Tinnitus and Acouphenol

Name of treatment

Acouphenol

Type of treatment

Dietary supplement

Claims for treatment

Improves blood pressure and reprograms cells in the ear so they no longer send a tinnitus signal. Reduces anxiety.

How treatment is delivered

Orally. The supplement is a combination of:

Griffonia simplicifolia

Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh)

Ginkgo biloba

Magnesium

Melatonin[1]

Potential negative consequences

Side effects[2] [3] [4] [5]

Cost

Evidence offered:

 

Papers available

There have been no papers published on Acouphenol as a supplement, but there have been >50 published on its component parts.

Conclusions drawn

There have been no studies on the use of griffonia for tinnitus. Animal studies suggest that it may reduce anxiety, which is a common symptom in people with tinnitus [6].

Black cohosh is most commonly used for menopausal symptoms, which may include tinnitus. However, the data does not show that it is effective.[7]

The limited evidence does not demonstrate that Ginkgo biloba is effective for tinnitus when this is the primary complaint.[8]

Serum magnesium levels are lower in people with tinnitus than general population[9] and a small open label study showed positive results.[10]

Because of biases in the evidence base, it cannot be said whether melatonin is effective for tinnitus or not. Melatonin seems to improve sleep disturbance linked to tinnitus.[11]

Quality of evidence[12]

A – D

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No

BTA opinion on this treatment:

Although independent evidence is limited, what there is does not show that the components of this supplement are effective for tinnitus. The potential side effects may cause serious harm. We would suggest you talk to your GP before taking any new medication or supplement.

“Dietary supplements should not be recommended to treat tinnitus.”[13]

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

No

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?

   Evidence of harm

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

 

 Evidence that it has no effect

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Tinnitus and Acouphenol

[1] https://www.acouphenol.fr [accessed 13 November 2019]

[2] https://www.drugs.com/cdi/ginkgo-biloba.html;

[3] https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/melatonin.html

[4] Wobser RW, Takov V. Black Cohosh. StatPearls [internet] Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470187/ [accessed 13 November 2019]

[5] https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-794/5-htp

[6] Carnevale G, Di Viesti V, Zavatti M, Zanoli P. Anxiolytic-like effect of Griffonia simplicifolia Baill. Seed extract in rats. Phytomedicine, 2011. 18(10). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2011.01.016

[7] National Institutes of Health Ofiice of Dietary Supplements. Black Cohosh Fact Sheet for Professionals [online]. Available from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/ [accessed 13 November 2019]

[8] Hilton MP, Zimmermann EF, Hunt WT. Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD003852. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003852.pub3.

[9] Uluyol S, Kılıçaslan S, Yağız Ö. Relationship between serum magnesium levels and subjective tinnitus. Kulak Burun Bogaz Ihtis Derg, 2016: 26(4), 225-7

[10] Patel, A. Phase Two Study Examining Magnesium Dependent Tinnitus, 2012. Thesis, The University of Arizona. http://hdl.handle.net/10150/221385 (accessed 17 July 2017)

[11] Miroddi M, Bruno R, Galletti F, Calapai F, Navarra M, Gangemi S, Calapai G. Clinical pharmacology of melatonin in the treatment of tinnitus: a review. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Mar;71(3):263-70. doi: 10.1007/s00228-015-1805-3. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

[12] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

[13] Coelho C, Tyler R, Ji H, Rojas-Roncancio E, Witt S, Tao P, Jun HJ, Wang TC, Hansen MR, Gantz BJ. Survey on the Effectiveness of Dietary Supplements to Treat Tinnitus. American Journal of Audiology, 2016: 25(3): 184-205

Updated 3 January 2020

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