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Does Tramadol Cause Ringing In The Ears

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Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing

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Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.

List Of Ototoxic Medications

There are more than 450 prescription and over-the-counter drugs that can trigger tinnitus, make existing tinnitus worse, or cause a new tinnitus sound to appear. In fact, most drug classes have tinnitus-causing drugs sprinkled throughout. For example, antibiotics, painkillers, anti-anxiety, and anti-depression drugs, antimalarial medications, anti-cancer drugs, and blood pressure controlling medications to name a few can all trigger tinnitus. In most cases, this type of tinnitus is an acute, short-lived side effect if the patient stops taking the medication, the tinnitus symptoms typically recede. Familiarity with a complete list of ototoxic medications is unnecessary, but knowing which ones are known to cause more permanent tinnitus symptoms can save you a lot of frustration.

Chemotherapy Drugs For Cancer

There are many different types of chemotherapy medications. The type youre prescribed will be determined by the type of cancer you have.

Chemotherapy drugs, especially platinum-based drugs, can be highly ototoxic. For this reason, your oncologist may have your hearing monitored during treatment, to determine if dosage changes or other types of changes should be made.

Chemotherapy drugs may cause permanent or temporary hearing loss and tinnitus. If you already have hearing loss, you may be more vulnerable to ototoxic effects.

Some chemotherapy drugs that can cause tinnitus include:

  • cisplatin: used to treat testicular, lung, bladder, cervical and ovarian cancer.
  • carboplatin: used to treat head and neck, lung, ovarian, breast, bladder, and other cancers
  • oxaliplatin: used to treat colorectal cancer

Loop diuretics are prescribed medications used to reduce fluid retention caused by conditions such as:

Tinnitus caused by loop diuretics is typically temporary and resolves after the medication has been stopped. However, if loop diuretics are taken in large doses or with other ototoxic medications, they may cause permanent tinnitus.

Loop diuretics known to have this effect include:

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Can Long Term Use Of Tramadol Hcl Cause Tinnitus

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Question posted by Tara65 on 26 Jan 2015

Last updated on 26 December 2021 by katcbert

My 56 yr old husband has been on tramadol HCL 150 mg 2x daily for about 3 years for chronic knee pain he started to have ringing in both ears about 2 months ago and now takes a sleep aid to get to sleep. worried about the tramadol overall health effect.


Well Ill weigh in 3 + years later since I just logged in to see if others had this symptom. I have ringing and buzzing in the ears since being on Tramadol 4-6 x day, but usually only if I take a few extra pills on a very painful day. Its definitely the Tramadol, they should list it as a side effect for sure. I see many are affected the same way. Peace and love!


I have been on tramadol for about a year because of chronic back pain and the ringing in my ears is awful and I also am dizzy from it. I went on the tramadol to get off of the fentanyl patch and vicodin. There has to be something better. I am a musician and it really bothers me when I am playing.


I was diagnosed with Tinnitus years before being prescribed Ultram . Shorty, like two or three months, I feel my ears are stopped up and I am losing my hearing. I have looked to see if this can be caused by interactions with my other drugs. So far, no luck.


I have been on Ultram for 14 yrs now. I do have ringing in my ears. I am partially deaf now, never had a problem with hearing. It does help with the pain.


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How Long Before My Drug

A lady asked,

If an ototoxic drug is the cause of tinnitus, how long would it take to resolve once you stop taking the drug? I know thats a difficult question to answer since every one is different but Im wondering if you have some sort of idea based on your experience.

This is an excellent question, but like you said, there is no easy answer. This is because so much depends on the specific drug and on your emotional makeup, among other factors.

For example, you could expect tinnitus from taking a lot of Aspirin to go away within a day or two after you quit taking the Aspirin. However, with some drugs, such as the Aminoglycoside antibiotics , you may find the resulting tinnitus is permanent and will never go awayalthough you can learn how to habituate to your tinnitus so it wont bother you.

Most drugs fall somewhere between these two extremes. As a rule of thumb, I say give it a couple of weeks after you stop taking a drug before you worry whether your tinnitus might be permanent or not.

Note this well. Whether your tinnitus persists and bothers you depends a lot on your emotional makeup. If tinnitus is no big deal to you, your tinnitus will likely disappear or fade into the background fairly quickly.

Aspirin Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

Aspirin is most likely to cause hearing loss and tinnitus at the higher daily doses often taken for chronic pain, such as arthritis. Some people may take 8 to 12 tablets a day for arthritic pain. Aspirins potential effect on hearing was first recognized soon after the drug was synthesized more than a century ago. In fact tinnitus and hearing loss are among the side effects sometimes listed in tiny print on the label.

