Fluoroquinolone Ototoxicity What Is Going On Here?
I have spoken to, so many affected by fluoroquinolones stating they tinnitus, hearing loss or hyperacusis. All of these are issues with the ear, a vital organ that helps relay sounds from our world to the ear. I, personally, had tinnitus, an issue where your brain loses its ability to interpret sound at a certain frequency so a loud audible buzz, hiss or tone is interpreted in your brain from the loss of that frequency of sound.
So what is going on with fluoroquinolone ototoxicity? First I want to discuss what ototoxicity is, and why it happens. Then I would like to see from articles and science if this really does happen. Secondly, I would like to address methods and modalities to heal your hearing, and can it be done. If you have had any of these problems arise after taking a fluoroquinolone, I suggest you comment below to help others understand and to support others going through this.
What is Ototoxicity?
Ototoxicity refers to damage to the hearing and / or balance organs that occurs after exposure to medications or chemicals that affect the inner ear. Ototoxic medications can damage hearing, balance, or both. 
Damage to the hearing organs can range from mild to profound hearing loss and may include tinnitus (ringing in the ears). If the balance organs are damaged, the individual may experience symptoms ranging from dizziness and nausea to imbalance and blurry vision (oscillopsia). Symptoms may be temporary or permanent.
Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions?
Why do I hear ringing all of sudden?
Why do loud sounds bother me?
I have a hard time hearing you in crowds!
- Loop diuretics (e.g., Lasix)
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., gentamicin, neomycin, streptomycin, amikacin)
- Chemotherapy (e.g., cisplatin, carboplatin)
- Possibly Fluoroquinolones
- Some Industrial Chemicals
So, Does Fluoroquinolones Cause Hearing Issues?
I am a firm believer that fluoroquinolones cause serious hearing issues. I say this because so many of us have tinnitus and other hearing issues. But does the medical community or doctors actually have the data or the knowledge? With so many issues resulting after taking fluoroquinolones does this drug do harm to the ears?
Tinnitus affects millions of people, and it truly is a life altering problem for many. In this report from Good.rx they have noted that fluoroquinolones can and will cause tinnitus in patients. This holds true because I have personally had this issue, and many do as well. There are ways to reduce tinnitus or eliminate in some cases if you catch it early and intervene with some of the things I will list below.
Tinnitus can cause these hearing issues
What about hyperacusis? Hyperacusis is when specific or all sounds create pain in the ears. This is a nerve sensitivity problem created in the ear in the nerves that relay the sound information to the brain. If fluoroquinolones can affect peripheral nerves, then what is to say they cannot affect the nerves controlling hearing?
As you can see in this study, there is a direct correlation to fluoroquinolone use and hearing issues. Unfortunately there is little posted, peer-reviewed articles showing hyperacusis as an issue from the use of fluroquinolones but again so many of us have suffered this issue so why is it not posted a side effect of this class of drugs?
I firmly beleive these drugs cause tinnitus for almost all patients. This one symptoms comes up so many times when I speak to sufferers of this class of drugs. That is why I recommend getting on my Core Four supplements ASAP! You really can help the syptoms creted from FQ (fluoroquinolone) use if you take it one step at a time and control the syptoms. There are also ways to help tinnitus, hearing loss and hyperacusis.
So What Can I Do To Help?
So there are supplements you can take, doctors you can see and hearing exercises that can alleviate symptoms. First I want to review some important supplements you can take, but please note this is not medical advice and you should consult your doctor before taking anything. Then I will let you in on the top doctors treating tinnutus with your own blood! Lastly there is an app you can use to get rid of tinnitus for some time.
Vinpocetine is a man-made chemical similar to a substance found in the periwinkle plant (Vinca minor). In Europe, it’s sold as a drug called Cavinton.
Vinpocetine might increase blood flow to the brain and protect brain cells (neurons) against injury. This increases the blood flow to the middle ear which helps deliver growth factors to damaged tissues and nerves.
People use vinpocetine for memory, dementia, stroke, hearing loss, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.
You can check out my favorite Vinpocetin supplement here.
