Hearing Loss Caused By Drugs

Did you know that a lot of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause hearing loss? If 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.



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)


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)


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)


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

Mucosal Protectant

1. Misoprostol (Cytotec)


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


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


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


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


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


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


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?