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Will prolonged use of Vertigon have any adverse effects?

Q: Can Vertigon be taken for life long? Will it have any side effects? I have tinnitus due to which the doctor advised me to take Vertigon. Please advise.

A:Vertigon is the trade name of a medicine called cinnarizine. Tinnitus is not the diagnosis of a disease but a symptom. It is necessary to come to a diagnosis as to why there is tinnitus. Is there hearing impairment? Is there vertigo? If a cause of tinnitus is determined then one needs to treat the cause. In tinnitus due to Menieres disease, it may be necessary to use cinnarizine (trade name: Stugeron) on a long term basis. Side effects on long term use include: low BP, drowsiness, depressive feelings, weight gain, increased appetite, extrapyramidal disorders (involuntary muscle movement/spasm). General statement on selection of brands: There are scores, sometimes hundreds, of brands of the same medicine. Against about 300 pharmaceutical manufacturers in western countries like Britain, there are over 26,000 producers in India that market more than 40,000 brands. Most manufacturers do not have quality testing laboratories. Hence selection of brands is important. Many companies give incentives to prescribers to patronise their products. Patients should check the reputation of manufacturers before consuming medicines.

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