What is Tinnitus? Is there any medicine for Tinnitus? Tinnitus is a physical condition, experienced in the form of noises or ringing sensation in a person’s ears or head. It is not actually a disease, but a symptom signifying a fault in a person’s auditory system.
Apparently, Tinnitus does not have any dramatic effect on the quality of life. There are certain everyday measures that one needs to follow to manage this condition. These measures include avoiding excessive noise, relaxation therapies, and following stress management techniques.
Approximately 17 to 20 per cent of Americans suffer from some degree of this condition, varying from mild to severe. Even being so common these days, there seems to be only a few alternatives for treatment. In most cases, it goes away itself when all the right measures are practiced on daily basis.
Medicine for Tinnitus
There are no specific medications for treating Tinnitus. However, a lot of doctors experiment with sedatives and other medications to give the patient some relief from early symptoms. There are many sedatives that have proven to be helpful in the early stages. But, indulging into medications without counseling, rarely give positive effects.
In the researches taken place in the last couple of decades, few medications have shown positive results in resolving the condition. Out of these two medications – Alprazolam and Dexamethasone have known to work with the anxiety and insomnia associated with Tinnitus. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine that works with psychological side effects of the conditions, while the Dexamethasone is a steroid that is injected into the inner ear to relieve inflammation causing the ringing sounds.
On the other hand, depression is associated with Tinnitus, and using antidepressant medications may also work in some instances to decrease the intensity of noise altogether.
Some small studies have also suggested that prostaglandin analogue, misoprostol (Cytotec), as a medicine for Tinnitus can help in certain cases of Tinnitus. Other medications that have been used commonly in the practice, have not demonstrated any kind of compelling evidence to be recommended for routine use. These medicines for Tinnitus include lidocaine, niacin, anti-seizure medications and other over the counter dietary supplements.
Alternatives Medicines For Tinnitus
There are a few alternative treatments that claim to work effectively for Tinnitus. In fact, there have been some experimental, but scientifically legitimate medications that may work on some cases.
While neuroscientists are yet to be certain about the cause, one theory is that it is caused by insufficient tonic-inhibition. Since GABA is one of the most common inhibitory neuro-transmitter in the brain, it is possible that reduction in the activity of GABA in the auditory system can be a cause of Tinnitus. Therefore, drugs that are designed to increase GABA activity would be an effective treatment for Tinnitus.
A GABA-agonist drug – Vigabatrin, has been successfully tested on animal model of Tinnitus and showed some degree of effectiveness. However, one do not know how predictive the animal model is, and also the drug is yet to be tested on humans. Therefore, this is extremely preliminary information, which cannot make an adequate basis for treating Tinnitus. On the other hand, another GABA drug – Gabapentin has been tested on humans, but it failed to show effective results.
There is also preliminary evidence that clonazepam may be effective for Tinnitus, when taken in the right doses. This drug has anti-anxiety effects, so one cannot expect total elimination of the condition.
As mentioned earlier, Tinnitus is not a disease, but a difficult symptom with no clearly effective medicines or treatments. Scientific research on finding appropriate medicine for Tinnitus is working towards having an in-depth understanding of the causes of Tinnitus, which can open a path to find plausible treatments.
However, “alternative” therapies that people are opting for to get relief from the conditions have nothing much to offer. Alternative medicines and herbs that are simply drugs also need to be purified and standardize. If any herb contains active ingredients that might be effective in treating Tinnitus, it should be identified and studied. Homeopathy and Craniosacral therapy are both also have shown no plausibility as treatments for Tinnitus.
For now, people looking for medicines for Tinnitus need to accept the fact that there are stil no proven solutions or therapies that have shown highly effective results. The best chance for developing the right solutions can come from science-based assessments of different treatments and not from wasting time on trying out medications, primarily designed to treat other symptoms.