**Cyclical Vertigo -- Pediatric **


My question: Has anyone heard of “cyclic vertigo – pediatric”?

This vertigo occurs in children and happens at regular, predictable intervals and is eventually outgrown and usually evolves to migraine headaches.

Very curious. Indeed.

It is worthwhile studying. It has been very difficult to find information concerning it. :cry:

I am glad we are all working together to search for answers. :smiley:

Hi Raven

I believe this is called ‘benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood’. It is treated the same way as MAV (if at all), as it is another migraine variant.


December 18, 2007

The curious part about cyclical vertigo-pediatric is that it occurs in a predictable pattern. Does some sort of chemical accumulate in the body ? I’m wondering if endocrine system is involved?

Yeah, it is curious, and I’m not sure if there are any theories in regards to why that happens.

When I was young I would have vertigo spells predictably every 6 months, almost to the day. Then the pattern would break for a while and re-emerge later with a few consecutive vertigo epsiodes every 6 months. I am unsure if there were any likely triggers at the time.

There is also another probable migraine variant called Cyclic Vomiting Sydrome (CVS) which also has a predictable pattern of recurrence.


It has been difficult to find the REASON behind the cyclical nature of these two migraine-realted problems in children. Perhaps it is unknown? I have heard of youngsters having cyclical vertigo attacks as frequently as every two months, I believe.
I also wonder how they are treated? Is there some sort of preventative?
It is probably considered a rare condition – I’m guessing. Not that common.

Hi Raven and Adam,
I think bromide is found in Scopolamine patches,and bromides were used way back for this type of thing

Other Uses
Scopolamine, in common with the large percentage of anticholinergics which cross the blood-brain barrier such as diphenhydramine, dicyclomine, trihexyphenidyl and related drugs, is said to produce euphoria at and around therapeutic doses as well as to potentiate this and other effects of morphine, methadone, hydromorphone, oxycodone and other opioids. It is therefore occasionally seen as a recreational drug. The use of medical scopolamine (most often in the form of tablets) for euphoria is uncommon but does exist and can be seen in conjunction with opioid use. The euphoria is the result of changes in dopamine and acetylcholine levels and ratios[citation needed] and appears to be related to some part of the chemical structure of the drug[citation needed] and other factors known or unknown – even closely related drugs like atropine and hyoscyamine do not produce euphoria whilst the others listed above certainly appear to[citation needed].

Another separate group of users prefer dangerously high doses, especially in the form of datura or belladonna preparations, for the deliriant and hallucinogenic effects. The hallucinations produced by scopolamine, in common with other potent anticholinergics, are especially real-seeming and create a perception of a new world filled with frenzied, violent energy. The difference in realism of hallucinations caused by anticholinergics such as scopolamine and other hallucinogens such as the phenethylamines or dissociatives like PCP is quite large. Additionally, an overdose of scopolamine can quite often be fatal, unlike other more commonly used hallucinogens. For these reasons, naturally occurring anticholinergics are rarely used for recreational purposes.

The use of scopolamine as a truth drug was investigated in the 1950s by various intelligence agencies, including the CIA as part of Project MKULTRA. Nazi doctor Josef Mengele experimented on scopolamine as an interrogation drug[citation needed].

In Colombia a plant admixture containing scopolamine called Burundanga has been used shamanically for decades. In recent years the criminal use of scopolamine has become an epidemic. Approximately fifty percent of emergency room admissions for poisoning in Bogotá have been attributed to scopolamine.[2]

Also in Caracas, Venezuela, crime related to burundanga techniques has multiplied in the last years. Targets are easily approached and just with physical contact they administer the drug to the victim. Reports of techniques of administration include wafting the powder to the victim with a puff of air, drugged chewing gum, or even craftily dropping the powder into the collar of a shirt or the front of a woman’s low-cut dress.[citation needed]

Victims of this crime are often admitted to a hospital in police custody, under the assumption that the patient is experiencing a psychotic episode. A telltale sign is a fever accompanied by a lack of sweat.

Scopolamine is used criminally as a date rape drug and as an aid to robbery,[3] the most common act being the clandestine drugging of a victim’s drink[4]. It is preferred because it induces retrograde amnesia, or an inability to recall events prior to its administration or during the time of intoxication.

Scopolamine is being investigated for its possible usefulness alone or in conjunction with other drugs in assisting people in breaking the nicotine habit. The mechanism by which it mitigates withdrawal symptoms appears to be at least partially different from that of clonidine meaning that the two drugs can be used together without duplicating or cancelling out the effects of each other.

