by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A man asked,
For those of us with tinnitus (20+ years in my case) who need anti-inflammatory medications to address back pain, nerve pain/weakness/impairment etc, and would like to take NSAIDs/Ibuprofen, is there anything out there that would do the trick without adverse tinnitus impact?
I just looked at all the NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and in all the sub-classes of NSAIDs that are listed in “Ototoxic Drugs Exposed“. Guess what? Every one of them has tinnitus listed as a side effect! That really makes it difficult to recommend anything, doesn’t it?
To be sure, not everyone that takes one of these drugs will get tinnitus or have their existing tinnitus made worse, but it does happen to numbers of people.
For some people, the tinnitus is temporary while they are on the drug, but for numbers of others, the tinnitus can start with the very first dose and proves to be permanent.
Since there is no way to know in advance whether you will get tinnitus or not, or whether your tinnitus will be temporary or permanent if you do get it, you need to decide whether you want to take the risk or not.
Personally, I’ve chosen not to take drugs. What I do is look for natural alternatives. For example, a couple of things I have done in the past few years (as I found I was getting aches and pains associated with aging) was to fundamentally change my diet. I drastically cut down or stopped eating many foods that cause inflammation and consistently added to my diet many anti-inflammatory foods. It’s amazing how doing just those two things keeps aches and pains under control and all without ever taking any drugs!
You would do well to read my article “Reducing Inflammation Without Taking Ototoxic Drugs“.
In addition, if you don’t know how to get started on such a program, I suggest you work with a good Naturopathic doctor (N.D.) and also start following the principles of good health as laid out by Dr. Joseph Mercola. He has an extensive website packed with information on good health.