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November 1987

Astemizole for Treatment of Chronic Vertigo

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(11):1239. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860110105023

To the Editor.—The recent report by Jackson and Turner1 provides encouraging illustrations of how the nonsedating antihistamine, astemizole, may be used to treat chronically dizzy patients. Twenty-eight of 38 study patients were said to show a "significant reduction in symptoms and a 50% reduction of spontaneous and/or positional nystagmus." While these are impressive results, the article did not include sufficient information to attribute this to drug effect. Two responders are graphically presented in Figs 6 and 7, but no group summary statistics are recorded to document overall trends, or the variability in the data. Although the patients were screened to exclude patients with probable Meniere's disease, an estimate of the baseline natural fluctuation in signs and symptoms is highly desirable in the remaining heterogeneous group of dizzy patients. Perhaps predrug symptom diaries or serial predrug evaluations would have been helpful in making quantitative analysis of variation possible.


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