Relief of idiopathic subjective tinnitus: is gabapentin effective?

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Apr;133(4):390-7. doi: 10.1001/archotol.133.4.390.


Objective: To assess the therapeutic benefit of gabapentin (Neurontin) for subjective idiopathic troublesome tinnitus.

Design: An 8-week, double-blind, randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Academic otolaryngology clinic in St Louis, Mo.

Subjects: One hundred thirty-five subjects with severe idiopathic subjective tinnitus of 6 months' duration or longer.

Intervention: Gabapentin, at a maintenance dosage of 900 to 3600 mg/d for 8 weeks, or lactose placebo.

Main outcome measure: Change in the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory score from baseline to the study end point.

Results: The overall change in the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory score for the entire cohort from baseline to week 8 was 11.2; the change among the 59 subjects randomized to the gabapentin arm was 11.3 and the change among the 56 subjects in the placebo arm was 11.0. The difference was 0.03 (95% confidence interval, -5.5 to 6.2; P = .91).

Conclusion: Gabapentin is no more effective than placebo for the relief of idiopathic subjective tinnitus.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT00317850.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tinnitus / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use*


  • Amines
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin

Associated data