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Diazepam and clonazepam have a calming
effect. They may be able to help with vertigo by reducing the activity of the
brain and reducing anxiety.
Sedatives are prescribed to control
vertigo caused by inner ear problems.
These medicines can reduce the spinning feeling people have when they have vertigo.1 But they also slow down the brain's ability to adjust to the abnormal balance signals triggered by the inner ear.
These medicines are not as effective in treating benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) as the Epley or Semont maneuvers.
The most commonly reported side effects
are drowsiness, fatigue, and loss of coordination (ataxia).
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on clonazepam
(Klonopin) and the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. The FDA does not
recommend that people stop using this medicine. Instead, people who take
clonazepam should be watched closely for
warning signs of suicide. People who take clonazepam
and who are worried about this side effect should talk to a doctor.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is
not available in all systems.)
Sedatives can be habit-forming in
some people if they are used over a long period of time or if the person has
other drug addictions, including alcohol.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Bhattacharyya N, et al. (2008). Clinical practice guideline: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, 139(5, Suppl 4): S47–S81.
December 16, 2010
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD, MD - Neurology
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