Medicine and Hearing Loss

Medicine and Hearing LossDid you know that medicine designed to make you feel better can actually contribute to hearing loss?

Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs are known as ototoxic, meaning they are known to contribute to hearing loss, tinnitus and balance problems. Audiology Services or Marin reminds you that more than 200 medications are linked to ototoxicity, particularly when taken in large doses.

The following medications have been linked to hearing loss:

Aspirin: Doses of 6-8 pills per days have been linked to hearing issues, but symptoms such as tinnitus, dizziness and nausea typically go away when large doses are discontinued.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): Drugs such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin and others may affect hearing when used as little as two times per week. Individuals under sixty years of age are more susceptible to this side effect.

Antidepressants: Drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Luvox have been linked to hearing problems.

Antibiotics: Those most tied to ototoxicity include Aminoglycosides such as Streptomycin, Neomycin and Gentamicin.

Diuretics: These drugs are used to treat heart and kidney failure, liver disease or high blood pressure. “Loop” diuretics such as Lasix and Excedrin can be ototoxic when taken intravenously or in very high doses orally.

Chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy: Chemotherapy medications such as Cisplatin and Vincristine can lead to hearing loss. Radiation for patients with head or neck cancer poses a greater risk of ototoxicity.