According to the Government Accountability Office, only 1 to 10% of all adverse side effects are reported to the FDA.
In a case of notable regulatory short-sightedness, drug companies are only required to report adverse effects they deem “statistically significant.” Many medications cause hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), cognitive disorders and memory loss. These adverse reactions are not listed in the manufacturer’s “warnings of adverse side effects.”
It is well known that drugs and treatment that save the lives of patients with cancer cause permanent and irreversible hearing loss.
It is also known that many antibiotics and pain relieving, anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, Motrin, NSAIDs) damage the auditory system. It is less well known and rarely acknowledged, that drugs such as Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs directly affect hearing.
In addition, diuretics used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, statin medications to lower cholesterol and even many over-the-counter and herbal medications can cause hearing loss, balance disorders and severe tinnitus.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Get a baseline hearing test now. Bring a comprehensive list of the medications that you are taking. If you are associated with hearing, balance, tinnitus or dizziness, your audiologist will contact your doctor to discuss alternative medications that are not ototoxic.
Dr. Ronna Fisher, Au.D.
Founder & President
Hearing Health Center, Inc.