Drugs That Can Cause Hearing Loss

Did you know that a lot of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause hearing loss?┬áIf not, you’re not alone. These drugs are also known as Ototoxic medicines, and many people are unaware that there are over 200 of these drugs on the market today. As a matter of fact, the word Ototoxic means “damage to your ear”, and the effects can be either temporary or permanent (usually temporary).

Below is a list of common used medications that can cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus. Hearing usually change back to normal after taking certain meds (e.g. aspirin), but sometimes hearing can be damaged permanently. Oddly, some of the drugs that cause tinnitus are also used to treat tinnitus.

If you see a medicine you’re currently taking on the list, you should speak to your physician to see if there is another less toxic drug that you can take instead.

DRUGS THAT CAN CAUSE HEARING LOSS

Salicylates

1. Aspirin and aspirin-containing products
2. Salicylates and Methyl-salicylates (linaments)

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

1. Diclofenac (Voltaren)
2. Etocolac (Lodine)
3. Fenprofen (Nalfon)
4. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.)
5. Indomethacin (Indocin)
6. Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Alleve)
7. Piroxicam (Feldene)
8. Sulindac (Clinoril)

Antibiotics

1. Aminoglycosides
a. Amikacin (Amakin)
b. Gentamycin (Garamycin)
c. Kanamycin (Kantrex)
d. Neomycin (Found in many over-the-counter antibiotic ointments)
e. Netilmicin (Netromycin)
f. Streptomycin
g. Tobramycin (Nebcin)

2. Erythromycin
a. EES
b. E-mycin
c. Ilosone
d. Eryc
e. Pediazole
f. Biaxin
g. Zithromax

3. Vancomycin (Vancocin)
4. Minocycline (Minocin)
5. Polymixin B and Amphotericin B
6. Capreomycin (Capestat)

Diuretics

1. Bendroflumethazide (Corzide)
2. Bumetadine (Bumex)
3. Chlor-thalidone (Tenoretic)
4. Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
5. Furosemide (Lasix)

Chemotherapeutic Agents

1. Bleomycine (Blenoxane)
2. Bromocriptine (Parlodel)
3. Carboplatinum (Carboplatin)
4. Cisplatin (Platinol)
5. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
6. Nitrogen mustard (Mustargen)
7. Vinblastin (Velban)
8. Vincristine (Oncovin)

Quinine

1. Chloroquine phosphate (Aralen)
2. Quinacrine hydrochloride (Atabrine)
3. Quinine sulfate (Quinam)

Mucosal Protectant

1. Misoprostol (Cytotec)

DRUGS THAT CAN CAUSE TINNITUS

Vapors, Solvents

1. Cychohexane
2. Dichloromethane
3. Hexane (gasoline)
4. Lindane (Kwell)
5. Methyl-chloride
6. Methyl-n-butyl-ketone
7. Perchlor-ethylene
8. Styrene
9. Tetrachlor-ethane
10. Toluol
11. Trichloroethylene

Antibiotics

1. Aminoglycosides (see previous section)
2. Amphotericin B
3. Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
4. Minocycline (Minocin)
5. Polymyxine B
6. Sulfonamides (Septra, Bactrim)
7. Vancomycin (Vancocin)

Anti-Neoplastics

1. Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
2. Cis-platinum (platinol)
3. Carboplatinum (Paraplatin)
4. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
5. Nitrogen mustard (Mustagen)
6. Vinblastin (Velban)

Diuretics

1. Acetazolamide (diamox)
2. Bumetanide (Bumex)
3. Bendrofluazide
4. Clorothalidone (Hygroton, Tenoretic)
5. Diapamide
6. Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
7. Furosemide (Lasix)
8. Hydrochlorthiazide (Hydrodiuvil)
9. Methylchlorthizide (Enduron)

Cardiac Medications

1. Celiprolol
2. Flecainide (Tambocar)
3. Lidocaine
4. Metoprolol (Lopressor)
5. Procainamide (Pronestyl)
6. Propranolol (Inderal)
7. Quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex)

