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The use of benzodiazepines for tinnitus: systematic review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2015

N E Jufas*
Kolling Deafness Research Centre, University of Sydney and Macquarie University, NSW, Australia Discipline of Surgery, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
R Wood
Sydney Local Health District, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
Address for correspondence: Dr Nicholas Jufas, Kolling Deafness Research Centre, Kolling Building, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia E-mail:
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To investigate the effectiveness of benzodiazepine use for subjective tinnitus and to consider this in the context of the concomitant side effects.


A systematic search of several databases using the terms ‘tinnitus’ and ‘benzodiazepines’ was conducted to find clinical trials of benzodiazepines and comparators in tinnitus patients. These studies were then assessed for risk of bias.


Six clinical trials were included. Clonazepam was found to be effective in three studies, but these studies had limitations regarding adequate blinding. The effectiveness of alprazolam was equivocal. Diazepam was not effective in two studies and oxazepam was effective in one study.


Benzodiazepine use for subjective tinnitus does not have a robust evidence base. Clonazepam has the most evidence to support its use and is relatively less likely to lead to abuse because of its longer half-life, but caution is still needed given the other serious side effects.

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Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2015 

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