Methylprednisolone as effective as gentamicin for Ménière’s disease

Study shows that methylprednisolone and gentamicin are equally as effective in controlling vertigo attacks.

A doctor checks an elderly patient's ear

Ménière’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 Ménière’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
Lancet
[1]
(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.

References

[1] Patel M, Agarwal K, Arshad Q et al. Intratympanic methylprednisolone versus gentamicin in patients with unilateral Ménière’s disease: a randomised, double-blind, comparative effectiveness trial. Lancet 2016. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31461-1

Last updated
Citation
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, December 2016, Vol 8, No 12;8(12):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20202019