Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Serc.
It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor or pharmacist has weighed the risks of you taking this medicine against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Serc is used for
Serc is used to treat a disorder of your inner ear. This disorder may include one or more of the following symptoms, in one or both ears:
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- loss of clear hearing
- problems with balance (vertigo)
These symptoms may also be associated with nausea, vomiting and headache. Often these symptoms together are referred to as Meniere's Syndrome.
Serc tablets contain the active ingredient betahistine dihydrochloride. Serc works by improving the blood flow of the inner ear and restoring it to normal. It also acts on the nerve endings in the inner ear to normalise the way in which the nerves respond to outside influences.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why it has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another purpose.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you take Serc
When you must not take it
Do not take Serc if you have an allergy to:
- any medicine containing betahistine dihydrochloride
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
Some symptoms of an allergic reaction include skin rash, itching, shortness of breath or swelling of the face, lips or tongue, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing.
Do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. It may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breastfeed if you are taking this medicine. The active ingredient in Serc may pass into breast milk and therefore there is a possibility your baby may be affected.
Do not give Serc to a child under the age of 18 years.
Do not take this medicine if you a rare abnormality of the adrenal gland known as phaeochromocytoma.
Do not take this medicine if you have or have had a peptic ulcer.
Do not take it after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is damaged or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have any allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- a peptic ulcer
- a history of allergic skin conditions
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you take Serc.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food store.
Some medicines and Serc may interfere with each other. These include:
- any anti-histamine medications, which are used to treat allergies and allergic reactions
These medicines may be affected by Serc, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine, or take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or to avoid while taking Serc.
How to take Serc
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
The usual adult starting dose is half to one tablet taken three times a day. However your doctor may prescribe a different dose depending on the severity of your condition.
How to take it
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water.
When to take it
Take Serc at about the same time each day.
Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
Take Serc during or immediately after a meal.
If you take Serc on an empty stomach, it may cause stomach upsets.
How long to take it
Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. If you follow your doctor's instructions Serc should start working within a few days, although in some cases it may take a few weeks. The length of time that you should take Serc tablets varies from patient to patient. Some patients respond rapidly to treatment and others may take some time. Please be patient with your treatment and take your tablets regularly.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for advice.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone Australia 13 11 26 or New Zealand 0800 764766), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Serc. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. Symptoms of an overdose may include nausea.
While you are using Serc
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Serc.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who treat you that you are taking this medicine.
If you are going to have surgery, tell the surgeon that you are taking this medicine.
If you become pregnant while you are taking this medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Things you must not do
Do not use this medicine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking Serc, or change the dosage, without checking with your doctor.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Serc. It helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. You may need medical attention if you get some of the side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- skin irritations
- stomach upsets
- fast heart beat
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and short-lived.
Stomach upsets can be overcome by taking Serc during meals.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- skin reactions
- difficulty breathing
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
After using Serc
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the box or the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep the medicine in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink, or on a windowsill. Do not leave it in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking this medicine, or the medicine has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
SERC tablets 16 mg are white, round, scored, with "267" on either side of the score.
Serc 16 mg tablets are available in packs of 10 and 25 tablets.
Serc contains 16 mg of betahistine dihydrochloride as the active ingredient:
It also contains
- colloidal anhydrous silica
- microcrystalline cellulose
- citric acid monohydrate
Serc does not contain gluten, sucrose, lactose, tartrazine or any other azo dyes.
Serc is made in France.
Serc is supplied in Australia by:
BGP Products Pty Ltd
299 Lane Cove Road
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
Serc is supplied in New Zealand by:
4 Pacific Rise
® Registered Trademark
This leaflet was prepared on 24 June 2015.
Australian Registration Number(s)
16 mg tablet: AUST R 61687
Published by MIMS June 2016