Medical treatment of acquired nystagmus

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2012 Nov;23(6):510-6. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e328358ba6e.


Purpose of review: This article synthesises recent findings and addresses relevant anatomy, pathophysiologic considerations, and current treatment options for common forms of acquired nystagmus including vestibular and gaze holding dysfunction.

Recent findings: Some forms of nystagmus have relatively specific treatments, such as baclofen for periodic alternating nystagmus, and repositioning for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Recent studies have brought changes to many of the treatments of nystagmus variants. Additionally, other recent advances in nystagmus treatment, like the usage of 4-aminopyridine, have added potent medications to the physician's armamentarium.

Summary: Nystagmus is a commonly encountered entity in clinical practice. However, evidence supported treatments are scarce. Medical treatment of nystagmus is difficult, with often limited and variable response to pharmacologic therapies. This mandates a continued re-evaluation of patients and creation of an individualized approach to this common clinical problem.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 4-Aminopyridine / therapeutic use*
  • Baclofen / therapeutic use*
  • GABA-B Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Potassium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*


  • GABA-B Receptor Agonists
  • Potassium Channel Blockers
  • 4-Aminopyridine
  • Baclofen