Purpose: The study examined medication use by individuals with tinnitus who were seeking help for their tinnitus by means of a psychological intervention.
Method: The study used a cross-sectional survey design and included individuals with tinnitus enrolled in an Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) trial (n = 439). Study participants provided demographic details, completed various structured questionnaires as well as provided details about the medications used. The self-reported medications were classified using the USP Medicare Model Guidelines v7.0.
Results: Current medication use was reported by 67% (n = 293) of the study participants. Those currently using medication were older, had consulted their primary care physician, had greater tinnitus severity, depression, anxiety, and insomnia when compared with those not reporting any current medication use. The top 10 medication used included: cardiovascular agents (n = 162; 55.3%), antidepressants (n = 80; 27.3%), electrolytes/minerals/metals/vitamins (n = 70; 23.9%), respiratory tract/pulmonary agents (n = 62; 21.2%), anxiolytics (n = 59; 20.1%), hormonal agents/stimulant/replacement/modifying (thyroid) (n = 45; 15.4%), gastrointestinal agents (n = 43; 14.7%), analgesics (n = 33; 11.3%), blood glucose regulators (n = 32; 10.9%), and anticonvulsants (n = 26; 8.87%). Some associations between type of medication used and demographic/ tinnitus-related variables were noted especially for the cardiovascular agents, electrolytes/minerals/metals/vitamins, and anxiolytics.
Conclusions: This exploratory study indicated a large percentage of patients using medication and a range of medications. Further studies are required to assess the effects of such medications on the tinnitus percept and if concurrent medication moderate treatment effects.