A very recent study, published in the Jan. 2015 issue of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery consisted of a systematic review of other studies involving 185,155 participants who were regular users of aspirin. It found that those taking 6 full strength aspirin or more per day was associated with worse audiometric results. Participants lost between 4 and 112 dB in hearing. The effect was dose dependent and reversible in the short term.

A large Harvard study of middle-aged female nurses, the Nurses Health Study II, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that those who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen on most days of the week had a 20% increased risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.

So, if no over-the counter pain medications are totally safe to use, especially by those who already have tinnitus, what is one to do to relieve pain? What about prescription pain medication?

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Signs Someone Is Dependent On Tramadol

When someone is on tramadol and misuses it for an extended period of time, they may develop a psychological and physical dependence, making them unable to stop using tramadol without experiencing mental and physical distress.

If someone is psychologically addicted to tramadol, obtaining the drug has become a top priority for them, and their behavior reflects that. They will often start to lose interest in other areas of their life. They may start doing things like creating symptoms or doctor shopping to get more of the drug. Some users of tramadol may even do illegal things, such as forging prescriptions for tramadol. Psychological dependence on tramadol also often means that the person will continue to use tramadol even if they are experiencing adverse effects.

Physical dependence on tramadol involves changes in how the body functions. As someone continues to use tramadol, they build up a tolerance to it. They may increase the amount they take to feel the same effects or take it more frequently. This enhances the likelihood of an overdose occurring and makes it more difficult to stop using tramadol. Signs of a tramadol overdose can include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Skin that feels cold or clammy to the touch
  • Loss of consciousness

Drug overdose can be fatal. If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately. Do NOT be afraid to seek help. If you do not have access to a phone, contact Web Poison Control Services for online assistance.

  • General feeling of illness

Opioid Receptors In The Inner Ear Can Cause Partial Or Full Hearing Loss Says Rutgers Study

Pharmacology Analgesics – Opioids, NSAIDS, Tylenol – Nursing RN PN (MADE EASY)

Opioid use, particularly in high doses, can cause deafness, according to Rutgers researchers.

The study, published in The Journal of Medical Toxicology, reviewed records from the New Jersey Poison Control Center, based at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, from 1999 to 2018 to determine the association between opioid use and degrees of hearing loss.

Researchers identified 41 people with opioid exposure who experienced full or partial hearing loss or tinnitus, likely caused by toxicity to the ear. More than half had used heroin, followed by oxycodone, methadone and tramadol 88 percent had only one known exposure.

Most people reported the condition affecting both ears, with 12 people experiencing deafness, 15 partial or total loss of hearing acuity, 10 tinnitus and four a mix of symptoms.

While some people may regain their hearing, the loss could be permanent with others — 21 percent of those reporting the condition had no improvement in hearing when they were discharged from the hospital.

The delicate structures of the inner ear are very susceptible to injury if oxygen supply is insufficient, as well as to the direct effect of toxins like opioids, said co-author Lewis Nelson, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

The researchers said health care providers should be aware of the association with opioid use when evaluating a patient with hearing loss.

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Why Hearing Loss Occurs

Hearing is a relatively complex process that relies on sensory hair cells in the inner ear. These hair cells interpret sound waves into nerve signals that go to the brain. Learn more about how your brains motor system interprets sounds.

Medical experts believe ototoxic drugs affect blood circulation throughout the body including the ears. The loss of blood circulation can damage the ears hair cells and cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.

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Does Acetaminophen Cause Tinnitus

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter medications, including Aspirin and Aleve. These medications are meant for the treatment of every day aches and pains, though some people have reported experiencing problems with tinnitus as a result of taking them. Aspirin contains salicylate which is just one of the ingredients in these medications which can cause a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears which is commonly known as tinnitus.

Many people take medications which contain acetaminophen for arthritis and headaches. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are both classified as anti-inflammatory pain medications which are also ideal for the treatment of tooth pain which is usually inflammatory in nature. Tinnitus as a side-effect of taking medications with acetaminophen, although it is not common, does occur from time to time.

People who take these pain medications have different reactions to them, though most of the time there are no noticeable adverse side-effects. Whether or not someone has problems with tinnitus after taking one of these drugs with this active ingredient depends entirely on the individual. Through various trials and studies, the active ingredient acetaminophen has been found to cause or worsen tinnitus in a very small percentage of those who take drugs that contain it.