Scopolamine (hyoscine) causes memory impairments to a similar degree as diazepam.[5]

[edit] Adverse effects
The common side effects are related to the anticholinergic effect on parasympathetic postsynaptic receptors: dry mouth, throat and nasal passages, thirst, blurred vision and sensitivity to light, constipation, difficulty urinating and tachycardia. Other effects include flushing and fever, as well as excitement, restlessness, hallucinations, or delirium, especially with higher doses. These side effects are commonly observed with oral or parenteral uses of the drug and generally not with topical ophthalmic use. An extreme adverse reaction to ultra-high doses of drugs and other preparations containing scopolamine is temporary blindness which can last up to 72 hours[citation needed].

Sometimes side effects of scopolamine can be mistaken for symptoms of cancer because of the nausea and anisocoria associated with brain tumors.[6] However, scopolamine induced anisocoria clears up usually within 3 days.

Use in scuba diving has led to the discovery of another side effect[citation needed]. In deep water, below 50–60 feet, some divers have reported pain in the eyes, but the pain subsides quickly if the diver ascends to a depth of 40 feet or less. Mydriatics can precipitate an attack of glaucoma in susceptible patients, so the medication should be used with extra caution among divers who intend to go below 50 feet.

[edit] Drug interactions
When combined with morphine, it produces amnesia and a tranquilized state known as twilight sleep. Although originally used in obstetrics, it is now considered dangerous for that purpose for both mother and baby.


Thank you very much for this report on the drug scopolamine. This would apparently be used to reat the symptoms of cyclical vertigo and not as a preventative?

Hi Raven, Some people have said they found this scopolamine patch to hinder rather than help and some side effects can be long term.

Okay, this was a post from awhile ago but just want to say… MY child has had cyclical episodes of vertigo since age 3, she is 13 now, and although I don’t have records on the frequency from the early years, they are definitely in a cycle of just under 3 months (very regular for the last 1.5 years) lasting 3-5 days. I am about to look up Nocturnal migraine as well… which discusses possible connection to “circadian activation of certain neurotransmitters during sleep, which are known to trigger a migraine attack.” Her episodes always begin in the early morning hours with some improvement throughout the day.


Hello RFlaten:


Thanks for your nice reply which I read with great interest.

When I was young in twenties my vertigo always began in mornings; however, now much older :shock: the vertigo can begin any time of day or night.

The doctor said it is definitely related to migraine activity and is not an inner ear conditon. Sometimes it does feel like something “building up” that goes away after a vertigo attack. I then feel very sleepy.

Why do children only get this cyclical migraine?Hope something has helped your daughter deal with this uncomfortable symptom.

November 10, 2009[/size]

This was posted ages ago but I want to tell you I have a 15year old daughter that suffers from a cyclical migrain attack with dizziness approximately every 65 days. The attacks last about 4-5 days. They always begin when she wakes up in the morning. We have not found away to help her. She has been having these attacks since she was 11.
My son is 13 years old and has had this past year 5 attacks of dizziness with no headaches that last about 4-5 days, no doctors we went to knew what to do. The attacks always begin

Anyone has an idea how to treat them?

The mother of 2 dizzy kids

Well I found an article by Danielle Lobel AND lydia Eviatar describing this situation. You can google it . it’s called “Cyclic vertigo with predictable recurrence”

I am so frustrated. My son has been suffering since Friday with this “spell” and I don’t know what to do. He has had this condition since he was about 6 years old and he is 16 now. I just want a doctor to care enough to do some research on him. He wakes up in the morning and cannot get out of bed. The dizziness and light sensitivity is so severe that he describes it as painful. We even got him a wheelchair this year hoping that we could at least get him into school but he can’t even get into a sitting position for a couple hours after he wakes up and even then, just the movement of the wheelchair makes things worse. He gets these spells every two and a half to three months. They last anywhere between 3 to 7 days. He can’t get a job, his grades are suffering. Teachers are frustrated with us, and we can’t even tell them what he has. I think doctors and teachers think that we are crazy. I have video taped his spells and offered anyone into our home that would like to see if for themselves, but everyone just wants to judge and no one wants to check him out when he is having these. If anyone has gotten any answers please contact me. I feel so alone with this and I don’t know where else to turn.

