Fibromyalgia Action UK

Ototoxic drugs

Hi everybody,

Having had fibromyalgia for 30 years ( maybe all of my life ). 4 years ago started hearing

unbearable loud phantom noise, I already have tinnitus.

I have discovered that is almost certainly down to ototoxic drugs.Drugs that cause ear


Iam in too much pain today to explain further.

Google otoxic drugs, it's all there.

I stopped taking one of the drugs2 nights ago. No noise that night, no sleep either!

Reading all the gumph now but to be honest am finding myself between a brick and

a hard place. So much more to tell, could write a book, maybe I will one day.

One thing I will say ( I ran a helpline for 3 years ) think back over your life, you may

see that this dreadful unpredictable condition was waiting in the wings.

Sending healing thoughts to you all.

7 Replies

I think it's a case of you have to try anything that may help, I, like many, am in constant pain and if something at least takes that raw edge away then we must go with it. Some of us do have tinnitus, mine is screeching whistle I always have to use background noise to mask it a little, I had this years before medication. I hope you find relief soon. Lou xx


Hi lou60,

The tinnitus you have I have had for more years than I care to remember,

This is " phantom noise ". Louder than you can imagine. Sounds like massive machinery,tractors,

drilling, heavy thumping, sounds as though that is on the roof. The walls vibrate. It started when water company tunneled a couple of roads down. I heard that and have never stopped hearing it. 4 years this has gone on. Enviromental health couldnt find the reason. I had an MRI and apart from scarring nothing. I was given hearing aids for minor hearing loss, they make the noise louder.

Masking doesnt help at all, I am so used to " my tinnitus ",I can shut it out. I read about ototoxic

drugs and 2 nights ago I cold turkeyed from amitryptoline. 1st night no noise, no sleep either

and pain levels through the roof. last night noise was back. It's noisy now. Maybe it will take a while to go, if at all.

Apart from fibro and the 75ish symptoms that go with it, under active thyroid, scoliosis,

O/A, spina bifida oculta. and more, all of which I have managed. This noise is winning!

I also had tinnitus years before taking meds. Believe me I have tried everything.

Shirl xx


I do hope you find relief from this very soon. Lou xxx


Hi Wudge, I had this when I was on Tramadol. Just typed long message to you, then computer ate it! Would like to come back to talk more with you on this tomorrow, I'm trying to get Son to finish his homework, make Hubby's sandwiches for work, and my tinnitus is trying to make me pay attention to it too much! Gentle hugs, Julie xxxx


Juli63, Have left a message but cant see it here.

Must be the gremlins!

Sleep well, Shirl xxc


Hi Wudge

I have been aware of this issue for quite a few years, but sadly the majority of the medications involved could be classed as life saving? As they include many cancer and heart drugs? Ototoxicity came to the forefront of clinical attention with the discovery of streptomycin in 1944. Streptomycin was used successfully in the treatment of tuberculosis; however, a substantial number of treated patients were found to develop irreversible cochlear and vestibular dysfunction.

There is a clear argument however, for checking what medications we are taking and avoiding them if they are deemed unnecessary? Aspirin is among these drugs, but it only has a limited span of Ototoxicity, and could be avoided if you are taking it for pain only, but not as a blood thinner if you have a heart complaint?

I want to wish you all the best of luck with your research on this subject.

All my hopes and dreams for you



Thanks for your reply. I haven't been on here for a while. I stopped the amitriptyline and hadn't realised how much they help the pain and sleep. So not in a good place right now. My phantom noise is " different". 1st night silent , on and off now .

Must be patient early days! Being housebound doesn't help as I can't escape. Heard a good saying yesterday " if your going through hell, keep going". I guess a lot of folk out there can relate to that!

I spend most of the night researching on my iPad.

Healing thoughts.



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