Various medications are currently used in the treatment of tinnitus, including anesthetics, antiarrhythmics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, calcium channel blockers, cholinergic antagonists, NMDA antagonists, muscle relaxants, vasodilators, and vitamins. To date, however, no medications have been specifically approved to treat tinnitus by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, medicines used to treat other diseases, as well as foods and other ingested materials, can result in unwanted tinnitus. These include alcohol, antineoplastic chemotherapeutic agents and heavy metals, antimetabolites, antitumor agents, antibiotics, caffeine, cocaine, marijuana, nonnarcotic analgesics and antipyretics, ototoxic antibiotics and diuretics, oral contraceptives, quinine and chloroquine, and salicylates. This review, therefore, describes the medications currently used to treat tinnitus, including their mechanisms of action, therapeutic effects, dosages, and side-effects. In addition, this review describes the medications, foods, and other ingested agents that can induce unwanted tinnitus, as well as their mechanisms of action.
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