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Vertigo, or dizziness, is a symptom, not a disease. The term vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in balance (equilibrium). It also may be used to describe feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, and unsteadiness. Vertigo usually occurs as a result of a disorder in the inner ear. There are a number of different causes for dizzy spells.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause. BPPV occurs when debris made up of calcium carbonate and protein (called otoliths or ear crystals) builds up in and damages the inner ear. Inner ear degeneration (usually occurs in elderly patients), head trauma, and inner ear infection (e.g., otitis media, labyrinthitis) can cause BPPV.
Treatment for BPPV is a type of physical therapy used to treat vertigo. The goal of treatment is to minimize dizziness, improve balance, and prevent falls by restoring normal function of the vestibular system. BPPV may be treated with meclizine (Antivert®), an oral antiemetic that can be taken up to 3 times a day, or only as needed. Meclizine may cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and blurred vision.
If meclizine is ineffective, benzodiazepines such as clonazepam (Klonopin) or antihistamines such as promethazine (Phenergan) may be prescribed. Side effects of clonazepam include drowsiness, lack of coordination (ataxia), and confusion. Promethazine may cause drowsiness, fatigue, insomnia, and tremors.
If some other cause of vertigo is found, the treatment is first to relieve the cause (ear infection, certain medications, alcohol) then treat with meclizine or the other drugs used to BPPV.
Since it is the weekend, you could try a urgent care center or walk-in clinic for medication to help you get through this. They are probably familiar with the physical therapy exercise for BPPV, called the Epley maneuver. Some other exercises are prescribed for use at home. Here is some more information.