Name of treatment


Type of treatment


Claims for treatment

Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept. 

How treatment is delivered

Oral administration

Potential negative consequences

Common side effects from clinical trials included: nausea, dizziness, headache, tiredness1.

Evidence offered:

Papers available

7 (as in the Cochrane review[1])

Conclusions drawn

There is no evidence to show that anticonvulsants have a large positive effect in the treatment of tinnitus1. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine are not more effective than placebo in decreasing tinnitus severity.[2]

Quality of evidence[3]


Does the BTA recommend this treatment?


BTA opinion on this treatment:

There is no evidence to show that anticonvulsants have an impact on tinnitus. Side effects were experienced by 18% of patients in the trials reviewed.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, if a high-quality study

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?


Limited potential for harm

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?


Evidence that it is not effective

[1] Hoekstra  CEL, Rynja  SP, van Zanten  GA, Rovers  MM. Anticonvulsants for tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD007960. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007960.pub2.

[2] Gerami H, Saberi A, Nemati S, Kazemnejad E, Aghajanpour M. Effects of oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine on tinnitus: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Iran J Neurol. 2012;11(3):106–110.

[3] 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

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Published 15 April 2019