Over 200 medications are known to be ototoxic (literally meaning “poisonous to the ears”). These medications include aspirin, certain antibiotics and various anti-cancer drugs.
Ototoxic medications include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These particular drugs can cause vestibular dysfunction or damage to the inner ear - which can result in hearing loss or tinnitus.
Known ototoxic medications
To determine a medication’s ototoxic effects, in depth scientific testing must take place. With new medicines on the market often, a complete list of ototoxic medications is difficult to compile. However, the following is a list of known ototoxic medications:
- Various anti-cancer drugs
- Various anesthetics
- Loop diuretics (or “water pills”)
Make hearing screenings a priority
Getting a hearing screening before receiving treatment for any condition that may involve ototoxic medication is the best way to maintain ear health. When given a new medication, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about ototoxic probabilities.
You and your hearing healthcare professional can use the pre-treatment hearing screening as a benchmark to compare future screenings during and after treatment.
*Please consult your physician before stopping any prescribed medications.