Tinnitus and alprazolam (Xanax, Xanax XR)

Name of treatment

Alprazolam ( also known as Alprax, Niravam, Tranax, Xanax, Xanax XR, Xycalm)

Type of treatment

Pharmaceutical. Alprazolam is a member of the benzodiazepine family of anti-anxiety and sedatives.

Claims for treatment

Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept. 

How treatment is delivered

Tablet taken orally

Potential negative consequences

Drowsiness/sedation, fatigue and tiredness, impaired coordination, memory impairment, and irritability.

Alprazolam can be habit-forming – this can lead to addiction, overdose or death.

The sedative effects of alprazolam may last longer in older adults and accidental falls are common in older patients who take this drug.[1]

Evidence offered:

Papers available

10

Conclusions drawn

The effectiveness of alprazolam was judged equivocal in one systematic review [2], and unknown in another.[3]

Quality of evidence[4]

A

Does the BTA recommend this treatment?

No.

BTA opinion on this treatment:

We do not recommend alprazolam as a treatment for tinnitus.

 

Anti-anxiety medication may be useful to reduce anxiety associated with tinnitus. There are, however, low evidence levels for the administration of such medication for reducing tinnitus distress.

 

We suggest talking to your doctor about the potential effects and side effects.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, provided study is of high quality and fully independent

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?

   Evidence of harm

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

   No evidence that it is effective

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Tinnitus and  Alprazolam

We welcome feedback on all our information. Please send any corrections or updates for consideration to Nic Wray, Communications Manager on [email protected]

[1] Drugs.com Alprazolam Side Effects [updated 12 January 2019]. drugs.com/sfx/alprazolam-side-effects.html. [accessed 2 January 2020]

[2] Jufas NE, Wood R. The use of benzodiazepines for tinnitus: systematic review. Journal of Otolaryngology & Otology, 2015. 129:S3. DOI: 10.1017/S0022215115000808

[3] Savage J, Waddell A. Tinnitus. BMJ Clinical Evidence, 2014. 2014: 0506.

[4] 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

Updated 2 January 2020