SERC (Betahistine Dihydrochloride)
You are now walking into the controversial world of SERC.
In the US it is regarded as a Placebo and not an allowable treatment.
However in the UK it is the standard defacto first treatment prescribed by most ENT Consultants that I’m aware of.
However it remains controversial in many ways, but I find that is not unusual in the Meniere’s world. Meniere’s is a set of symptoms with a multifaceted set of causes. So anything that works for one person may not work for another.
But that does not mean you have to decree everything as “it does not work” because it has not worked for everyone in the Meniere’s community.
I was on Serc for 18 months when first diagnosed and I don’t care what anyone says, it absolutely stopped my constant vertigo attacks for around 18 months. But after that time the vertigo attacks started coming back albeit much less frequent and I then chose to go down another treatment route.
This seems to be standard for people on Serc, there are lots of studies on this. It does work for a while then it’s effects can start to reduce. Your next step can then be to keep increasing the dosage. Personally I chose a different route to this.
But I know of many people in the UK who are being treated successfully on SERC
AND ANOTHER THING ON DOSAGE
The other controversies are around dosage and type of tablet.
I’m absolutely certain in talking to so many Meniere’s sufferers that the minimum dosage you need to start on with SERC is 16 mg x 3 per day. But many ENT Consultants continue to start people on less that that e.g 8 mg x 3 or 16 mg by 2 or stop taking them until you have an attack etc.
In my opinion you need to get your consultant to agree to start you on 16 mg x 3 per day and take them every day, otherwise you are not taking enough to have any effect on your Meniere’s symptoms.
AND WHAT TYPE
SERC is the original product which contains betahistine dihydrochloride. There are also generic versions of this now available which are cheaper for the Pharmacist than the original ones. The only difference being the binding products used in the manufacture. Some people may have a reaction to the different types of binding products the manufacturer has used but fundamentally they all contain the same drug which will work on your Meniere’s.
I’ve attached photo’s of my last prescription of SERC which I have not used but unfortunately are out of date now. They are generic ones manufactured by Abbott Healthcare.
HOW DOES SERC WORK
Adding to the controversy, there is much debate over how SERC works if it works at all.
My guess would be, as a Meniere’s sufferer as I’m not a doctor, SERC is either helping regulate the Endolin levels in the Endolymphatic SAC or it is somehow reducing inflammation levels in that same area. Or a bit of both.
In the controversial world of Meniere’s where many solutions are dismissed as “don’t work” because they don’t work for everyone. There are many people who SERC does appear to work for and it did work for me for 18 months.
So it is definitely worth giving it a try.