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Another adverse effect of aspirin: bilateral vestibulopathy
  1. M Strupp,
  2. K Jahn,
  3. T Brandt
  1. Department of Neurology, Klinikum Grosshadern, Marchioninistrasse 15, Ludwig-Maximilians University, 81377 Munich, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Michael Strupp; 

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Widely used for more than 2000 years, salicylic acid has numerous beneficial effects. It may also lead to several adverse reactions, affecting for instance the auditory system.1 Persistent dysfunction of the vestibular system, however, has not yet been described. We report a patient who took 5–6 g aspirin a day for three days for arthralgia. Subsequently he felt unsteady and had oscillopsia while walking, but no tinnitus or hypacusis. Caloric irrigation revealed a bilateral vestibulopathy which was most probably caused by the direct effect of aspirin on the vestibular hair cells.

Case report

A 61 year old teacher took 5–6 g aspirin a day for three days to treat his arthralgia, but no other drugs during this period. Two or three days later he felt unsteady while walking. This problem was worse on uneven ground and in the dark. During head movements and while walking he perceived apparent motion of the visual scene and his vision was blurred. Hearing was …

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