Tinnitus Medications: Over-The-Counter Options

Tinnitus is a condition that is characterized by ringing, buzzing or hissing sounds in the ears. While there are several prescription medications available to treat tinnitus, there are also over the counter options that claim to provide relief. In this topic, we will discuss the different types of tinnitus medications that can be bought without a prescription and their effectiveness in managing the symptoms of tinnitus.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a medical condition that affects millions worldwide. It is characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in one or both ears. Tinnitus can be caused by various factors, including exposure to loud noise, certain medical conditions, and certain medications. The condition can be temporary or permanent, and it can range from mild to severe.

Tinnitus can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, causing anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are several ways to manage the symptoms effectively. Medications, including over-the-counter options, can aid in managing tinnitus symptoms.

Over-The-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are drugs that can be purchased without a prescription. These medications are generally considered safe when used as directed, but it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new medication.

A key takeaway from this text is that while there is no cure for tinnitus, there are various medications available to manage the symptoms effectively. Over-the-counter options such as antihistamines, zinc supplements, and ginkgo biloba can be used to reduce tinnitus symptoms, while prescription medications such as antidepressants, alprazolam, and lidocaine may also be considered in certain situations. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any new medication to manage tinnitus.


Antihistamines are a type of medication commonly used to treat allergies. However, they can also be used to manage tinnitus symptoms. Antihistamines work by blocking the histamine receptors in the body, which can reduce inflammation and swelling. This can help to alleviate tinnitus symptoms caused by allergies or other inflammatory conditions.

Zinc Supplements

Zinc is an essential mineral that is crucial for the immune system and overall health. Studies have shown that zinc supplements can help to reduce tinnitus symptoms, especially in people with low levels of zinc in their body. Zinc supplements can be purchased over-the-counter and are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and lozenges.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a herbal supplement that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and can improve circulation. Studies have shown that ginkgo biloba can help to reduce tinnitus symptoms in some people. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of this supplement in managing tinnitus.

Prescription Medications

Prescription medications are drugs that require a prescription from a healthcare provider. These medications are generally more potent than over-the-counter options and can cause more significant side effects. Only a healthcare provider can determine if prescription medications are suitable for an individual’s specific tinnitus symptoms.


Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to manage tinnitus symptoms, especially in people who also have depression or anxiety. These medications work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. This can help to reduce tinnitus symptoms, as well as improve mood and reduce anxiety.


Alprazolam is a type of medication called a benzodiazepine that is commonly used to manage anxiety disorders. It can also be used to manage tinnitus symptoms in some people. Alprazolam works by increasing the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.


Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that can be administered orally or intravenously to manage tinnitus symptoms. It works by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses, which can reduce the perception of tinnitus. Lidocaine is generally only used in a hospital or clinical setting and is not available over-the-counter.

FAQs for Tinnitus Medications Over the Counter

What are over the counter tinnitus medications?

Over the counter (OTC) tinnitus medications refer to drugs that you can purchase without a prescription from a doctor or a pharmacist. There are a few types of OTC tinnitus medications, including dietary supplements, vitamin and mineral supplements, and over the counter painkillers.

Do OTC tinnitus medications work?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the effectiveness of different OTC tinnitus medications will depend on individual circumstances. Some OTC medications could potentially reduce the symptoms of tinnitus by addressing the underlying causes, such as inflammation, circulation issues, or stress. However, many treatments may only provide temporary relief or no effect at all. As with any health concern, it is important to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before using any medications or supplements for tinnitus.

What are some common OTC tinnitus medications?

Some common OTC tinnitus medications include ginkgo biloba, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, aspirin, and ibuprofen. These supplements or painkillers may have some positive effects on tinnitus symptoms, but their effectiveness may vary. It’s essential to note that not every person with tinnitus will benefit from these medications, and some may even experience adverse effects.

Are there any potential side effects of OTC tinnitus medications?

Like all medications, OTC tinnitus medications may have different side effects. For instance, magnesium and zinc supplements could cause stomach upset or diarrhea, while aspirin and ibuprofen may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or have blood thinning effects. Moreover, some supplements could interact with prescription medications, rendering them less effective or even dangerous in some cases. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other drugs before considering OTC tinnitus medications.

How long should I take OTC tinnitus medications?

The duration of OTC tinnitus medications will depend on various factors, such as the type of medication, its effectiveness, and the severity of your symptoms. Some medication may only require a short-term basis, while others are more effective with longer-term use. However, it is important not to exceed the recommended dosage or duration of use, as this could lead to adverse effects. Furthermore, OTC tinnitus medications should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.