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9.19) Treating Tinnitus: betahistine hydrochloride (SERC)


This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by markb@cccd.edu (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.

9.19) Treating Tinnitus: betahistine hydrochloride (SERC)

The symptoms of Meniere's Disease can be ameliorated somewhat by
betahistine hydrochloride. It is sold, but alas, not in the United
States, under a host of names. It should NOT be taken by anyone
pregnant or lactating, by children, anyone with an adrenal tumor
(pheochromocytoma), bronchial asthma, or peptic ulcers. Possible side
effects are nausea, gastric distress, headache, rash.

It is not always effective, but if it is, relief is provided for 6 to
12 hours on the standard dosage of 24-48 mg per day. It is believed to
reduce pressure in the inner ear, and perhaps improve the blood flow
to the small blood vessels there.

Betahistine hydrochloride is sold in Canada under the trade name
"SERC", and is distributed by Solvay Kingswood, Inc, Scarborough,
Ontario, M1B 3L6 for Unimed, Inc.

Here is one sufferer's SERC experience:

I have suffered from Meniere's disease for 21 years. I've
had endolymphatic sac and 8th vestibular nerve surgeries on
my left ear during the last 5 years. Starting in September
'95, my right ear, which previously had been fine, began
ringing loudly. The hearing in the right ear declined
dramatically. My doctor tried a course of steroids to no
effect. It looked like I was going to be deaf within a year.

A friend of mine found your tinnitus FAQ file and mailed it
to me. I reviewed its contents with my doctor. He referred
me to another doctor who is more familiar with homeopathic
and other alternative treatments. This doctor encouraged me
to try SERC, which is not available in the US. I got an
appointment with a Canadian doctor in Windsor, Ontario. I
started using SERC (one 4mg pill three times per day) on
April 20, 1995. Seven days later, nothing had improved so I
increased the dosage to two 4mg pills three times per day
(as the doctor said I could). Two days later the right ear
ringing stopped completely and hasn't returned!!! I stayed
on that dosage for a month. I've now cut back to 2mg three
times a day and the ringing has not returned as of 7/30/95.
There were no side effects from the SERC at any of the
dosages I've tried.

I have my life back. My left ear works pretty well with a
hearing aid. My right ear has full normal hearing. I have no
side effects from the SERC. (By the way, SERC is cheap. 100
4mg pills cost me about $18.)

I'm happy to share my story with anyone. My name is Ken
Cornell. Phone is: 313-878-0809. E-mail: cordley@ismi.net

Please add this to your FAQ and keep up your good work. Your
efforts have saved my hearing. All my friends, family, work
associates and I thank you VERY much.


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