Ototoxic Adverse Drug Reactions: A Disproportionality Analysis Using The Italian Spontaneous Reporting Database

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  • 2Sicilian Regional Pharmacovigilance Centre, University Hospital of Messina, Messina, Italy
  • 3Pharmacovigilance Office, Italian Medicines Agency, Rome, Italy
  • 4Department of Adult and Developmental Human Pathology Gaetano Barresi, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

Introduction: The panorama of drug-induced ototoxicity has widened in the last decades moreover, post-marketing data are necessary to gain a better insight on ototoxic adverse drug reactions . The aim of this study was to perform an analysis of ADR reports describing drug-induced ototoxicity from the Italian spontaneous reporting system .

Methods: As a measure of disproportionality, we calculated the reporting odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals with a case/non-case methodology. Cases were all suspected ADR reports regarding drug-induced ototoxicity collected into the Italian SRS from 2001 to 2017. Non-cases included all other ADRs reported in the same period.

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Can Prescription Drugs Cause Ringing In The Ears

Tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears , is generally the first symptom of ototoxicity and is generally short lived, but it can have more permanent symptoms.

About Tinnitus

Simply defined, tinnitus is a phantom ringing, whooshing, or buzzing noise in your ear that only you can hear. People experience tinnitus in a variety of ways: In some, a headshake will make the annoyance vanish others, however, describe the condition as debilitating. Though research is ongoing, there is currently no cure. But relief can come from a variety of treatments.

About Ototoxicity

Ototoxicity is a poisoning of the inner ear due to exposure to or ingestion of medications or chemicals that can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, and/or balance disorders. High doses or long-term use of certain antibiotics, antidepressants, loop diuretics, pain relievers, and prescription or over-the-counter medications can cause ototoxicity.

  • Water pills and diuretics
  • Quinine-based medications

The effects caused by ototoxic drugs can sometimes be reversed when the drug is stopped. Sometimes, however, the damage is permanent.

Some of the most effective methods are:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy

Managing Tinnitus While Taking Ototoxic Medication

We can work with your prescribing physician to monitor your hearing and balance systems before and during your treatment. This will help you and your treatment team determine whether to stop or the change your prescription before your hearing is damaged.

Dietary Changes And Inflammation

Dietary changes can make a big difference in the amount of inflammation in our bodies. These changes may or may not totally eliminate chronic pain from inflammation but, at the very least, they will significantly reduce inflammation and the need for pain medication.

Neil Bauman, PhD, has written an excellent paper: Reducing Inflammation Without Taking Ototoxic Drugs. In this paper, Dr. Bauman lists the 10 worst and 10 best foods for reducing inflammation. I think this list is important enough to include here:

The 10 Worst Inflammatory Foods

-Desserts made with lots of sugar,

-Sweetened cereals,

-White carbohydrates ,

-Non-diet soft drinks,

-Anything with high-fructose corn syrup,

-Processed meats ,

-Fried snack foods ,

-Fast foods, especially the high-fat, high-calorie, high-simple carb foods found in most fast food restaurants,

-Margarine, because it leads to atherosclerosis and fatty deposit diseases,

-Organ meats such as liver because they contain antibiotics, fertilizers and other residues.

The 10 Best Inflammatory Foods

-Wild salmon, mackerel and other high omega-3 fatty-acid fish,


-Green, leafy vegetables ,

-Cruciferous vegetables ,

-Deeply pigmented produce, such as sweet potatoes, eggplant and pomegranate, along with carrots plums, oranges, peppers, peas and red grapes,


-Tea specifically black, green and white teas,

-Cold-pressed fresh oils, especially avocado, flaxseed and olive oils,

-Spices, especially garlic, ginger, turmeric, saffron.

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What Are The Effects Of Tramadol

As with most opioids, there is a range of effects that can occur when someone uses this drug, both intended and unintended. Determining how to know if someone is on tramadol or if someone is using tramadol can come down to understanding these potential signs.

Tramadol may affect how someone acts or talks. It may cause difficulty holding a normal conversation and may cause drowsiness that seems out of place. Someone using tramadol may have impaired coordination and small pupils.

As with other opiates, there are also negative signs someone is on tramadol. Some of the potential adverse effects of this drug include:

These signs that someone is on tramadol arent the most severe potential side effects of this opioid. Taking too much tramadol can result in respiratory depression, in which the body has problems breathing. Using tramadol can also create a condition called serotonin syndrome this most often happens when people combine antidepressants and tramadol simultaneously. Serotonin syndrome and respiratory depression are medical emergencies, potentially causing seizures, brain damage, coma and death.

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