Medicines That Can Cause Tinnitus

Monday, September 17, 2012
If you've done much research on your tinnitus, you have probably already discovered that there are lots of things that can cause your ringing ears. One of the more surprising potential causes of your tinnitus is the medicine you are taking. You read that correctly. It is actually possible that or more of the medications you are currently taking could be the cause (or at least one of the causes of) your tinnitus.

This possible link between prescription medications (the drugs that are supposed to help us be healthy) and ringing ears was certainly a surprise to me. The first I heard of it was when my nephew developed tinnitus from the drugs he took during chemotherapy for bone cancer. The medications helped eliminate the cancer & cure him, but part of the price he paid for his cure was long-term, likely permanent hearing damage.

Let me give you this list of the types of medications that have been known to cause ringing ears. According to the Mayo Clinic, here are the types of medicines known to sometimes cause tinnitus or worsen existing cases of ringing ears:
  • Antibiotics: Several antibiotics can cause problems, including chloramphenicol, erythromycin, tetracycline, vancomycin and bleomycin
  • Cancer medications: Some of these powerful medications that can cause ringing ears include mechlorethamine and vincristine
  • Diuretics: Bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, and furosemide
  • Quinine medications and others (such as chloroquine) used to treat malaria
  • Aspirin: When taken in extremely high doses (12 or more per day)
If you experience ringing ears and are taking any one of the medications listed in this article, you should talk to your doctors right away about a possible connection. They may be able to change the way they are treating you and provide you with tinnitus relief at the same time.