1. What Serc is and what it is used for
Serc contains betahistine. This medicine is called a histamine analogue. It is used to treat:
- dizziness (vertigo)
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- hearing loss suffered by people with Ménière's disease
This medicine works by improving blood flow in the inner ear. This lowers the build up of pressure.
2. Before you take Serc
Do not take Serc if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients in the tablets (see section 6 for further details).
- You have high blood pressure due to an adrenal tumour (phaeochromocytoma).
If any of the above applies to you, do not take this medicine and talk to your doctor.
Take special care and tell your doctor if:
- you have a stomach ulcer
- you have asthma
- you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- you are breast-feeding
If any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor before taking this medicine.
Your doctor will tell you whether it is safe for you to start taking this medicine.
Your doctor may also want to monitor your asthma while you take Serc.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. This includes herbal medicines.
In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- Anti-histamines - these may (in theory) lower the effect of Serc. Also, Serc may lower the effect of anti-histamines.
- Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) - used to treat depression or Parkinson's disease. These may increase the exposure of Serc.
Taking Serc with food and drink
You can take Serc with or without food.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Serc if you are pregnant unless your doctor has decided that it is absolutely necessary. Ask your doctor for advice.
Do not breast-feed while using Serc unless instructed by your doctor. It is not known if Serc passes into breast milk.
Driving and using machines
Serc is not likely to affect your ability to drive or use tools or machinery. However, remember that diseases for which you are being treated with Serc (vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss associated with Ménière's syndrome) can make you feel dizzy or be sick, and can affect your ability to drive or use machines.
3. How to take Serc
How to take Serc
- Swallow the tablets with water.
- Preferably take the tablet with a meal.
How much Serc to take
Always follow your doctor's instructions because your doctor might adjust your dose
- Serc is available in two strengths, an 8 mg tablet and a 16 mg tablet.
- The usual starting dose is 16 mg three times a day (48 mg).
- Your doctor may lower your dose to 8 mg three times a day (24 mg).
Keep taking your tablets. The tablets can take a while to start to work.
Serc is not recommended for those under 18 years old.
How to stop taking Serc
Keep taking your tablets until your doctor tells you to stop.
Even when you start feeling better, your doctor may want you to carry on taking the tablets for some time to make sure that the medicine has worked completely.
If you take more Serc than you should
If you or someone else takes too much Serc (an overdose), talk to a doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Take the medicine pack with you.
If you forget to take Serc
If you miss a tablet, wait until the next dose is due. Do not try to make up for the dose you have missed.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Serc can cause side effects (unwanted effects or reactions), but not everyone gets them.
The following serious side effects may occur during treatment with Serc:
Allergic reactions such as:
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue or neck. This may cause difficulty breathing.
- a red skin rash, inflamed itchy skin
If any of these side effects occur you should stop treatment immediately and contact your doctor.
Common side effects (at least 1 in 100 and less than 1 in 10 patients):
Nausea, indigestion, headaches.
Other side effects
Itching, rash, hives, mild gastric complaints such as vomiting, stomach pain and bloating. Taking Serc with food can help reduce any stomach problems.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the United Kingdom national reporting system The Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
6. Further information
What Serc contains
Each tablet contains 8 or 16 mg of betahistine dihydrochloride.
The tablets also contain microcrystalline cellulose, mannitol E421, citric acid monohydrate, colloidal anhydrous silica and talc.
What Serc looks like and contents of the pack
Serc-8 are round, flat, white to almost white and with '256' imprinted on one face of the tablet.
Serc-16 are round, bioconvex, scored, white to almost white and with '267' imprinted on one face of the tablet.
Serc-8 is available in packs of 120 tablets and containers with 500 or 1000 tablets.
Serc-16 is available in packs of 84 tablets and containers with 500 or 1000 tablets.
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
The Marketing Authorisation Holder is:
BGP Products Ltd.
Vanwall Business Park
The Manufacturer is:
Mylan Laboratories SAS