WARNING! Prescription Statin - "Atorv... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association
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WARNING! Prescription Statin - "Atorvastatin" can cause tinnitus


This from the package leaflet provided with the NHS prescription statin "Atorvastatin":

4. Possible side effects:

Other possible side effects with Atorvastatin

Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people

* Ringing in the ears and or head

The above appears amongst many other possible side effects, and reading around Atorvastatin side effects online, the list of possible unpleasant side effects is very alarming. I have read our Association's paper on Tinnitus and drugs, tinnitus.org.uk/drugs but I am not much reassured.

Here is a report of one case of Atorvastatin related hearing loss:


... and conversely, here is a report that Atorvastatin has positive effects on tinnitus:

" In assessing the effectiveness of

atorvastatin (Lipitor) in the

treatment of tinnitus, scientists observed a trend toward relief of symptoms; however, this trend was not statistically significant when compared with results produced by administration of a placebo." vestibular.org/sites/defaul...

My Tinnitus developed some months, (not sure exactly but I guess 6 months) after starting taking Atorvastatin, and whilst 1 in 100 may be termed 'uncommon', it is one hell of a damnation to condemn even 1 in a 100 patients to suffer the misery of Tinnitus.

I like to think that I am emotionally intelligent person, but to hell with Atorvastatin, and any statin for that matter, I'll settle for my marginally high cholesterol, and I am telling my Doctor that my Tinnitus may be Atorvastatin related.

Best wishes to us all, stay strong and love life.


23 Replies

A of meds can have the side effects of Tinnitus,that's why I for one don't take anything for my T, don't want it making any worse than it is

Do you know whether any studies show if you stop taking it whether tinnitus gets any better or even goes away?

No, Sharon I don't sorry, if I learn anything of hope I will report it here.

Wow.i take the same and have T

I too started taking this statin , and anti biotic doxycycline, in the summer, one of these has made my T worse.

I too read the side effects, already had T , but it’s worse due to these drugs. Been off work since.

Not happy.

in reply to Arwt

I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have T can possibly understand how it makes us feel. Oh to just have silence !!

in reply to Sharon0705

Sharon - I agree we all share similar issues and I hope we all get through this 🙏🏾

in reply to Arwt

I am going to try and see how it reacts if I try weaning a day or so off...I had no problems with simvostatins

in reply to Verma54

I thought mine started on a long haul flight but I know I changed over from simvastatin - just don’t remember when. I am going to stop for a month to see if any change

in reply to Sharon0705

It’s really made me think as well...

This is now worrying me. Maybe I should wean off as being frank it worsened when I moved across to this drug 🤔

I’ve always said that T is linked to side effects from medicine. After my doctor said you have high blood pressure and other things he put me on medication about six weeks later my T started. Very mild but that was just the start of my HELL now I’m in scream mode and still on the medication. I told my doctor he said no, me thinking well he’s the doctor so I’m still on them.

I take Atorvastatin and was wondering whether that might have brought on my tinnitus! I didn't coincide exactly with when I started the drug, it was say a year later, but my T developed very, very slowly, so it's hard to pin down when it actually started.

I might take myself off the statin and see what happens.

I will report back of course if I do.

in reply to Cyrtis

So far been off the statin for 6 days. No change unfortunately. Going to give it a month but get my cholesterol checked to make sure I don’t need them otherwise it’s the chicken and the egg!!


Tinnitus is listed as a side effect for many, many drugs.

However, when looked at closely the actual number of drugs which CAUSE tinnitus is tiny, and these are mainly the cis-platin drugs (for cancer treatment) and some of the powerful intravenous antibiotics given in hospital (so not the type you get on prescription from your GP)

So - what is going on? Why are so many drugs reported to cause tinnitus?

Well, some people may have an adverse reaction to a drug. This gets reported to their GP, and then onwards to the drug companies, who HAVE to record this and put it in their patient information sheet.

For most commonly prescribed drugs, and this includes the ones for high blood pressure and for stations, the number of people who report tinnitus while taking their medication is usually less than 1 in 1000 people. Tinnitus as a side effect is relatively rarely reported.

Now the good news is that tinnitus caused by drug treatment is usually temporary - it either goes as your body adjusts to the medication and the condition you have, or it goes if you stop taking the drug. However, don't stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor! It's also likely that there will be an alternative, and that this may not trigger tinnitus at all. It's far more dangerous to live with untreated high blood pressure, for example, than with tinnitus - although I appreciate that tinnitus may be more unpleasant in sensation.

If you want to find out more, check out tinnitus.org.uk/drugs

Best wishes

Nic, BTA Communications Manager

Hello, A very interesting read as I also take this statin and my T is now far worse than it has ever been......

I'm so tempted to stop taking for a month like some one hear to see what happens....

I started taking statins about a year ago and my T has worsened in the last couple of months, at first I put it down to the stress of doing two jobs at work but I'm not so sure....

FlightsimMan, I have seen my Doctor and declared that my T is directly temporily related to the start of my Statin prescription, and that I am taking it no more. She made no comment but accepted my statement.

Having stopped taking Atorvastatin for only a few days, I do currently think that the volume of my T has fallen. Time will tell.

Best wishes to you.


OK, you have made my mind up, I'm not taking it from today....... Fingers crossed.

I find it quite interesting what you said about your doctor though.

Having ceased taking Atorvastatin there has been no improvement in my T. I have an ENT appointment in January. I have had T for only a short time compared to many on here, and I still have a little hope that it may fade, but know that actually I may have to live with it now. I am getting used to it, but I have come to hate constant or loud and sudden noise. I am less tolerant now than I was, generallly. However, I have been fortunate in many other ways and still love life and am grateful for all that I have been given. Retirement has come after 47 years non stop full time work and I am blssed with a wonderful family.. T will not stop me enjoying all that.

Best wishes to you all for a peaceful and happy Christmas and a quiet and untroubled 2020.



Well after a month I believe my T was reduced, great I thought, so I went to my GP, explained about my T and how I not taken any statins.

He was ok about it and prescribed Rosuvastatin.

As of today I have been taking Rosuvastatin for about two weeks my T has been really bad now for the last week, does anyone think this latest spike would be down to the new statin after two weeks of taking them?

I'm seriously at the point of not taking these anymore.....


Just about every drug leaflet has the same ‘disclaimer’.

Been off my statins for a month and a half my T didn’t get any better but didn’t get any worse. Over the last six months it seem to be getting louder so I decided to stop my statins witch I believe started my T. Although I cannot be sure as I take four tablets in total anyway I went to my doctor for a blood test and everything was fine apart from my cholesterol witch was 14. Very bad it should be 2/3 or even 4/5 isn’t really that bad so I went back on my statins after three nights it’s seems have spiked booth ears are screaming. Really confused god knows we’re I go from here.

I am sorry to hear that you are suffering 'spikes', but we all get them don't we, and for many different reasons. What ever the many and various causes of our condition, we have good days, bad days, and some times they last longer than others. I am sorry that I may have a caused a statin related scare here. Take your Doctor's advice, as your cholesterol is of course a matter of concern and what ever 'winds us up' causes our T to spike.

If you can, relax, listen to some Beltone Tinnitis Calmer app sounds, like waves, white noise, rain etc through earphones and for me, it really helps, it is my 'go-to' salvation on bad days, it does seem to reduce the T after an hour or so of rest and listening to the breaking waves etc... Best wishes stay strong. Phil.

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