woman with vertigo

Betahistine: When and How to Take It

A common medication for treating vertigo, which causes dizziness, spinning sensations, and a loss of balance, is betahistine. It works by increasing blood flow to the inner ear, which helps to reduce the severity and frequency of vertigo attacks. Understanding how and when to take betahistine for maximum benefit is essential.

The dosage and frequency of betahistine vary depending on the severity of the vertigo symptoms and your medical history. It’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and take the medication exactly as directed.

This article explores general guidelines for taking betahistine and discusses potential side effects and precautions you should know before starting treatment.

What is Betahistine?

Betahistine is a medication used to treat vertigo and Meniere’s disease, two conditions that affect the inner ear. It has been available in Europe for over 40 years and has gained acceptance in America, with multiple studies backing up its effectiveness in treating these ailments. Research shows that betahistine is a game-changing cure for vertigo.

How Does Betahistine Work?

Betahistine works in two ways. First, it increases blood flow to the inner ear, which helps the ear absorb excess fluid that causes vertigo and Meniere’s disease. Second, it acts as a histamine analog, which helps balance the pressure between the middle and inner ear, reducing the intensity and frequency of related symptoms, such as tinnitus and hearing loss.
In addition, unlike other medications that block histamine, Betahistine causes dilation rather than constriction of blood vessels, which helps treat Meniere’s disease.

In What Forms is Betahistine Available?

Betahistine is typically available in tablet form. The tablets come in various strengths, usually 8mg to 48mg. The dosage and frequency of the medication vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history. Your doctor will determine the appropriate strength and regimen for you.

Betahistine is also available in other forms, such as oral suspensions, effervescent tablets, and injectable solutions. But these forms are less commonly used and may only be available in some places.

When and How to Take Betahistine

Many people are still determining when to take betahistine for the best results. Let’s look closer at when it’s best to take betahistine and what you should consider before taking it.

Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions

Before you start taking betahistine, it’s essential to consult a healthcare practitioner. Your doctor will assess your condition and determine if betahistine is the best medication for your symptoms. If your healthcare provider prescribes betahistine, follow their instructions.

Following instructions means adhering to the prescribed medication dosage, frequency, and duration. Taking more or less than prescribed may cause adverse effects, and abruptly stopping can worsen symptoms.

Take it Consistently

Betahistine works best when taken consistently, in line with your doctor’s prescription. Skipping doses or taking them at irregular intervals decreases the efficacy of the medication. Thus, setting a routine for taking betahistine helps ensure consistent dosage, which leads to better symptom management.

Consistency is instrumental in maintaining the delicate inner ear environment and helps maintain blood flow, keeping symptoms at bay.

Take it At the Same Time Every Time

The timing of taking betahistine can affect how effective it is in reducing your vertigo symptoms. Taking it with a meal or a glass of water helps reduce stomach irritation, and taking it before bed minimizes discomfort, making it easier to sleep.

Taking the medication at proper intervals gives the body enough time to absorb, distribute, and take effect. This consistency reduces any dizziness associated with motion.

Take it with or After Meals

Betahistine can cause stomach irritation and nausea if taken on an empty stomach. Always remember to take it with meals. It can help reduce these side effects and make it easier for your body to absorb the medication.
Generally, try to take betahistine with your biggest meal of the day to help minimize any potential gastrointestinal issues.

Be Aware of Potential Interactions

Betahistine can interact with other medications. So, it’s essential to be aware of these interactions to avoid adverse effects. For example, betahistine can cause sedation, and you should avoid taking it with other medications that have this effect, such as benzodiazepines or opioids.

Additionally, betahistine can interact with blood thinners like warfarin. Always talk to your doctor before taking betahistine if you’re on any other medications.

Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

Finally, avoiding certain foods and drinks when taking betahistine is critical. Alcohol can increase its soothing effects, making you feel drowsier and less alert. Additionally, betahistine can increase the histamine levels in your body, so you should avoid foods high in histamine, such as aged cheese, wine, and fermented foods.

By avoiding these foods and drinks, you can help minimize any potential side effects of betahistine and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your medication.

Common Betahistine Side Effects

Typically, betahistine side effects include nausea, headaches, and stomach pain. Other side effects may include dizziness, dry mouth, and itching. While the side effects are generally mild, they can be bothersome for some patients. If you experience these symptoms, speak to your doctor about reducing the dosage or switching to a different medication.

Rare Betahistine Side Effects

Although rare, some patients may experience more severe side effects, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Betahistine may also cause blurred vision, which is usually temporary and resolves independently. But if your vision problems persist, speak to your doctor.

How and When to Take Betahistine: A Comprehensive Guide

Betahistine is an effective medication for treating vertigo, dizziness, and Meniere’s disease. But it’s imperative to take it correctly to maximize its benefits and prevent side effects. If you have questions or concerns about betahistine, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can benefit from betahistine’s therapeutic effects safely and effectively with the right approach and medical guidance.

 


 

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