What are some of the acute medications used in treating vertigo associated with vestibular migraine?


Some acute medications used to treat vertigo associated with vestibular migraine are neuroleptics, dopamine antagonists, benzodiazepines, and antihistamines.


“So, sometimes it becomes important to treat the episode of vertigo itself with an acute medication or an on-demand or an as-needed medication. In those patients, typically the medications which are most effective are what we call the neuroleptics or dopamine antagonists, like prochlorperazine, medications like that. The benzodiazepines — the valium-like medications, like lorazepam, clonazepam — can be helpful for that acute attack of vertigo, and sometimes, even antihistamines can be effective.”


There are a variety of acute medications used to treat episodes of vertigo associated with vestibular migraine. Neuroleptics, or antipsychotic medications, have been found to be effective, as well as antihistamines. Benzodiazepines, or valium-like medications such as lorazepam and clonazepam, are also used in treating acute attacks of vertigo.

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David Dodick, MD

Professor (Emeritus)
Mayo Clinic, Arizona

David Dodick, M.D., FAAN, is a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the director of the headache program and the sports neurology and concussion program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He is an adjunct professor in the department of neurosciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Dr. Dodick is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). He also holds United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties certification in headache medicine and ABPN certification in vascular neurology.

Dr. Dodick has authored more than 380 peer-reviewed publications and authored/edited 10 books. He is the chair of the American Migraine Foundation, chair of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Program Concussion Committee, co-director of the American Registry of Migraine Research, chair of the International Registry for Migraine Research, chair of the International Headache Society Global Patient Advocacy Coalition, co-director of the Annual AAN Sports Concussion Conference, president-elect of the International Concussion Society, immediate past-president of the International Headache Society, former editor-in-chief of Cephalalgia, and past-president of the American Headache Society.