Background: The lifelong prevalence of rotatory vertigo is 30%. Despite this high figure, patients with vertigo generally receive either inappropriate or inadequate treatment. However, the majority of vestibular disorders have a benign cause, take a favorable natural course, and respond positively to therapy.
Objective: This review puts special emphasis on the medical rather than the physical, operative, or psychotherapeutic treatments available.
Methods: A selected review of recent reports and studies on the medical treatment of peripheral and central vestibular disorders.
Results/conclusions: In vestibular neuritis, recovery of the peripheral vestibular function can be improved by oral corticosteroids; in Menière's disease, there is first evidence that high-dose, long-term administration of betahistine reduces attack frequency; carbamazepine or oxcarbamazepine is the treatment of first choice in vestibular paroxysmia, a disorder mainly caused by neurovascular cross-compression; the potassium channel blocker aminopyridine provides a new therapeutic principle for treatment of downbeat nystagmus, upbeat nystagmus, and episodic ataxia type 2.