Betahistine Hydrochloride‘s chemical name is 2 (2′ meihylaminoethyl) pyridine dihydrochloride.
It is a drug resembling naturally occurring histamine in some of its effects and is used as a treatment for Meniere’s disease*, a condition caused by the pressure of excess fluid in the inner ear. When taken regularly Betahistine Hydrochloride seems to reduce the frequency and severity of the attacks of nausea and vertigo that characterize this condition. It is thought to work by improving blood flow in the small blood vessels of the inner ear. Betahistine Hydrochloride as a treatment is not always successful and surgery is sometimes required.
Possible Side Effects Like any drug, Betahistine Hydrochloride can have side effects. Reported adverse effects are minor. Occasionally patients have experienced gastric upset, nausea, and headache.
Is Betahistine Hydrochloride A Cure For Meniere’s Disease? While Betahistine Hydrochloride is not a “cure” for Meniere’s, some of the research has verified that it can eliminate many of the symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease.
No studies are available comparing betahistine with other anti-vertigo agents. Betahistine Hydrochloride has not been demonstrated to have any effect on the evolution or progression of Meniere’s disease and it appears not to eliminate the development of incapacitating vertigo and the subsequent need for surgery in some patients.
Meniere’s disease is characterized clinically by recurrent episodes of vertigo (the sensation of spinning or whirling) accompanied by tinnitus (ringing, roaring, or buzzing sound in the ears or head) and hearing loss. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. Vertigo lasts from a few minutes to several hours.
The probable outcome of a Meniere’s is difficult to predict. Some patients have mild or major dizzy spells in frequent clusters, possibly once or twice weekly, for a period of several weeks or months, and then have remission of episodes, which may last for months or years. Others may have vertiginous attacks only once or twice yearly. Virtually none have daily spells and continuous vertigo in the sense of dizziness without remission for many days or weeks. In general, hearing is poorer, and tinnitus is loud when attacks are frequent.
Betahistine Hydrochloride is not indicated in the presence of peptic ulcers and in patients with a history of this condition. Occasionally patients have experienced gastric upset, nausea and headache.
The clinical efficacy of betahistine has been documented by a series of more than twenty controlled clinical studies, performed in the years 1966-2000. The efficacy and safety profile of betahistine in the treatment of vertigo due to peripheral vestibular disorders was confirmed.
Meniere’s is a strange ailment of unknown cause without a specific cure. However, Betahistine Hydrochloride has been studied numerous times and found often to be effective and safe. Talk to your doctor about Betahistine Hydrochloride. Your compounding pharmacist can prepare doses for you.
When choosing a compounder be sure to ask if he or she knows that they must desiccate the crystals before packing the dose into capsules. Failure to properly dry the crystals and promptly pack the capsules will result in serious underdosing.
*Meniere’s disease is a chronic disorder of the inner ear that while uncomfortable and disruptive to quality of life, is not fatal. All symptoms are related to dysfunction in the organs of the inner ear.