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Serc (Betahistine)

Also Known as Betaserc

Prescription medicineOnly Available By Prescription

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What is a Generic Drug?

A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.

The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.

Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.


SERC (betahistine) is a medication used to treat episodes of recurrent vertigo in patients with Ménière’s disease. People with Ménière’s disease have excess fluid buildup in the structures of their inner ear. Excess fluid can interfere with the nerve signals sent by inner ear structures to the brain that help a person detect balance, movement, and position. Episodes of vertigo are characterized by feelings of dizziness and spinning. Other symptoms of Ménière’s disease include tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of pressure in the ears. SERC (betahistine) works by blocking histamine-3 receptors on the surface of auditory neurons. It also partially agonizes histamine-1 receptors. These mechanisms appear to increase blood flow to cochlear regions of the ear. Betahistine is not currently approved by the FDA for any indication in the United States. Betahistine is widely used and available for use in Europe and Canada.


The usual dosage of betahistine is 24 mg to 48 mg by mouth in divided daily doses. Follow the packaging instructions when using this medication.


The active ingredient in SERC is betahistine.


SERC (betahistine) is contraindicated in patients with pheochromocytoma.

Patients with a history of peptic ulcers should speak with their doctor before taking SERC (betahistine).

Patients with a history of asthma should speak with their doctor before taking SERC (betahistine).

Side Effects

Adverse effects of SERC (betahistine) may include:

  • Bloating
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Stomach pain

This is not a complete list of side effects. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any non-prescription medication.


"SERC ® Product Monograph." Mylan, 2014. Accessed December 13, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions about Serc (Betahistine)

What is Serc medication used for?

Serc helps with vertigo caused by Ménière’s disease, a condition affecting the inner ear. It reduces spinning sensations, ringing in the ears, headaches, and hearing loss by lowering ear pressure.

How long should you take Serc for vertigo?

Usually, adults take 24 mg to 48 mg of Serc daily, split into 2 or 3 doses. You can take 12 mg to 24 mg twice a day or 8 mg to 16 mg three times a day, preferably with food to prevent stomach issues.

What are the side effects of betahistine?

Common side effects may include an upset stomach, but most people tolerate it well. If you have any unusual or severe side effects, talk to your doctor.

Can you get betahistine over the counter?

Serc usually requires a prescription. It’s important to speak with your doctor before starting or stopping any medication.

How long does it take for betahistine to work?

Improvement can vary, but some may notice changes within days to weeks. Stick to your doctor’s advice and be patient, as responses can differ.

What drugs should not be taken with betahistine?

While betahistine is generally safe, it’s crucial to inform your doctor about all medications you’re taking. Medicines like MAO inhibitors, used to treat depression or Parkinson's disease, and antihistamines for allergies such as hay fever, can interact with betahistine.

Can betahistine affect your liver?

Liver issues are not commonly linked with Serc. But if you have concerns or unusual symptoms, consult your doctor promptly.

Can betahistine cause diarrhea?

Diarrhea isn’t a common side effect. If it persists, talk to your healthcare provider.

Can you drink alcohol with betahistine?

Moderate alcohol consumption usually doesn’t have restrictions while on Serc. But check with your doctor for any possible interactions.

Can you just stop taking betahistine?

Avoid stopping Serc abruptly without talking to your doctor. Gradually tapering off or following your doctor’s instructions ensures a safe transition.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.

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