Objective/hypothesis: The purpose of this review is to summarize evidence-based data regarding the ototoxic effects of potential COVID-19 therapeutics to treat patients suffering from SARS-CoV-2.
Methods: Medications under investigation as novel therapeutics to treat COVID-19 were identified using the search term coronavirus therapeutics, COVID therapeutics, and SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics on ClinicalTrials.gov and the PubMed Database. A literature review was performed using the PubMed Database for each proposed COVID-19 therapeutic to identify relevant articles. Search criteria included Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and key word search terms for ototoxicity, vestibulotoxicity, hearing disorders, and vertigo.
Results: Six proposed COVID-19 therapeutics were identified as possessing ototoxic side effects including chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir-ritonavir, interferon, ribavirin, and ivermectin.
Conclusions: Available evidence suggests that ototoxic effects may be improved or mitigated by stopping the offending agent. Recognition of hearing loss, tinnitus, or imbalance/vertigo is therefore crucial to facilitate early intervention and prevent long-term damage. Hospitals should consider the inclusion of audiologic monitoring protocols for patients receiving COVID-19 therapeutics with known ototoxicity, especially in high-risk patient groups such as the elderly and hearing impaired. Laryngoscope, 131:1626-1632, 2021.
Keywords: COVID-19; SSNHL; ototoxicity; tinnitus; vertigo.
© 2021 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.