Cinnarizine - My experience

Hi everyone.
I was asked by Scott to report on my experience with Cinnarizine after Prof Halmagyi Px it for me.
My dose is 25mg TDS (3 times a day)

I am happy to report no overt side effects. I was very surprised to find no notable increase in sedation, especially in combination with the Dothiepin as you would expect a potentiation in side effects, specifically sedation.
It does not appear to have an increase in anticholineric side effects (drying of the eyes, mouth etc).

It has provided relief with regards to my permanent vestibular symptoms (as expected), but my 24/7 dizziness still remains.

At this point i am not sure how long i will stay on it. I guess i should remember it is a Ca+ channel blocker (amongst binding with many other receptors) as well and is used for prophylaxis of migraine

Anyone had very good results with Cinnarizine?

Hi Dave,

Glad to hear that the Cinnarizine is giving you some relief. I’ve not tried it nor had I heard of it before. Given my own vestibular problems perhaps it’s something I should look into…

Could you give a bit more clarification or more detailed description of your vestibular symptoms vs your dizziness?



I have been ‘dizzy’ 24/7 pretty much since i got unwell. When i mean dizzy, i constant feel off balance and slightly ‘spinny’. If i turn my head to quick, this makes me dizzy for a brief period of a couple of seconds. Then i go back to just feeling off balance constantly
When i have a flare up, it is of a true rotational style. It usually begins with my eyes beginning to track to the left (my ear in question is on my right side, hence the tracking to the left). My vision is hard to keep focussed when this happens. My eyes usually water too as i strain to focus. When it begins, i am EXTREMELY off balance, walking into walls etc. I lay down, but the nystagmus continues. I usually get a buzzing or purging sensation in my head when this occurs as well. It comes with nausea, and if bad enough, if i try to move i will vomit. These flare ups come on for anything from minutes to hours. I feel a bit off balance after an attack of vertigo. I have just given you a run down of my biggest attack of vertigo in your thread :slight_smile:

Hey Dave,

Your distinction is interesting and I now share it! My most common vertigo previously has been more like ‘disequilibrium’ - rocking, veering to the left, feeling like the floor is moving beneath me but now I also am getting episodes of ‘true’ or rotational vertigo. Yippee!! For both types of vertigo I often stumble and stagger and need to hold on to railings going up and down stairs etc. During the rotational vertigo I don’t vomit but do get diarrhea. Yippee again!!!


Dave and Victoria, Cinnarazine was the first med I ever tried when my MAV ramped up something awful after a bout of labrynthitis some years ago. And it is the only med I’ve been able to take without terrible side effects, which is something of a miracle for me, being super med sensitive. It didn’t do much for the dizziness really but helped with the nausea. After I stopped taking it regularly ( because it wasn’t making that much difference) I used to carry it around with me in my bag for sudden flareups or for when I got caught out with the dizziness. It could have been a placebo effect I guess but for a few years it gave me a certain peace of mind and did seem to take the edge off slightly.

Vic, I also get true vertigo as well as being dizzy to a greater or lesser degree 24/7. My acute vertigo attacks, when I can’t even stand up let alone move without the room spinning, come and go apparently at random. Although I’m at long last beginning to see a pattern - I think - super tiredness, combined with super stress (of a particular kind too detailed to go into here!), plus too many divergences from the diet. That said, I’ve also had them strike in the past right out of the blue (although I suppose there may have been triggers then but that was way before I was looking for them!) Attacks of that nature occur perhaps once a year, sometimes twice.

I’ve tried many remedies and meds to try to abort them, as I’m completely out of things for at least 24 hours, and had an awful one that kept me bedbound for 3 weeks. For me personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that only time will set me right. So I just sit it out, or rather ‘lie’ it out in bed. No med has ever worked to cut the process short, so I’ve stopped taking anything.

Out of all the meds I’ve tried though over many years, cinnarazine would be the only one wouldn’t be too scared to try again.

Interesting you say about getting diarrhea, I always need to empty my bladder ten times as much as usual, so annoying when you can’t move!! In between these acute attacks, I very much deal with all the symptoms that others on this board go through but after each episode it takes me at least a week, maybe two, or occasionlly even longer to get back to baseline. And of course the whole experience is truly depressing and demoralising.

Mind you, believe it or not, despite what I’ve written, things are vastly improved from how they used to be!! :smiley:


Have you guys tried Phenergen?
It is rx’d for vertigo…I had true vertigo episodes twice about 10 years ago (after drinking red wine) and it took it away within a few hours. Didn’t know what I was in for down the line…it all makes sense now, but geez…
I now take it nightly to keep things at bay and it works really well. Low dose 12.5mg.

I’m glad it is helping you with your symptoms.

This is interesting as Cinnarizine (Stugeron) is sold as an over-the-counter remedy for travel sickness in the UK. My doctor recommends using during acute episodes of dizziness, such as labyrinthitis. And the vestibular rehab therapist I saw said it would be useful to take before a trip on a plane. But in both cases only as a short-term fix.

I’ve taken some at the start of MAV episodes (where I had rotational, or true vertigo) when my doctor was still saying I had labs. To be honest I have no idea if it worked or not, as I found out later that these acute episodes only last a certain spell of time for me (usually 2-4 hours) so they will settle down by themselves even if I take nothing.

I never heard of it being used for migraine prophylaxis here. I am also wondering whether taking this long term would be the same as taking stemetil, in that it’s not a great idea as it can stop your brain from properly compensating?

Kelley, is Phenergan the same thing they give children to help the sleep? If so, I’d be less anxious about taking it silly as that sounds. Is it on prescription? I’d certainly be willing to give it a try even though nothing else has worked other than the passage of time. You never know!



I forget where you are but in Australia Phenergan is OTC.


Thanks everyone fore your input :slight_smile:
I have to admit the response I am getting is not exactly fantastic like yourself Brenda, but is better than nothing I guess.

Hey Kelley, I have been given Phenergan in hospital but have not tried it out of hospital, though I have it in the fridge for allergies. Haven’t used it for over a year.

Hey Beechleaf, yes it is used by Prof Halmagyi for Migraine prophylaxis over here. It is a calcium channel blocker and also binds to a yet unknown amount of other receptors. Some research has been done re: migraine prophylaxis with moderate results.
I have had a look re: long term Tx as I have been also concerned about it’s potentially dopaminergic side effects. It appears I am on a low enough dose (in theory) plus Prof wouldn’t have put me on the dose I am on if there were concerns for this I guess.
I too have also thought about it’s ability to interfere with vestibular rehab and my own natural compensation.

Thanks Vic. I’m in the UK. I would imagine it’s over the counter here too then. Will check.