If you liked this video, don’t forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe.

Medications that Damage Hearing and Balance

Written by

Jeanne Graulich
Jeanne Graulich
Jeanne Graulich, MA, CCC-A is an audiologist on staff to guide your hearing aid journey in a safe and practical way. Jeanne brings over 30 years of experience fitting hearing aids, specializing in fittings with adults. Her passion for improving communication and overall quality of life shines through in every interaction.

There are many over the counter and prescription medications that have a negative effect on hearing and balance.  This is known as ototoxicity.  Loss of hearing, tinnitus (noises in the ears) and balance issues can be temporary or permanent.  The structures of the ear are very delicate and susceptible to the elements transported in our bloodstream.  The following is a list of some common ototoxic drugs that can cause hearing loss (or exacerbation),  balance issues or vertigo:

  • Aspirin,Advil and other NSAIDs (may be dose related)
  • Cancer Treatments (especially Cisplantin)
  • Antibiotics (strong ones, especially in the mycin group) by mouth or topical
  • Diuretics (usually when delivered intravenously)
  • Quinine

Drugs that can cause Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, swishing,…)

  • Antibiotics
  • Cardiac Medications
  • Glucocorticosteroids
  • Vapors, Solvents
  • Anesthetics 
  • Antimalarials
  • NSAIDs
  • Psychopharmacologic Agents 
  • Anti-neoplastics
  • Diuretics

There are so many medications on the market today that are ototoxic.  Medications taken in combination may have an adverse effect.  Exposure can also be cumulative.  Many doctors are not aware of all of the side effects of medications.  Consultation with your pharmacist can be helpful.  It is crucial that we all do research about the medications taken to weigh the benefits and risks involved.