Vertigo and motion sickness. Part II: Pharmacologic treatment

Ear Nose Throat J. 2006 Jan;85(1):25-35.


Vertigo is a sensation of movement when no movement is actually occurring. It is often accompanied by visceral autonomic symptoms including pallor, diaphoresis, nausea, and vomiting. Vertigo is similar to motion sickness in that both may be caused by vestibular stimulation that does not match an internal model of expected environmental stimuli. Indeed, a functioning vestibular system is necessary for the perception of motion sickness. For this reason, many of the same drugs are used to treat both conditions. The investigation of drugs that treat motion sickness helps to discover medications that may treat vertigo caused by disease of the vestibular system. In this article, we discuss the pharmacologic agents that are now available for the treatment of vertigo and those agents that are still under study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Motion Sickness / drug therapy*
  • Sympathomimetics / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vertigo / drug therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Benzodiazepines