Medicines & Supplements A to Z > Betahistine


Last updated on 14/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Betahistine


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Merislon 敏使朗, Alfinor, Betaserc

DRUG CLASS: Antivertigo agents

SUB CLASS: Histamine analogues

USED FOR: Vertigo, Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Nausea

– 6 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg, 24 mg (tablets)

What is Betahistine for?

Betahistine is an antivertigo agent exhibiting partial agonism at H1 receptor, antagonism at H3 receptor and relatively low activity at H2 receptor. Therefore, it is used to treat vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss and nausea.

How to use it?

Betahistine can be taken orally as tablets, with or without food. Taking Betahistine with food may help to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort.

Decreasing episodes of vertigo in Ménière disease patients
Adult and elderly
Betahistine dihydrochloride: (Alfinor, Betaserc) 24-48 mg daily in divided doses.
Betahistine mesilate: (Merislon) 6-12 mg 3 times daily.

What are the side effects of Betahistine?

Common side effects of Betahistine include headache, nausea and indigestion.

Who should not take Betahistine?

– People allergic to Betahistine or any component of the formulation
– Patients with presence or history of active peptic ulcer disease
– Patients with pheochromocytoma

Pharmacist Tips:

– Move your head carefully and slowly during daily activities in case of vertigo.
– Avoid stress or loud voices in case of tinnitus.
– Position yourself to hear better upon hearing loss.
– Avoid oily food and food with strong flavor in case of nausea.

Common dosing schedule:
Betahistine is taken in divided doses, usually 3 times daily. For convenience, it is suggested to take with meals, as well as to reduce discomfort in the abdomen.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Betahistine may interact with:
– Antihistamines, e.g. Cetirizine, Chlorpheniramine, Fexofenadine
– B2 agonists, e.g. Terbutaline, Albuterol, Metaproterenol
– Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, e.g. Selegiline, Phenelzine, Rasagiline

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Betahistine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Betahistine is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Betahistine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.