American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

The Cochrane Collaboration
Antidepressants for Patients with Tinnitus

Baldo, P., Doree, C., et al. (2006).
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials investing the use of antidepressant therapeutic drugs to treat the symptoms of tinnitus.

Question(s) Addressed:

In individuals experiencing tinnitus:

  1. Is antidepressant pharmaceutical therapy effective at improving tinnitus severity and disability?
  2. Is antidepressant pharmaceutical therapy effective at improving tinnitus perception, loudness, or intensity?
  3. Is antidepressant pharmaceutical therapy effective at improving or changing depressive symptoms?
  4. Is antidepressant pharmaceutical therapy effective at improving or changing global well-being?

Population: “Patients diagnosed with tinnitus in whom underlying pathologic conditions such as Ménière’s disease, vestibular schwannomas, cervical spine lesions, or otosclerosis have been excluded or not detected” (p. 6).

Intervention/Assessment: Antidepressant therapy including: tricyclic antidepressant agents and SSRI antidepressant agents.

Number of Studies Included: 5

Years Included: Through March 2006

Findings:

Conclusions:

  • There is no evidence that tricyclic antidepressants are effective or ineffective in the management of tinnitus.
  • A solitary well conducted trial or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor showed no benefit for most outcome measures.

Keywords: Tinnitus

Access the Review

Added to Compendium: December 2011

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