August 24, 2023

Anti-Viral Treatment May Help Symptoms of Meniere's Disease

There is a recent study that suggested that symptoms of Meniere's disease (vertigo attacks and fluctuating hearing loss) can be reduced by taking an anti-viral medication for a prolonged period of time.

Published in 2015, the research stated that 60% of patients achieved hearing improvement and vertigo resolution. Those patients who had Meniere's Disease for less than 3 years typically responded better to this treatment than those who have suffered from Meniere's Disease for a longer period of time.

The anti-viral protocol used in the research was as follows:


          - 1g 3x per day for 3 weeks, then

          - 1g 2x per day for 3 weeks, then

          - 1g daily for up to 1 year.


          - 1g 3x per day for 3 weeks, then

          - 1g 2x per day for 3 weeks, then

          - 1g daily for up to 1 year.

Only 31 patients were in the study group and as such, larger studies need to be performed to verify these findings, ideally with placebo controls. Also, there were not many controls within this study which may complicate these findings... For example... The traditional way to treat Meniere's Disease is diet restriction (no salt, caffeine, alcohol), as well as taking betahistine and/or diuretic. Occasional administration of steroids may be of benefit as well and more rarely, surgical interventions can be considered.

It is unclear whether ALL study patients (study participants are those who failed to respond to salt restriction and diuretics) attempted to continue these additional treatments at the same time and whether the diet of all participants was carefully monitored to ensure minimal variation. For example, perhaps those who had a positive effect from taking the anti-viral also finally responded to diet restrictions that they continued... whereas those who failed happened to have a high salt diet.

Due to these limitations, anti-viral treatment for Meniere's is not something I personally would routinely recommend at this time. BUT, something I might consider in certain case-by-case situations.


Recovery of Hearing in Meniere's Disease after Antiviral Treatment. Am J Otolaryngol . 2015 May-Jun;36(3):315-23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2014.03.016. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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