Diazepam and clonazepam have a calming
effect. They may be able to help with vertigo by reducing the activity of the
brain and reducing anxiety.
Sedatives are prescribed to control
vertigo caused by inner ear problems.
These medicines can reduce the spinning feeling people have when they have vertigo.1 But they also slow down the brain's ability to adjust to the abnormal balance signals triggered by the inner ear.
These medicines are not as effective in treating benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) as the Epley or Semont maneuvers.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor right away if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on clonazepam
(Klonopin) and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not
recommend that people stop using this medicine. Instead, people who take
clonazepam should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take clonazepam
and who are worried about this side effect should talk with a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is
not available in all systems.)
Sedatives can be habit-forming in
some people if they are used over a long period of time or if the person has
other drug addictions, including alcohol.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Women who use this medicine during pregnancy have a slightly higher chance of having a baby with birth defects. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you and your doctor must weigh the risks of using this medicine against the risks of not treating your condition.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Bhattacharyya N, et al. (2008). Clinical practice guideline: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, 139(5, Suppl 4): S47–S81.
December 19, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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