Comparison of the Efficacy of Vestibular Rehabilitation and Pharmacological Treatment in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Apr;75(Suppl 1):483-490. doi: 10.1007/s12070-023-03598-4. Epub 2023 Feb 27.


Aim: The aim of the study is to compare the effects of vestibular rehabilitation and pharmacological treatment in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Materials and methods: Thirty patients (40.93 ± 8.66 years old) diagnosed with BPPV were recruited. Patients were equally divided into pharmacological control group and vestibular rehabilitation group. The pharmacological control group was further divided into Group A (n = 8, 2 doses/day, 24 mg betahistine) and Group B (n = 7, 1 dose/day, 50 mg dimenhydrinate in addition to betahistine). Patients in the rehabilitation group underwent repeated head and eye movements, and Epley or Barbecue Roll Maneuvers were applied for 4 weeks. Subjective assessment of vertigo was measured with the visual analog scale. Static balance parameters were measured with the tandem, one-legged stance, and Romberg tests. Dynamic visual acuity was measured with a Snellen chart, and vestibular dysfunction was measured with the Unterberger (Fukuda stepping) test. All parameters were evaluated before and after treatment. Results: Vestibular rehabilitation resulted in greater improvement in severity of vertigo, balance parameters except Romberg test, and vestibular dysfunction than pharmacological therapy (p < 0,001). There was no significant difference in dynamic visual acuity between groups (p = 0,24). The effects of medication with the active ingredients betahistine and dimenhydrinate were similar (p > 0,05). Conclusion: The vestibular rehabilitation method can positively change the severity of vertigo, balance ability, and vestibular dysfunction compared to pharmacological therapy. Dimenhydrinate administered in combination with betahistine was not superior to betahistine alone but can be recommended for its antiemetic effect.

Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12070-023-03598-4.

Keywords: Balance; Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo; Pharmacological therapy; Vertigo; Vestibular rehabilitation.