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Emerging pharmacological treatments of tinnitus

  • Autori: Plescia, F.; Cannizzaro, C.; Brancato, A.; Sireci, F.; Salvago, P.; Martines, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Medicine (all)
  • OA Link:


Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather a symptom or condition characterized by a conscious perception of an unreal sound in the absence of external auditory stimulus. This ontological condition can modify everyday life in different ways: causing distress and annoyance, sleep disruption, anxiety and depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes tinnitus as a symptom of hearing disorder characterized by the sensation of buzzing, ringing, clicking, pulsations, grinding, hissing, roaring or other noises in the ear. Even if different treatments exist for “tinnitus-related abnormalities” such as cognitive behavioural therapy and/or sound therapy, no effective pharmacological approach is available, although much research is underway into the mechanism and possible treatments. Furthermore, no drugs are currently approved by the FDA for treatment of spontaneous idiopathic tinnitus, and few drugs reliably suppress or eliminated chronic tinnitus in the majority of patients. A large number of researches have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of different classes of drugs in alleviating the symptoms of tinnitus. Tricyclic antidepressant, selective-serotonin-reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepine, anticonvulsant agents, local anesthetics, diuretics, anticoagulants and vasodilators are just some of the drugs that have been taken into account to improve the quality of life and reduce awareness of-and reaction to-tinnitus. In this chapter, current evidence on emerging pharmacological approaches to tinnitus will be described and examined in terms of mechanism of action and effectiveness.