Benzodiazepines and GABAergics in treating severe disabling tinnitus of predominantly cochlear origin

Int Tinnitus J. 2006;12(2):140-4.


Severe disabling tinnitus (SDT) refers to a symptom severe enough to disrupt affected patients' routine and keep them from performing their daily activities. SDT of a predominantly central origin has been treated successfully with benzodiazepines and GABAergic drugs. Our aim was to test the control of SDT of predominantly cochlear origin by benzodiazepines and GABAergic drugs. We followed the format of a prospective, randomized, single-blind clinical trial at an academic tertiary-care hospital. We studied 30 patients, all with SDT of clear cochlear origin. We treated 10 patients with placebo (group 1), 10 with benzodiazepine drugs (group 2), and 10 with benzodiazepine and GABAergic drugs (group 3). We recorded a decrease in the annoyance and intensity of SDT as measured by a visual analog scale ranging from 1 (negligible) to 10 (unbearable). We found statistically significant improvement in comparing groups 2 and 3 with group 1 but found no significant difference when groups 2 and 3 were compared. Addition of GABAergic to benzodiazepine drugs does not modify the treatment results in SDT of a predominantly cochlear origin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amines / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / adverse effects
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Cochlear Diseases / complications*
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • GABA Agents / adverse effects
  • GABA Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tinnitus / drug therapy*
  • Tinnitus / etiology
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology*
  • Treatment Failure
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Amines
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • GABA Agents
  • Benzodiazepines
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Clonazepam
  • Gabapentin