Evaluation of betahistine for the prevention of seasickness: effect on vestibular function, psychomotor performance and efficacy at sea.J Vestib Res. 2003; 13(2-3):103-11.JV
Betahistine was evaluated for the prevention of seasickness in a laboratory and sea study. The effect of 48 mg betahistine on the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) and on psychomotor performance was evaluated in twelve young healthy subjects in a double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized, crossover design. The vestibulo-ocular reflex was evaluated by the Sinusoidal Harmonic Acceleration (SHA) test at frequencies of 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.08 and 0.16 Hz. Psychomotor performance was assessed by both computerized and paper and pencil test batteries. No significant differences in VOR gain or phase were found between betahistine and placebo treatment for any of the frequencies tested. No significant differences were found between treatments for any of the psychomotor performance tests or other possible side effects. The effect of 48 mg betahistine on seasickness severity was evaluated in 83 subjects during a voyage in rough seas. Betahistine had a borderline non-statistically significant effect on the prevention of seasickness in comparison with placebo (p = 0.053), with no notable side effects. Although our results are insufficient to recommend betahistine as an anti-seasickness drug, further studies are required to determine its possible effectiveness in less provocative motion sickness situations.