COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Fixed combination of cinnarizine and dimenhydrinate versus betahistine dimesylate in the treatment of Ménière's disease: a randomized, double-blind, parallel group clinical study

Miroslav Novotný, Rom Kostrica
International Tinnitus Journal 2002, 8 (2): 115-23
14763223
In a randomized, double-blind clinical study, we evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of the fixed combination of cinnarizine, 20 mg, and dimenhydrinate, 40 mg (Arlevert [ARL]) in comparison to betahistine dimesylate (12 mg) in 82 patients suffering from Ménière's disease for at least 3 months and showing the characteristic triad of symptoms (paroxysmal vertigo attacks, cochlear hearing loss, and tinnitus). The treatment (one tablet three times daily) extended to 12 weeks, with control visits at 1, 3, 6, and 12 weeks after drug intake. The study demonstrated for both the fixed-combination ARL and for betahistine a highly efficient reduction of vertigo symptoms in the course of the 12 weeks of treatment; however, no statistically significant difference between the two treatment groups could be established. Similar results were found for tinnitus (approximately 60% reduction) and for the associated vegetative symptoms (almost complete disappearance). Vestibulospinal reactions, recorded by means of craniocorpography, also improved distinctly, with a statistically significant superiority of ARL versus betahistine (p < .042) for the parameter of lateral sway (Unterberger's test). The caloric tests (electronystagmography) showed only minor changes for both treatment groups in the course of the study. A statistically significant improvement of hearing function of the affected ear (p = .042) was found for the combination preparation after 12 weeks of treatment. The tolerability was judged by the vast majority of patients (97.5%) in both groups to be very good. Only one patient (betahistine group) reported a nonserious adverse event, and two betahistine patients did not complete the study. In conclusion, the combination preparation proved to be a highly efficient and safe treatment option for Ménière's disease and may be used both in the management of acute episodes and in long-term treatment. Efficacy and safety were found to be similar to the widely used standard therapy with betahistine.

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