Many of us know someone who is hard of hearing and how difficult it can be to live in a world where they have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves. We rely on our hearing for safety purposes, work, pleasure, and for forming and maintaining relationships.  It can be difficult to do all of these tasks if you cannot hear. We want to help educate you on something that we believe is not as common knowledge as it should be.

You are probably very aware of the numerous side effects that are caused by prescription medications. But if you don’t know what an ototoxic medication is you could potentially be putting yourself at risk. Ototoxic means a chemical that is toxic or damaging to your hearing. Most people have no idea that there are actually medications that can cause permanent hearing loss in people with no existing problem and make it worse for those who do. The good news is that often times this loss is reversible upon discontinuation of the medicine. It is very important that if you are taking a medication from the list below that that you talk to your doctor immediately and try to avoid these treatments if possible. If you have a current hearing loss or you have a family history of hearing loss, you are at risk when taking these medications.

Drugs that can cause hearing loss:


  • aspirin and aspirin containing products
  • salicylates and methylsalicylates (linaments)

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)

  • diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • etocolac (Lodine)
  • fenprofen (Nalfon)
  • ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.)
  • indomethacin (Indocin)
  • naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Aleve)
  • piroxicam (Feldene)
  • sulindac (Clinoril)


  • aminoglycosides
    • amikacin (Amakin)
    • gentamycin (Garamycin)
    • kanamycin (Kantrex)
    • neomycin (Found in many over-the-counter antibiotic ointments.)
    • netilmicin (Netromycin)
    • streptomycin
    • tobramycin (Nebcin)
  • erythromycin
    • (EES)
    • (E-mycin)
    • (Ilosone)
    • (Eryc)
    • (Pediazole)
    • (Biaxin)
    • (Zithromax)
  • vancomycin (Vancocin)
  • minocycline (Minocin)
    • (Similar to erythromycin)
  • polymixin B & amphotericin B
    • (Antifungal preparations)
  • capreomycin (Capestat)
    • (Anti-tuberculosis medication)


  • bendroflumethazide (Corzide)
  • bumetadine (Bumex)
  • chlor-thalidone (Tenoretic)
  • ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
  • furosemide (Lasix)

 Chemotherapeutic Agents

  • bleomycine (Blenoxane)
  • bromocriptine (Parlodel)
  • carboplatinum (Carboplatin)
  • cisplatin (Platinol)
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • nitrogen mustard (Mustargen)
  • vinblastin (Velban)
  • vincristine (Oncovin)


  • chloroquine phosphate (Aralen)
  • quinacrine hydrochloride(Atabrine)
  • quinine sulfate (Quinam)

Mucosal Protectant

  • misoprostol (Cytotec)

Narcotic Analgesics

  • hydrocodone (Lorcet, Vicodin)