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Oct 14, 2021
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Can headaches and dizziness be treated with nootropics? Neurologist answers

Nootropics are natural or synthetic drugs used to restore cognitive functions, including those impaired due to ischemia, trauma, and respiratory hypoxia. For healthy people, nootropic drugs are often prescribed for psychoemotional stress and improving mental performance. At the moment, more than 10 nootropic drugs have been synthesized, the most popular of which is piracetam (nootropil).

Headache – can nootropics be taken?

So, if nootropic drugs improve blood circulation in the central nervous system and “charge” the brain, can they help get rid of a headache? According to Natalia Gaivoronskaya, in 80% of cases, headache is caused by migraine or tension pain. For these conditions, clear treatment regimens have long been developed, but nootropics are mentioned either in Russian or foreign recommendations.

“Incorrect treatment of headache with nootropics instead of effective therapy leads to depletion of one’s own pain-relieving system, and the headache becomes chronic.”

Gaivoronskaya Elena

Ic work of authorship @ 2xexpert
Ic snowflake @ 2xClinic of Evidence-Based Medicine Neplacebo, Voronezh

Ic instagram blue @ 2x

If, in addition to this “treatment”, take a large number of painkillers, a person runs the risk of getting a particularly severe form of headache – abusal, that is, caused by prolonged use of drugs. It is highly intense and can trigger depression, anxiety and panic attacks. It is very difficult to cure this condition.

And if your head is spinning?

The most common causes of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and persistent postural-perceptual vertigo (PPPV), explained Natalia Gaivoronskaya.

With BPPV, a person suffers from “helicopters” – a feeling of strong rotation when turning the head. This condition is treated with positional maneuvers or Epley exercises, during which the specialist changes the position of the otolith crystals located in the vestibule of the inner ear by turning the patient’s head. The method of treatment is the most studied and confirmed to be effective, while taking only a couple of minutes.

But if you try to treat this type of dizziness with nootropic drugs, the otoliths will constantly provoke new attacks, which will become a real torment for the patient.

“A person will think that he is seriously ill, will drip useless nootropics twice a year and still suffer from dizziness.”

Gaivoronskaya Elena

Ic work of authorship @ 2xexpert
Ic snowflake @ 2xClinic of Evidence-Based Medicine Neplacebo, Voronezh

Ic instagram blue @ 2x

With regard to PPPD, this disorder often occurs in the presence of anxiety and depressive disorders. It is treated with special vestibular gymnastics, psychotherapy and antidepressants. But if you “prescribe” yourself nootropics, dizziness will haunt you for years and even decades.

Natalia Gaivoronskaya noted that both headache and dizziness are almost never caused by vascular pathology, even if tortuosity or hypoplasia was found on ultrasound. This means that it is at least useless to stimulate blood circulation in these conditions.


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