Tinnitus and antidepressants | British Tinnitus Association
Name of treatment
|Type of treatment||Pharmaceutical|
|Claims for treatment||
Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept.
|How treatment is delivered||Orally|
|Potential negative consequences||
Common side effects from clinical trials included: sedation, sexual dysfunction and dry mouth. ;
|Papers available||6 (as in the Cochrane review)|
It is yet unclear if the potential benefits of antidepressants stem from reducing tinnitus distress or depression; well designed, long studies are necessary.
One study administering selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor showed promising effects for tinnitus distress when the medication’s maximum dosage was administered. Future studies should further investigate these results.
|Quality of evidence ||
|Does the BTA recommend this treatment?||Yes, where clinically indicated for low mood|
|BTA opinion on this treatment||
Antidepressants may be administered to diminish depression and anxiety in tinnitus. There are, however, low evidence levels for the administration of antidepressants for reducing tinnitus distress.
We suggest talking to your doctor about the potential effects and side effects of antidepressants.
|Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?||Yes, if a high-quality study|
|Verdict: Safety. Is this treatment harmful?||
Limited potential for harm
|Verdict: Efficacy. Does this treatment work?||
No evidence of an effect
 Baldo P, Doree C, Molin P, McFerran D, Cecco S. Antidepressants for patients with tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD003853. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003853.pub3
 A = Systematic review/meta-analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case-control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands
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Updated 15 April 2019
Information currently under review April 2022
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