Treatment of vertigo is based on the severity of your medical condition. Treatment plans comprise head movements along with intake of needful dosages of drugs. Most discomforts associated with vertigo are dizziness as well as nausea. These can show up either over a shorter span of time or may persist for long. Your body may do its best by invoking your vestibular system to make adjustments, for keeping you in a balanced state. Of the drugs prescribed for the treatment of vertigo, betahistine is widely used. But, can this drug be used when you are nursing your infant or breastfeeding? A thorough knowledge of the precautions needed prior to taking this drug becomes extremely important.

Vertigo is a medical condition that can arise due to changes occurring inside your inner ears. Therapists as well as neurologists attribute its incidence to changes in ear-level pressures and also to displacement of crystals in your vestibular system. Drugs are prescribed to restore proper blood flow so as to ensure restoration of optimal inner ear pressure. For the dislocated crystal in the otolith region, your therapist may recommend a few manoeuvres; these are essentially movements of the head and neck. In some one-off instances, you may be advised to move your shoulders and upper part of your body. Such movements are found to be effective in putting the displaced crystals back into the space open of your vestibule.

In general, such manoeuvres coupled with intake of drugs (such as betahistine) are known to bring about a marked relief from dizziness and nausea. However, people who have once experienced vertigo may experience a relapse of this condition. If the symptoms are very acute and the recurrence of these discomforts is becoming more frequent, your treating physician may recommend opting for a surgical procedure. You may also need to be aware of a few other discomforts and side effects; these include severe episodes of headaches or migraines, moderate to a severe loss of hearing sense, jerky movements of eyes, vomiting or throwing up very often. Always remember that one or more these side effects may show up either for a very short period of time or for a sizable duration.

Can I take betahistine for the treatment of severe episodes of vertigo?

There are a few medications sold along with prescriptions for the treatment of vertigo and the discomforts associated with it. Of such prescription drugs, betahistine is a widely used prescribed med for vertigo and the other common discomforts like dizziness, loss of balance, stumbling, vomiting and nausea. You need to know that betahistine is used for the treatment of inner ear conditions such as pressure differentials or build-up of crystals deep inside your inner ears. Due to lack of needful approvals, this drug is not widely available in the US. Clearances are not provided as the drug clearing agencies are not clear about the treatment capabilities of the drug.

However, in many countries – i.e., apart from the US, this drug is available as a prescription drug. This means, you cannot buy this drug over the counter; instead, you will need to always produce your treating doctor’s prescription to purchase this drug. In many European countries as well as in the UK, betahistine is available at drug stores upon submitting your physician’s prescription. You may also purchase this drug through online vendors or web-based pharmacies. But, you may need to be careful about where to order from. This is because – there have been a few instances wherein some online pharmacies / vendors have sold personal information, transaction details, etc. with third parties. Hence, it is a safe practice to check the credibility of your online pharmacy prior to placing orders.

Can I take betahistine if I am nursing my baby?

If you are breastfeeding or nursing your baby, you may need to take a few additional precautions. Foremost of all, you may have to talk to your treating doctor or pharmacist about how safe is this drug for a breastfeeding mother like you. You may also need to know that medical sciences are not very certain about the entry of one or more active ingredients of this drug into breastmilk / mother’s milk. Owing to such reasons, women who are nursing their babies must stay away from vertigo medications such as betahistine.

Also, women who are pregnant must not take this medication. On the other hand, if you are planning to get pregnant, it is strongly recommended to use needful birth control techniques to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Talk to you gynecologist about birth control measures which may suit you; there are – in fact – a wide range of options to choose from! For example – based on your medical condition, you can choose vaginal rings, skin patches or other non-hormonal birth control measures. Above all, this medication is administered onto pregnant women – in extremely rare cases – when your medical condition necessitates intake of this med.

Side effects of betahistine breastfeeding women need to be watchful of

As an important step, you need to inform your medical team about meds you are currently using and about treatment plans you may be presently pursuing. Some drugs may interact with betahistine and may trigger a few side effects.

In general, betahistine is capable of triggering a few side effects. Though this drug is regarded as safe for most users, a small section of users have experienced a few discomforts such as headaches, acid refluxes, abdominal problems like nausea, vomiting, gas formation, flatulence, etc. Most of these side effects are likely to disappear after sometime; but, if they persist for a longer duration, it is a safe practice to consult your medical team without much delay.

Is it vertigo or another medical condition?

Breastfeeding women are more likely witness some discomforts like dizziness and feeling nauseated. These signs have commonality with those associated with vertigo. But, if these signs are mistaken as vertigo, and if you are taking betahistine – the drug may worsen your dizziness levels and can aggravate the feeling of vomiting or nausea. So, talking to your physician about the signs you are experiencing and ensuring the right course of remedial action is very important for women who are nursing their baby. Babies who fed breastmilk of women who are taking betahistine may develop a few side effects; most common among them include persistent spells of crying, feeding difficulties, sleeping problems, vomiting or other abdominal problems.

In sum, breastfeeding women or those who are nursing their baby need to remember that it is not a safe practice to use this drug without the guidance or clinical supervision of your doctor or a pharmacist. Once you have started taking this, never stop using it all of a sudden; such sudden discontinuation may lead to recurrence of discomforts like feeling extremely dizzy, abdominal conditions like vomiting or nausea. It also becomes equally important for breastfeeding women to not use this drug when you are actually not having any signs of vertigo; those who took betahistine without any discomforts experienced one or more of the common signs of vertigo!

If the dizziness levels are acute, quickly establish contact with your medical team. Those living in the US can call 911 and seek medical attention on an emergency mode. On the other hand, if you are a resident of any of the Canadian provinces, you can either call Health Canada or rush to a poison control center as quickly as you possibly can.

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