Caffeine, Daily Meds, Calorics and cVEMPs
McNerney, Coad, and Burkard explored the impact of caffeine on vestibular tests. Specifically, we know the majority of patients experiencing vestibular signs and symptoms are already quite uncomfortable, and, asking them to reduce or eliminate caffeine ingestion prior to their vestibular assessment makes them even more uncomfortable.
Therefore, McNerney, Coad, and Burkard report data from 30 young, healthy controls (mean age 23 years, two-thirds female) with regard to calorics and cVEMPs. They report “…a moderate amount of caffeine does not have a clinically significant effect on the results from caloric and cVEMP tests in young healthy adults….” And they report “...young healthy adults do not need to refrain from drinking caffeine prior to caloric or cVEMP testing.”
McNerney, Coad, and Burkard note future studies should focus on whether these same results are present in older adults, and/or people with compromised vestibular systems.
Clinical protocols along these same lines were recently expressed by Devin McCaslin (2013) of Vanderbilt’s Bill Wilkerson Center. McCaslin noted “We've gone all the way from discontinuing to maintaining all medicines…they (patients) may have a really bad day on the day of test because they didn't take medicines they were accustomed to…. Bottom line: we do not tell them to discontinue their medications.”
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
McNerney K, Coad ML, Burkard R. (2014) The Influence of Caffeine on Calorics and Cervical Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (cVEMPS). Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 25:261-267.