Which Medicine Causes hearing loss?

Which Medicine Causes hearing loss?
Published : May 01, 2024
Last Updated : May 17, 2024


Many people start facing hearing problems at a young age. Natural causes always cause hearing loss, but it has a significant impact on life. In rare cases, it has been observed that hearing loss even takes place due to certain medications.

Various medications used by people today can cause hearing loss. Other than hearing problems, some medicines also cause ringing in the ears. Predominantly, adults and infants suffer from such risks. However, it can be treated with the use of medications.

Here, we discuss some of the medicines that may cause hearing loss. Please go through it to grab complete details.

List of medicines that cause hearing loss

These are some of the medicines that can contribute to hearing problems.

Water pills

Water pills, also known as loop diuretics, used to treat hypertension can cause hearing loss. These medicines change the structure of the ear, which is called the cochlea. Cochlea senses the sound vibrations and sends them to the brain as electrical signals.

These changes further lead to hearing loss. However, this loss is temporary and can be reversed. Very rarely you will see permanent hearing loss. There is a high chance of hearing loss when water pills are taken with other ear-harming medicines or given to kidney patients.

Immediately seek medical advice if you see a change in hearing after taking water pills like Lasix. Your healthcare provider will change your medicine.

Erectile dysfunction medications

Erectile dysfunction medicines that are PDE5 inhibitors, such as Sildenafil, Tadalafil, and more, can also cause hearing loss. A study shows that PDE5 inhibitors and hearing loss are directly interrelated.

But there are higher chances of hearing problems when you take Viagra. Other ED medicines have fewer reports of hearing loss. Although the risk with ED medicine is low, if you see any hearing changes after intake, let your doctor know immediately.


Various antibiotics, such as Vancomycin, azithromycin, and Aminoglycosides, may also cause hearing loss. The antibiotics directly change the ear structure, which contributes to hearing loss. But still, how it happens needs to be clarified.

Macrolides such as erythromycin, azithromycin, and more have a higher risk of causing hearing loss. Taking high doses of such medications may even cause deafness. Some aminoglycoside antibiotics are used to kill bacteria, but their topic versions contribute to hearing loss.

It commonly causes hearing loss in children. Antibiotics such as Vancomycin also have a chance of causing hearing loss. Always prefer to use antibiotics that have a low chance of causing hearing loss. Ensure to use an antibiotic only if prescribed by your doctor.

Pain relievers

Pain relievers have a chance of causing hearing loss if taken regularly. But if you take it sometimes, the risk is low. Some popular pain reliever medicines that cause hearing loss are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and many more.

NSAIDs have a significant impact on hearing loss. Aspiring also, if taken at a high dosage, can contribute to hearing problems. Although hearing loss caused by aspirin is temporary, there is the possibility of permanent damage to the inner ears.

Always ensure to use any painkillers after consulting with your doctor. Otherwise, it can cause severe side effects, among which is hearing loss.

Chemotherapy medications

Medicines used for treating cancer, such as Cisplatin, may result in hearing loss. Some platinum-based chemotherapy medicines, including Cisplatin, Oxaliplatin, and many more, also cause hearing loss.

The chemotherapy medicines cause hearing loss based on the dose taken. Higher doses have a high chance of causing hearing loss. Your healthcare provider can only suggest the best possible cancer-treating medicine for you.

Malaria treating medications

Medicines that are often used in treating malaria cause hearing loss. Some malaria-treating medications include hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, and more. This medicine damages the cochlea, which causes hearing loss.

You might experience mild to severe hearing problems when taking such medicines, depending on the dose. Sometimes, the loss is permanent, but mostly, it's reversed. If you see any hearing problems after taking hydroxychloroquine, immediately inform your doctor.


Opioid medicines also cause hearing loss. Opioids such as oxycodone that are used to treat mild to severe pain may cause hearing loss. These medicines, if overdosed, cause hearing problems. Always take opioids exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

What should you do if you are facing hearing problems after taking new medications?

It is always advised to seek medical attention right there if you see hearing changes after starting a new medication. It is not always the case that new medicine causes hearing loss. There can be many other reasons behind it.

Your healthcare provider will let you know after checking. Getting it tested by an ear specialist is better. If they find out that it's caused by medicine, they will either ask you to stop taking it or change it.

You will see the loss getting treated after stopping the use of medicine. Always stop or take any new medicine only if asked to do so by your physician.

Is hearing loss reversible?

Hearing loss that is caused by medicines is most often reversible. But whether it's reversible or not precisely can be said after checking the severity of the damage. There is more chance of not getting hearing loss reversed if you are taking more than one medicine that causes hearing loss.

Also, if you are using any medicine in high doses for a longer duration, it can cause hearing loss. Kidney patients have a low chance of reversing hearing loss caused by medicines. It varies from patient to patient.

Visit your healthcare provider to monitor whether the loss is temporary or permanent.

Final words

So, the medicine mentioned above contributes to hearing loss. There is a low chance of hearing loss if you take the medicine at a low dose and as prescribed by your doctor. However, hearing loss problems are rare and are mostly reversible.

Avoid taking more than one medicine that causes hearing loss. It can have a severe impact on your life.