piracetam treatment for vertigo

The effect of pharmacological treatment in the compensation of vertigo

Pons Rocher F.

Servicio de O.R.L.
Hospital Dr. Peset-S.V.S. Valencia.
An Otorrinolaringol Ibero Am 1999;26(3):271-91


From the age of sixty, vertigo is mainly due to vertebro-basilar insufficiency. It has been described that the association of Dihydroergocristine-Piracetam (D-P) is a useful treatment for vertebro-basilar insufficiency. That is why we have designed a comparative study between D-P an a Placebo, so that to prove if this association can be useful in the treatment of vertigo occasioned by cerebrovascular insufficiency. Fifty patients complaining of vertigo were included in the study after an untreated term. 19 received a daily capsule of Placebo, and the other 31, treated with D-P, were divided in two groups: 16 patients received a dose of 3 mg Dihydroergocristine + 1.6 g piracetam every 12 hours per os; and 15 other were treated with 1.5 mg Dihydroergocristine + 0.8 g piracetam every 8 hours during 90 days. The patients were evaluated at the beginning of the study and 90 days later, with anamnesis and vestibular tests. In the last consultation the patients autoevaluated themselves the effect and the tolerance to the drugs received. In the Placebo group it was observed an improvement or disappearance of vertiginous symptoms in the 68.5% of the cases, while with D-P was 93.7% at the dose of 3 mg Dihydroergocristine + 1.6 g piracetam each 12 hours and 100% with the dose 1.5 mg Dihydroergocristine + 0.8 g piracetam each 8 hours. None of the treated patients with D-P worsened their symptoms. We observe a considerable decrease in the number of patients with vegetative symptoms in the group treated with D-P related to the Placebo group, though the symptoms persisted more time in the group treated with D-P that in the Placebo group. The group treated with D-P get a higher percentage of improvements and disappearance of auditive and cervical symptoms that the groups treated with Placebo. In the vestibulo-spinal and cerebellous tests it was observed a better improvement with D-P at the dose of 1.5 mg of Dihydroergocristine + 0.8 g piracetam each hours compared with the other two groups. It can be concluded that the association D-P is an effective treatment for vertigo, getting also a higher normalization of the vestibular tests than Placebo.