Hereditary problem of intolerance to some sugars
      • History of allergic reactions

    Frequently asked questions for Betahistine


    Q. Is Betahistine useful for the treatment of a migraine associated vertigo?

    Betahistine is seen to be useful in the treatment of vertigo associated with a migraine in some clinical studies. However, this is not an approved use and it should be taken only when advised by a doctor. It is indicated for the treatment of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss associated with ménière's syndrome.

    Q. Can I take Paracetamol along with Betahistine?

    Betahistine can be taken with paracetamol. There are no reported drug drug interactions or harmful effects when they are used together.

    Q. Is Betahistine addictive?

    No, addictive potential has not been reported with Betahistine. It shows no withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine.

    Q. Does Betahistine make you sleepy?

    Betahistine does not make you sleepy. Common side effects seen with its use are a headache, nausea, and dyspepsia.

    Q. When should I stop taking Betahistine?

    Do not stop taking Betahistine until you are asked by your doctor to do so. Keep taking it for as long as your doctor has asked you to. You may need to take Betahistine up to 6 months or more for the right effect to come.

    Q. Can I use Betahistine for motion sickness?

    No, Betahistine is not indicated for the treatment of motion sickness as the present clinical data has not proven its efficacy. Motion sickness is a feeling of nausea and lightheadedness when you travel by train, car or by plane. Betahistine is used for decreasing the episodes of recurrent vertigo (spinning sensation) associated with Ménière’s disease (an ear disease).

    Q. Is Betahistine an antihistamine?

    No, Betahistine is not an antihistamine. It has a histamine-like action which helps in improving blood flow in the inner ear and decreasing vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and nausea.

    Q. Can I take Betahistine with antihistamine medicines?

    Betahistine should not be taken with antihistamine medicines like dimenhydrinate as Betahistine has histamine like action. Using the two medicines together which have opposite actions may actually lower the efficacy of both the medicines.

    Q. Is Betahistine safe?

    Betahistine is safe if used for a prescribed duration in doses as prescribed by your doctor. However, there are some very common side effects that you can experience at effective doses with its use like headache, nausea, and dyspepsia.

    Q. Can I take Betahistine with vitamin D?

    Betahistine and vitamin D can be taken together. No harmful side effects or any other clinical interactions have been seen when the two drugs are taken together.

    Q. Can I use Betahistine for nausea?

    Betahistine is useful in the treatment of nausea and vertigo associated with an underlying ear disease like Meniere's disease. It is also seen to be useful in vertigo associated with a migraine.

    Q. When does Betahistine start working?

    The maximum level of Betahistine is achieved within one hour of oral intake. However, you would start to feel relief in your symptoms in less time.

    Q. Does Betahistine cause headache?

    Yes, headache is a commonly reported side effect of Betahistine. You can take a painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen for the relief of your headache. However, if it is very severe and is not controlled by a painkiller, consult your doctor as Betahistine may need a dose adjustment.

    Q. Does Betahistine cause drowsiness?

    No, Betahistine is not known to cause drowsiness.

    Content on this page was last updated on 04 December, 2018, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)