Balance Problems

Frequently Asked Questions

8. Can medications cause balance problems?

Yes. Many prescription medications, such as those used to lower blood pressure, can make a person feel dizzy. Other medicines might damage the inner ear. These medicines, called ototoxic medicines, can make you feel off balance. Sometimes the damage lasts only as long as you take the drug. Other times it is permanent.

Groups of drugs that are more likely to be ototoxic include

  • antidepressants
  • anti-seizure drugs (anticonvulsants)
  • hypertensive (high blood pressure) drugs
  • sedatives
  • tranquilizers
  • anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs)
  • aminoglycosides (a type of antibiotic)
  • diuretics
  • vasodilators
  • certain analgesics (painkillers)
  • certain chemotherapeutics (anti-cancer drugs).