Meniere’s disease is an illness of the inner ear. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the cochlea and vestibular organs. It can cause ringing in the ear (tinnitus), vertigo, and hearing loss.
Vertigo is the most common symptom of the disease. While misdiagnosis has made getting a true picture of the extent of the disease difficult, it is believed that 200 out of every 100,000 Americans suffer from vertigo or dizziness caused by Meniere’s disease.
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Treatment but no cure
There is no cure for the disease, and treatment for Meniere’s disease has been fairly consistent but sometimes a bit controversial over the years. Treatments include a low-sodium diet, steroid shots in the ear or even surgery. Doctors in the United States will often prescribe prescription drugs such as meclizine, diazepam, glycopyrrolate and lorazepam to treat the symptoms. But the most common treatment in most countries is Betahistine.
Betahistine dihydrochloride is a histamine-like drug that is most often called an anti-vertigo medicine. It works by increasing the blood flow within the inner ear, reducing the pressure caused by the buildup of fluid. The use of betahistine is so prevalent in the UK that as many as 94% of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists prescribe the drug.
A lack of clinical evidence?
In 1970, Betahistine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of vertigo. That approval was later rescinded because FDA deemed the evidence of benefit insufficient. While falling out of favor with FDA as a treatment for vertigo in the United States, use worldwide has never waned, as patients and physicians continue to observe positive results. And, in recent years, no fewer than four clinical trials indicate that betahistine can be effective for treating vertigo, the most common symptom of Meniere’s disease. Betahistine continues to be available in the United States, but only through a compounding pharmacy.
A compounding pharmacy’s solution to Meniere’s disease
Compounding pharmacies, in partnership with prescribers, can provide specialized treatments that are customized to individual patients. Through combinations, dosages and forms not available through retail pharmacies, a compounding pharmacist is providing additional treatment options that often lead to more successful outcomes. In the case of Betahistine, a compounding pharmacy is providing access to something found to be clinically effective and widely prescribed… outside the United States. In the U.S., an accredited compounding pharmacy can provide Betahistine in a variety of dosages.
Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy has been providing pharmaceutical and health solutions since 1996. Health Dimensions is located in Michigan and serves states in the Great Lakes region. Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy was among the nation’s first compounding pharmacies to earn accreditation by the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB) of the Accreditation for Healthcare Commission (2006). Our mission is to partner with healthcare providers to provide service excellence, accuracy, and rapid response for improved patient outcomes. To learn more about building a partnership, call Health Dimensions Clinical Pharmacy at (800) 836-2303.