I hope someone is able to help

My son who is 9 suffers from predictable vertigo. He started at 3 and the drs said migraines. That has now been changed to migraine associated vertigo or vestibular migraine.

He is on epilim twice a day (since December 2012). They come every 8 weeks lasting 21 days. We are tired, he is tired. No one can help

We have tried massage therapy, Bowen therapy, chiropractors and acupuncture. Both laser and needles… Nothing is helping. Using nausatal (sp) 3 times a day at the moment also with no success.

Has anyone come across a treatment that can help lessen the time he is couch bound.

We are on day 5 at the moment. A long way to go. No drs know what is causing this. No food has been a trigger, nor weather.

So sad to hear about your son - it must be so hard for him and you all to deal with. Can you tell us a bit more about his story - which specialists he has seen, what medications has he trialled. What country do you live in? I hope there is a paediatric specialists somewhere who is able to treat this condition - poor boy!

How tough for you all…you must be completely beside yourselves…

For what it’s worth our daughter (now 13) does not have vertigo but has had bad “nocturnal” migraines with vomiting since 6 years. She has taken epilim for three years…

When we were deciding to put her on a preventative (maybe 4-5 years ago when we were all out of our trees and school, work, everything a mess), her paediatrician drew up a chart with the standard preventative meds used for kids and how they “work through” them.

Like this Board recommends for we dizzy big people, working with a “plan” takes more patience that thought we had, But its been worth it for her. Things are much more “managed” and migraines come less often and normally when a dose is forgotten.

While everyone is a lot more careful with kids there are some meds they are better at (Topamax believe it or not).

Before Epilim she had good results with Deralin but eventually the benefits wore off. Doses do have to be increased carefully and of course sometimes when we think Epilim might be wearing off, it is just a sign of needing a bigger dose as she grows.

anyway there might be a completely different treatment for your son but if VM is a possibility the standard preventers have a pretty good medical “framework” to go with. good luck - do let us know how things travel …it’s very tough with kids ,:slight_smile:

Hi sorry for the long delay in replying

We are having a rough time with out son at the moment. He is on day 24 :frowning: of the “dizzies”

Previous treatments have been, MRI, EEG, numerous blood tests. All showing nothing except an allergy to dust mites

We have tried, Bowen therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and chiropractics. He has a neck X-ray which also showed nothing

We increased the epilim 2 weeks ago to 3 tablets a day (600mg a day). We had a ped app today and they are changing medications to endep. He will start to wean off the epilim as of today and start the endep at half a tab at night for one week then a full tablet. It will be 10 mg

My son is so frustrated and just wants to go back to school. We tried going for two hours yesterday but it seems to have set him back again. This is the longest an episode has lasted. It’s normally 21 days. It’s becoming a very upsetting thing for our whole family. He is only 9 so can not be left for short periods (ie when I have to take my other children to school). We are living in a dark house and everyone’s moods are being affected. I just need someone to help him

We are seeing an ear nose and throat specialist next month

I also live in Queensland Australia.

Hi Nicsim95,

Sorry to hear about your son. Are you seeing a specialist who knows about VM?

Have you read the below?

Vestibular Migraine Survival Guide 2013


The Ten Commandments of VM


They were both very interesting reads. I will need to read through them again to take it all in

I will admit its a little disheartening to read that this is possibly a life long thing for him and where to start. The only diagnosis we have been given is migraines. They said all tests point to that and like your article says. Stop looking for another answer and accept it. It’s hard tho as he’s only 9 and its hard to believe he has this and has had it since he was 3

One step at a time I guess. I am hoping the new drug gives him longer then 8 weeks relief this time tho. As he generally gets an episode every 8 week, this particular one came on at 7 weeks and is already past it’s usually 21 days.

Well tomorrow is a new day. Usually with my son (Isaac) it’s like a switch. One day it’s here the next he wakes up fine so fingers crossed it is gone by morning and if not well its time to start dealing with it and following the lifestyle which I read about

Thank you

Hello Everyone,

I am a high school student in the science research program researching Pediatric Migraine Associated Vertigo. I want to be able to find a connection and solve the puzzle. This is a very challenging condition to have to deal with, and can also lead to a lot of stress and anxiety. I am very determined to research the topic and would absolutely appreciate support. I have created a survey and would kindly request any patients with Pediatric Migraine Associated Vertigo to take the survey. I am very ambitious about finding answers for all those that have this condition. Please take the time and fill out my short survey.

The link is: surveymonkey.com/s/PediatricMAV

Thank you once again.