MÃ©niÃ¨re’s disease, an inner ear condition that causes severe vertigo, can be treated with intratympanic injections of gentamicin or steroids. But there is a lack of consensus over the relative effectiveness of the two treatments.
Researchers from Imperial College London randomly assigned 60 patients with MÃ©niÃ¨re’s disease to two injections, two weeks apart, of intratympanic methylprednisolone or gentamicin.
They found that the two drugs were equally as effective in controlling vertigo attacks. Around 18–24 months after the injection, the rate of vertigo attacks was reduced by 87% in the gentamicin group and by 90% in the methylprednisolone group, compared with the six-month period before the injection.
The team say in The
(online, 16 November 2016) that since gentamicin can cause damage to the inner ear, including hearing loss, steroids may be a better treatment option for some patients.
 Patel M, Agarwal K, Arshad Q et al. Intratympanic methylprednisolone versus gentamicin in patients with unilateral MÃ©niÃ¨re’s disease: a randomised, double-blind, comparative effectiveness trial. Lancet 2016. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31461-1