Ken Cornell's Anecdotal Report Concerning SERC
[From the Tinnitus FAQ]
Updated September 11, 2000 (see below); note Ken's new email address:  [email protected].

Note from the Webmaster:  This report is authored by a patient, not a physician.  Medical advice should be obtained only from a licensed physician.  SERC seems to help some patients but not all patients, by any means.  While SERC is widely available elsewhere in the world, it may not be legally sold in the United States.  The generic equivalent of SERC, betahistine hydrochloride, or betahistine dihydrochloride, may be obtained by prescription in the United States, in compounded form.  For more information on this subject, see the special report at the Meniere's Disease Home Page at

I have suffered from Meniere's disease for 21 years. I've had endolymphatic sac and 8th vestibular nerve surgeries on my left ear during the last 5 years. Starting in September '95, my right ear, which previously had been fine, began ringing loudly. The hearing in the right ear declined dramatically. My doctor tried a course of steroids to no effect. It looked like I was going to be deaf within a year.

A friend of mine found your tinnitus FAQ file and mailed it to me. I reviewed its contents with my doctor. He referred me to another doctor who is more familiar with homeopathic and other alternative treatments. This doctor encouraged me to try SERC, which is not available in the US. I got an appointment with a Canadian doctor in Windsor, Ontario. I started using SERC (one 4mg pill three times per day) on April 20, 1995. Seven days later, nothing had improved so I increased the dosage to two 4mg pills three times per day (as the doctor said I could). Two days later the right ear ringing stopped completely and hasn't returned!!! I stayed on that dosage for a month. I've now cut back to 2mg three times a day and the ringing has not returned as of 7/30/95. There were no side effects from the SERC at any of the dosages I've tried.

I have my life back. My left ear works pretty well with a hearing aid. My right ear has full normal hearing. I have no side effects from the SERC. (By the way, SERC is cheap. 100 4mg pills cost me about $18.)

I'm happy to share my story with anyone. My name is Ken Cornell. Phone is: 313-878-0809 (starting July 1998, 734-878-0809). E-mail: [email protected] [updated September 11, 2000].

Please add this to your FAQ and keep up your good work. Your efforts have saved my hearing. All my friends, family, work associates and I thank you VERY much.

Addendum: September 2, 1996

"I had a relapse in September, 1995, because the maintenance dosage of 2mg three times per day was too low. I increased my dosage to 8mg three times per day for 10 days to get rid of the tinnitis.

I changed my maintenance dosage to 4mg three times per day in October of 1995 and have been fine ever since."

Addendum: November 15, 1997

I continue to be free of Meniere's symptoms by using 4mg of Serc 3 times per day. There continue to be no side effects from the Serc.

I enjoy clear, normal hearing in my right ear (remember that my left ear was damaged by 21 years of Meniere's plus 2 surgeries). My right ear hearing has improved considerably since 1996 as documented by a recent hearing test. My left ear hearing remains steady.

My wife Lindsay contacted Unimed Pharmaceuticals in early November, 1997. UP is compiling data from European Serc studies for submission to the FDA. UP estimates 2 years for FDA approval. Serc may be available upon request during this period.

Addendum: January 22, 1998

Lindsay spoke to Unimed today and was informed by the regulatory affairs person that the documents are being reviewed by consultant. This is part of the process before they will be sent to the FDA. They said to call back in 3 months to see where in the process they were at that point. Lindsay will do so and report back at that time.

Addendum: April 30, 1998

Lindsay just talked with Judy Athey at Unimed in regard to the status of SERC. Judy is in charge of Regulatory Affairs. She said that at this time Unimed is not actively pursuing SERC. This is certainly disappointing news. She said that should the status change, she would call. They are keeping records of all the individuals that call and show an interest. Lindsay told her that she would check back in a year.

Addendum: May 2, 1998

Have had a couple of email messages asking for Unimed's phone number. Lindsay was told by Judy Athey that she didn't think it would make a difference if they received lots of phone calls, but here it is in case you are interested:

Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2150 East Lake Cook Road, Buffalo Grove, IL, 60089-1862, 847-541-2525.

Addendum:  September 11, 2000

Lindsay reports:  "[Ken] continues to do very well . . . with no symptom flare-ups.  What a blessing SERC has been for us.
[He] is completely stable on 4 mg of SERC per day . . . unheard of.  He attempted to get off of SERC completely but noticed that the tinnitus was worse so he continues at 4 mg per day."