Psychopharmacologic Agents

1. Amitryptiline (Elavil)
2. Benzodiazepine class
a. Alprazolam (Xanax)
b. Clorazepate (Tranxene)
c. Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
d. Diazepam (Valium)
e. Flurazepam (Dalmane)
f. Lorazepam (Ativan)
g. Midazolam (Versed)
h. Oxazepam (Serax)
i. Prozepam (Centrax)
j. Quazepam (Doral)
k. Temazepam (Restoril)
l. Triazolam (Halcion)
3. Bupropion (Welbutrin)
4. Carbamzepine (Tegretol)
5. Diclofensine
6. Doexpin (Sinequin)
7. Desiprimine (Norpramin)
8. Fluoxetin (Prozac)
9. Imipramine (Tofranil)
10. Lithium
11. Melitracen
12. Molindon (Moban)
13. Paroxetin
14. Phenelzin (Nardil)
15. Protriptilin (Vivactil)
16. Trazodon (Desyrel)
17. Zimeldin

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

1. Asprin
2. Acematacine
3. Benorilate
4. Benoxaprofen
5. Carprofen
6. Diclofenac (Voltaren)
7. Diflunisal (Dolobid)
8. Fenoprofen (Nalfon)
9. Feprazon
10. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin)
11. Indomethacin (Indocin)
12. Isoxicam
13. Ketoprofen (Orudis)
14. Methyl salicylates (BenGay)
15. Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Alleve)
16. D-Penicilliamin
17. Phenylbutazone (Butazolidine)
18. Piroxicam (Feldene)
19. Proglumetacin
20. Proquazon
21. Salicylates
22. Sulindac (Clinoril)
23. Tolmetin (Tolectin)
24. Zomepirac

Glucocorticosteroids

1. prednisolone (Prednisone)
2. ACTH (Acthar)

Anesthetics

1. Bupivacain
2. Tetracain
3. Lidocaine (Novacaine)

Antimalarials

1. Chloroquine (Aralen)
2. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinil)

Miscellaneous Toxic Substances

1. Alcohol
2. Arsenum
3. Caffeine
4. Lead
5. Marijuana
6. Nicotine
7. Mercury
8. Auronofin (Ridaura)

The list was compiled by Orin S. Kaufman, D.O., a late-deafened physician, and League for the Hard of Hearing volunteer.

Are you taking any of the drugs listed above? If so, have you been experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus?

8 Responses to Drugs That Can Cause Hearing Loss

  1. Sophie June 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    OMG!!! I have taken several of this drugs, it is amazing that we are not informed about this, doctors prescribe so easily this drugs without informing the patient.
    Thank you for sharing this article, helps a lot

  2. Jolie June 28, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    We are so unconscious and people are using us to get rich without caring about the consequences . We have to open our eyes and start to say NO to everything that harms our body and health

  3. Jeff July 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for sharing all this information. I do a lot of sports and due to injuries sometimes I have to use Voltaren. Should I avoid this product in order to reduce the chances of hearing loss ? Thanks
    Jeff

  4. Chris E July 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    Great resource! Not enough people know about this – even BenGay!

  5. ray August 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Thanks for the info. I didn’t realise that 200 OTC meds damage hearing. Thanks again for raising this important point.

  6. digital hearing aids July 19, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for sharing all this informative data for the knowledge of peoples.
    If peoples taking these drugs in high potency for a long time than peoples or even children are faces a hearing problem. With the Effect of high potency dosage, Early people has a moderate degree of sensori-neural hearing loss and after 45 of age peoples are faces severe type of sensori-neural hearing loss and can not communicate properly with there love one. Than at this stage the solution of this problem is only hearing aids.

  7. reena February 10, 2015 at 5:26 am #

    OMG !!!! i dont know drugs can cause hearing loss.

  8. christopher February 15, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    wow, what a list!! i have taken a lot of the non prescribed drugs. I have a slight not too annoying tinnitus it is just noticeable, but i will be staying away from these drugs so as not to get any worse.. thanks for the list
    chris

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