Migraine-associated dizziness: Patient characteristics and management options

Mark D. Reploeg, Joel A. Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine patient characteristics and effectiveness of therapy for migraine- associated dizziness. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Patients were identified through a code query of billing records for the diagnosis of migraine-associated vertigo or disequilibrium, based on the International Headache Society criteria. There were 81 patients (61 women, 20 men) with an average age of 36.6 years (range, 8-71 yr); all except four patients were evaluated between 1995 and 1999. Follow-up was obtained from chart review. Mean follow-up time was 54.5 weeks, with a range of 4 to 456 weeks. Intervention: One or more treatment methods, including dietary manipulation, medication (tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers), and neurology consultation, were applied sequentially as necessary. Main Outcome Measure: Response to therapy was defined as greater than 75% reduction in symptom recurrence rate. Results: Overall, 72% of patients experienced resolution or dramatic reduction of their attacks of vertigo or disequilibrium. Of the 13 patients treated with the introduction of dietary manipulation alone, 100% received significant relief. Of the 31 patients treated with dietary manipulation and the addition of a medication, 77% of these patients had significant relief. Of the final group of 37 patients treated with another medication or a neurology consultation, 57% received substantial relief. Of the responders, the majority (>95%) experienced an equal reduction in both vertigo or disequilibrium and headache symptoms. Interestingly, 100% of the patients in the migraine without active headache group received substantial relief of their vertigo or disequilibrium symptoms with migraine therapy. Conclusion: We conclude that there is effective therapy for the common problem of migraine-associated dizziness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-371
Number of pages8
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Disequilibrium
  • Dizziness
  • Migraine
  • Migraine-associated dizziness
  • Vertigo


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