Tinnitus treatment with memantine

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Apr;138(4):492-6. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2007.11.027.


Objective: To evaluate efficacy and safety of memantine in the treatment of tinnitus.

Study design: Prospective, randomized, double-blind crossover study.

Subjects and methods: A total of 60 patients with tinnitus were randomized into a double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective crossover study. Patients each received up to 20 mg memantine and placebo for 90 days, separated by a 30-day washout period. Treatment effects were assessed by using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). A total of 43 patients completed the trial.

Results: There was no significant improvement of THI score after memantine treatment compared with placebo. A possible tendency for delayed effects of memantine was observed. The incidence of side effects during memantine treatment was 9.4 percent, leading to interruption of treatment in all cases.

Conclusion: This study does not provide evidence to recommend memantine for the treatment of tinnitus. A possible late effect of the drug should be evaluated in further studies with longer observation periods.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memantine / administration & dosage
  • Memantine / adverse effects
  • Memantine / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebo Effect
  • Tinnitus / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Failure


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Memantine