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Clonazepam Quiets tinnitus: a randomised crossover study with Ginkgo Biloba
  1. Seon-Sook Han1,
  2. Eui-Cheol Nam2,3,
  3. Jun Yeon Won2,
  4. Kang Uk Lee4,
  5. Wanjoo Chun3,5,
  6. Hyun Kyung Choi6,
  7. Robert Aaron Levine7,8
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  2. 2Department of Otolaryngology, Kangwon National University, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  3. 3Institute of Medical Science, Kangwon National University, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  4. 4Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  5. 5Department of Pharmacology, Kangwon National University, School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  6. 6Department of Otolaryngology, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  7. 7Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. 8Departments of Otology and Laryngology and Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eui-Cheol Nam, Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, 1 Kangwondaehak-gil, Chuncheon, Kangwon-do 200-701, Republic of Korea; birdynec{at}kangwon.ac.kr

Abstract

Objective To assess the effect of Ginkgo biloba and clonazepam, a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-receptor agonist, upon tinnitus.

Methods This was an open-label, randomised, crossover study. 27 men and 11 women (aged 16–80 (mean 58)) with tinnitus for more than 2 months were enrolled. Participants were randomised to either clonazepam or G biloba for the first 3 weeks. For the next 2 weeks of washout no medication was taken. For the final 3 weeks, subjects were given the other drug. The initial dose of clonazepam and G biloba was one tablet daily (clonazepam 0.5 mg; G biloba 40 mg). Subjects were instructed to increase the dose by one tablet every 3 days to a maximum of four tablets daily until they perceived a satisfactory decrease in tinnitus loudness or intolerable side effects. Tinnitus was assessed with pitch and loudness matching, tinnitus handicap inventory, and visual analogue scales of loudness, duration and annoyance.

Results Comparing before and after each drug, clonazepam significantly improved tinnitus loudness (74% of subjects), duration (63%), annoyance (79%), and tinnitus handicap inventory score (61%), whereas the G biloba showed no significant differences on any of these measures.

Conclusion Clonazepam is effective in treating tinnitus; G biloba is ineffective.

  • Clonazepam
  • benzodiazepine
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • tinnitus
  • neurootology
  • stress
  • psychiatry
  • pharmacology
  • pain

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Footnotes

  • Funding This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2011-0006602).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the review board and the ethics committee of Kangwon National University Hospital, Korea.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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