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Severe migrainous vertigo responds to steroids

Posted Aug 31 2009 11:32pm

Migrainous vertigo seems to respond to intravenous infusion of a high dose of corticosteroids, according to a report in the latest issue of Headache by a group of Indian doctors.  Two of their patients had intermittent episodes of severe vertigo and two had chronic vertigo.  All four respond to infusions of 1 gram of methylprednisolone.  One require 3 infusions, one needed 2 and in another 2 vertigo stopped after a single infusion.  We routinely use corticosteroids for severe migraine attacks when other medications fail.  While occasional (once or twice a month) use of corticosteroids is relatively safe, frequent or daily intake of corticosteroids (besides methylprednisolone, these drugs include prednisone, prednisolone, and dexamethasone) can lead to dangerous side effects.  It is possible that oral corticosteroids will produce a similar effect as an infusion and may be worth trying when nothing else helps relieve the vertigo.

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