Dizziness is defined as a feeling of lightheadedness and being unbalanced, also known as feeling “woozy.” Dizziness in itself cannot be considered a disorder. However, dizziness is often a symptom of a number of disorders, ranging from vertigo and ear infections to disorders of the nervous system. Endocrine system diseases, such as diabetes and even heart ailments, can be the cause of dizziness. Thus, dizziness can be due to any of the above causes; some instances of dizziness are harmless and rare whereas other instances of it are severe and recurrent.
Another causative agent that can lead to spells of dizziness is certain medications. Many drugs and medicines come with dizziness as a side effect. These include medications such as antidepressants, sedatives, anti-seizure drugs, antibiotics, and tranquilizers; medicines used for chemotherapy to treat cancer; and drugs that are taken to control high blood pressure.
Medications that may cause dizziness
Drugs that are used to treat anxiety and depression, such as fluoxetine and trazodone, can lead to dizziness and a feeling of lightheadedness. A doctor must be consulted before changing or stopping the medication. Other alternative therapies that could be applied include counseling as well as psychotherapy; both have shown results in minimizing symptoms of dizziness.
- Drugs for blood pressure
Examples of drugs that are used to control blood pressure include ACE inhibitors, diuretics, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Examples of each are as follows:
- ACE inhibitors – lisinopril
- Diuretics – hydrochlorothiazide and furosemide
- Beta blockers – propranolol
- Calcium channel blockers – nifedipine
An alternative to these drugs is to exercise and follow a healthy diet in order to lose weight. Results have revealed that this might eliminate the need for blood pressure medication altogether. Alternatively, physicians can be asked to prescribe drugs other than the one presently being consumed.
Anticonvulsants are the group of drugs used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, fibromyalgia, and diabetic neuropathy. Examples include pregabalin, gabapentin, and divalproex. These drugs, especially those for epilepsy, must continue to be taken. However, in case of dizziness, the doctor can be consulted to check the drug levels or to adjust the dosage of the prescribed drug.
- Muscle relaxants
These include drugs such as metaxalone and cyclobenzaprine, which are used to relieve headaches, back pain, and neck pain. Alternative therapies can be used to reduce the pain, such as exercise, a heating pad, physical therapy, yoga, massage, biofeedback, and progressive relaxation. Other than that, pain relievers found over the counter can be used too. Certain pain relievers can also cause dizziness, and different medicines must be tried.
- Sleeping pills
The pills that help induce sleep in cases of insomnia include temazepam, diphenhydramine, zolpidem, and eszopiclone. To prevent dizziness from drugs, cognitive behavioral therapy can be used. It is a form of talk therapy and may be more effective than medicines. Also, lifestyle changes can be made to improve sleep and sleeping conditions.
This medication for chest pain or angina causes dizziness but cannot be avoided nor are alternatives available. Instead, it is advised to take the medication in a seated position and to remain seated a few minutes after consuming it.