Reducing vertigo and hearing loss in Meniere’s disease by repurposing a common allergy drug

Adult, Current Research, Dr. Derebery, Drug, Ear Nose Throat, House Ear Institute, Inner Ear

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jennifer Derebery

Disease: Meniere’s disease

Research Description: Patients with Meniere’s disease experience disabling vertigo attacks, hearing loss and either tinnitus (“ringing in the ear”) or a feeling of fullness in the ear. Previous studies suggest a possible relationship between allergy and Meniere’s disease, finding that allergy is more common in people with Meniere’s disease than in the general population. During an allergic reaction leukotrienes – chemicals that play a key role in allergies, allergic rhinitis and asthma – are released in the body, and allergic reactions are treated with a “leukotriene receptor antagonist” (LTRA). Animal studies have shown that an LTRA may prevent the pathology thought to produce Meniere’s disease symptoms. Montelukast (Singulair) is an FDA-approved LTRA drug. This clinical trial will investigate rates of vertigo control and hearing stabilization in 40 patients with Meniere’s disease and allergy treated with either montelukast or placebo. If the use of an approved, well-tolerated, inexpensive oral medication such as montelukast can reduce vertigo episodes and/or stabilize hearing loss in Meniere’s disease, the health and quality of life benefits for the patient could be potentially significant.

Funding Partners: Becky and Lester Knight

CWR funding role: Primary funder


Current Research