October 2020

Vitamin D, Calcium Getting Attention for Vertigo

A large new study recently evaluated vitamin D and calcium supplements for the prevention of positional vertigo. No medications are currently effective for this condition, so this study is getting a fair amount of press. What should you tell patients?

While we still need more data, this new research is promising. Patients with recurrent vertigo in 8 different hospitals were randomly assigned to receive either vitamin D 400 IU and calcium carbonate 500 mg twice daily, or observation only, for one year. Vitamin D levels were monitored throughout the study for those in the treatment group. At the end of the study, vertigo recurrences had dropped by 27% for patients receiving vitamin D and calcium compared to those receiving no treatment.

Tell patients that it’s still not clear whether the benefits seen in this study are due to vitamin D supplementation, calcium supplementation, or the combination. It’s also unclear if some of this benefit might be due to a placebo effect. Even so, if patients experiencing recurrent vertigo want to give vitamin D and calcium supplements a try, there’s no reason to expect safety concerns as long as they stay within daily tolerable upper intake levels. But make sure patients only use products that have been verified by a third party such as USP.

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