Betahistine is a commonly prescribed drug for treating vertigo and a few of its adverse symptoms. The drug is known to have active ingredients to treat discomforts such as nausea, vomiting, feeling dizzy as well as several inner ear discomforts such as tinnitus, partial loss of hearing, etc. In clinical terms, the aforementioned signs are part of medical condition called Meniere’s disease. To treat this condition, betahistine needs to be taken as per the instructions of your medical team. However, never take this drug when you are not having the typical signs or vertigo or Meniere’s disease. Do you know how long does it take for the active ingredients of betahistine to start working? It becomes a key point to know if you are planning to take this drug.

An unmistakable sign of vertigo is a dizzy sensation which often accompanies this condition. You may also feel nauseated and may start throwing up (i.e., vomiting). You are also likely to witness other symptoms such as frequent spells of sweating, shifty eyeballs or restless movements of eyes, acute episodes of migraines, impairment (either partial or in full) of the sense of hearing, etc. The duration of these discomforts may vary from one individual to another; some have reported these signs to last only for a few minutes while there had been instances wherein people have experienced it for several hours.

So, the next time you feel as if you are going to fall off or the world around is spinning, you may be experiencing an onset of vertigo. The main reason for it is a sudden change in your inner ear pressure level. Some people have experienced it when they sustain a severe blow on their head or neck. In some cases, movement of crystals inside your inner ears – especially, into the otolith area of the ear can be another cause for vertigo.

Common approaches available for the treatment of vertigo

The underlying cause for vertigo determines the treatment approach. Surprisingly, in a few cases, the signs of vertigo – mainly, dizziness, nausea and vomiting – may wear away after sometime. You need to thank your other sensory organs as well as brain for this quick recovery. But, what exactly happens in such instances? Your brain quickly adjusts to inner ear pressure changes. Your brain soon activates the vestibular system to work overtime; along with the help of your eyes, the vestibular system helps in maintaining needful balance. You may soon observe an improvement in gait as well as an absence of dizziness and other discomforts.

As mentioned above, another key cause for the incidence of vertigo is the deposit of crystals at the inner canals of the ear(s). Many nodal academies of neuro sciences recommend you to perform a set of manoeuvres of your neck and head; such manoeuvres are known to resorb deposits of crystals into your system. These head movements can be learned from a physical therapist or a qualified medical practitioner. Only in very remote cases, surgical interventions are done to eliminate the root cause of vertigo / Meniere’s disease. However, surgical options are pursued only when the underlying condition is fairly acute or the episodes of vertigo recur quite frequently.

Use of betahistine for vertigo

Betahistine is commonly prescribed for the treatment of Meniere’s disease / vertigo. Its active ingredients help treat dizziness, inner ear problems as well as hearing difficulties. This drug must strictly be used under the medical supervision of your doctor or a pharmacist. The typical dose per day is 24 milligrams (mg). This daily dose is taken as three (3) distinctive doses of 8 mg each. Your doctor will tell you to evenly space-out each of these doses; it is a good practice to take a time interval of 8 hours between each dose. At times, a larger dose is administered – say, more than 40 mg per day; regardless of the dosage value, always remember to break the daily dose into 3 or 4 sub-doses. Evenly distributed sub-doses within a 24-hour timeline helps fight toxicity due to a likely overdose.

As betahistine may trigger some adverse side effects and undesired reactions, tell your physician if you have any prior hypersensitivity or allergies to active ingredients of this drug. As an added safety measure, inform your physician about all hypersensitivity or allergies you may have.

How long does it take for betahistine to start taking effect?

It may take a few days for this drug to start taking effect. In one-off cases, it has taken as high as 15 days (2 weeks or more) for its effects to show up. In spite of such longer timespans to start taking effect, you must persistently take this drug. If you are thinking of discontinuing the intake of this drug within the first few days or say, after one week, consult with your treating doctor. An untimely as well as an abrupt discontinuation of the doses may only worsen the signs of vertigo. Discomforts such as dizziness and nausea are likely to relapse when the doses are stopped all of a sudden.

A few safety measures

Pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant must not use this medication. In general, betahistine is given to women who are pregnant only when there are no other options and if the underlying medical condition is very severe. Also, women who are nursing their baby (or breastfeeding) must talk to their doctor prior to taking betahistine. As clinical research done on this topic has not yielded conclusive evidences, women nursing their babies need to refrain taking this drug.

In sum, betahistine and its active ingredients may consume several days to start working. It has even taken more than 15 days – at times – for its effects to kick in. It is not recommended to stop taking this without consulting with your doctor or pharmacist. You need to remember that discomforts such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness may relapse when you stop taking the drug in an abrupt manner. If you have queries or need additional clarifications about how long does betahistine take to start working, talk to your medical team about it.

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