Ginkgo Biloba decreases the viscosity of blood by inhibiting or limiting platelet aggregation. This essentially allows blood to become thinner, thereby giving it a better chance to flow through smaller blood vessels like the ones that lead into your ears. There is also some evidence that it can dilate small blood vessels, allowing for even better circulation to the cochlea in your ears.
Also Ginkgo helps reduce oxidative stress because it has antioxidant properties and shows promise for reduces middle ear damage. Check out my top hearing loss, tinnitus eliminating Ginkgo here.
Choline is an essential nutrient that is naturally present in some foods and available as a dietary supplement. Choline is a source of methyl groups needed for many steps in metabolism. Choline has been shown to help repair the nervous system. I have personally seen practitioners use IV (intravenous) therapy with choline to reduce nerve pain and neuropathy.
I personally used choline bitartrate when I lost my hearing and had tinnitus in 2014. If you want the best form of this supplement click here.
Herbal and Chinease Medicine
There is so much benefit from “natural” medicine. I too have taken medicinal medicine to help alleviate some of my issues. There are natural plant medicines like astragalus or chinease herbs for hearing issues. Some of the following herbs can help per studies online;
- Bai Guo
- Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia)
- Ramulus Uncariae cum Uncis
I have a link to my favorite supplements here.
LLLT “Laser” Therapy For Hearing Loss
I love red light therapy and for good reasons. Red light therapy is used for injuries, mitochondria and collagen health. This device I purchased here can be used to reverse hearing loss and tinnitus. It does this by signaling to the hair cells in your ears to essentially regrow.
Red light therapy has been used to regrow hair on the top of your head so why not in the middle of your ear? The hair in your middle ear is what transmits sound to your brain. In this study is shows the benefit of using LLLT (low level laser therapy) to regrow the hair in your ear and essentially regain hearing.
This device is a bit pricey but totally worth it because many doctors charge $250 per session for a therapy like this because it works!
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Injections
Some doctors are now treating hearing loss and tinnitus with PRP injections into the ear. There is currently major advancements in the field in S. Korea and India. Sadly, the USA is far behind but showing interest in some clinics currently offering this procedure.
You can find the doctor who pioneered this treatment here, his name is Dr. Shim of Korea. He has been treating hearing loss and tinnitus since 2014 with great results.
Currently, there are two clinics in the USA offering these injections to heal the ear.
There is an application that can help alleviate your tinnitus using “sound therapy”. I have not tried this but there are tons of reviews showing it helps. You will need to purchase the app, match your tinnitus sound and use noise canceling headphones to use the app effectively.
I hope that this app can help your tinnitus when it gets bad because I too understand how bad this can be. You can find the application here.
Here are some of the links of everything that can help.
I hope this article on fluoroquinolone ototoxicity helped you understand what happened and how you can help heal. Floxie Hope is all about spreading knowledge, supporting others and sending hope to those who suffer the side effects of fluoroquinolones. Please join the conversation by commenting below or you can also get the Floxie Hope E-book free by clicking here.
1. Ototoxicity. (n.d.). The American Academy of Audiology. https://www.audiology.org/consumers-and-patients/hearing-and-balance/ototoxicity/
2. Kavanagh, K. R., Parham, K., & Schoem, S. R. (2009). Auditory Function After a Prolonged Course of Ciprofloxacin-Dexamethasone Otic Suspension in a Murine Model. Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 135(3), 238–241. https://doi.org/10.1001/archoto.2008.559
3. Cianfrone, G., Pentangelo, D., Cianfrone, F., Mazzei, F., Turchetta, R., Orlando, M., & Altissimi, G. (n.d.). Pharmacological drugs inducing ototoxicity, vestibular symptoms and tinnitus: a reasoned and updated guide. https://www.europeanreview.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/956.pdf
4.Vinpocetine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. (2019). Webmd.com. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-175/vinpocetine
5. Mahmoudian-Sani, M. R., Hashemzadeh-Chaleshtori, M., Asadi-Samani, M., & Yang, Q. (2017). Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of tinnitus: An updated literature review. The International Tinnitus Journal, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.5935/0946-5448.20170011