Efficacy of antimigrainous therapy in the treatment of migraine-associated dizziness

Am J Otol. 1997 May;18(3):350-4.


Objective: To assess the effects of antimigrainous therapy on migraine-associated dizziness/vertigo. We hypothesized that a medication's ability to ameliorate dizziness/vertigo in this patient population would be directly correlated with its efficacy in improving headache symptoms.

Study design: Patient survey.

Setting: Patients were entered into the study from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Headache Clinic, a tertiary care referral clinic.

Patients: All patients presenting to the UCSD headache clinic are entered into its comprehensive database. Patients who identified dizziness or vertigo as symptoms were entered into this study and were surveyed.

Main outcome measures: Patients were surveyed as to the nature of their vestibular symptoms, and the therapeutic response of these symptoms and their headaches to various antimigrainous medications. Patients were asked to rank therapeutic efficacy utilizing a numeric scale. These results were then subjected to statistical analysis (Spearman rank correlation) to identify any correlation between the efficacies of the medications in improving headache and dizziness/vertigo.

Results: The efficacy of the medications in treating migraine-associated dizziness was directly correlated with their ability to alleviate headaches.

Conclusion: We conclude that antimigrainous therapy may offer specific treatment to patients suffering from the spectrum of migraine-associated vestibular disorders. This would include the entity known alternately as vestibular Meniere's disease, benign recurrent vertigo, or recurrent vestibulopathy. Given the potential benefits that may be derived from this therapy, clinicians should be sensitive to a history of migraines in patients complaining of dizziness, particularly in those complaining of recurrent episodic vertigo.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dizziness / drug therapy*
  • Dizziness / etiology*
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Sumatriptan / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vasoconstrictor Agents / therapeutic use*


  • Vasoconstrictor Agents
  • Sumatriptan