Does fluvoxamine cause tinnitus? (+5 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether fluvoxamine causes tinnitus. We will also discuss the factors influencing fluvoxamine induced-tinnitus and management tips for tinnitus if it occurs with fluvoxamine therapy. We will further discuss the additional side effects associated with the use of fluvoxamine.

Does fluvoxamine cause tinnitus? 

Yes, fluvoxamine may cause tinnitus. However, tinnitus is not a very common side effect of this medication and it does not occur in all the individuals who take this drug. If you notice the development of tinnitus while taking fluvoxamine, it’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider promptly.

Fluvoxamine is an antidepressant medication. It belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, that work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to elevate mood and reduce the symptoms of various mental disorders such as major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Fluvoxime is primarily prescribed to treat these mental disorders (1).

Tinnitus is an uncomfortable buzzing sound in the ear that may occur as a potential side effect of certain medications such as aspirin (6). It may also occur in some individuals with the use of certain antidepressants including fluvoxamine, mirtazapine, and sertraline.

How does fluvoxamine cause tinnitus?

The mechanism of fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus may involve the interference of fluvoxamine with serotonin modulation, impacting auditory transmission and potentially involving CNS-adaptive mechanisms.

Research suggests the imbalance between various neurotransmitters in the brain including serotonin, caused by several medications like fluvoxamine, is known to provoke tinnitus in individuals (8).

The indirect role of serotonin in tinnitus etiology is seen in various routine drugs including SSRIs, that show their potential link with increased tinnitus sensation.

How to know if you have fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus?

If you suspect fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus, consult your healthcare provider. They may assess your symptoms through a physical examination, to determine the nature and potential causes of your tinnitus.

Fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus may present as a ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in the ears. The perceived noise may be continuous or intermittent, and its intensity can vary. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor and inform them when the tinnitus started and how long it persists. If it coincides with the initiation or change in your fluvoxamine medication, it could be related.

Remember, self-diagnosis of fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus can be challenging, and it’s important to seek professional medical advice if you suspect any symptoms of tinnitus while taking fluvoxamine for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

What does research suggest?

Tinnitus is a rare side-effect of fluvoxamine. Therefore, limited research has been conducted on the direct relationship between tinnitus and fluvoxamine. However, some studies have reported cases where individuals may experience tinnitus while taking fluvoxamine.

The Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre has reported a notable incidence of tinnitus associated with the use of fluvoxamine. According to their data, approximately 13.3% of cases involving fluvoxamine use were linked to the development of tinnitus (9).

A research study has reported that individuals taking fluvoxamine to treat their depression experienced tinnitus and hearing defects that disappeared after stopping fluvoxamine, indicating that fluvoxamine may have been the cause of these symptoms (2).

It’s worth noting that there are some studies that demonstrate the efficacy of using SSRI antidepressants, such as fluvoxamine, in the treatment of tinnitus (4). However, there is no sufficient evidence of the mechanism of fluvoxamine in the management of tinnitus (3).

What other medications can lead to tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a potential side effect associated with the use of several medications that may include (7): 

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Erythromycin
  • Chloroquine
  • Ciprofloxacin 
  • Amitriptyline 
  • Furosemide
  • Cisplatin 

It is important to note that an individual’s response to medications may vary not everyone experiences tinnitus with these medications. Additionally, the intensity of tinnitus may also vary from one individual to another based on the specific drug causing tinnitus and the individual factors.

Who is more susceptible to fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus?

The susceptibility of individuals to tinnitus caused by Fluvoxamine can vary due to several factors that are specific to the patient.

  • People can have varying reactions to medications based on individual variations in physiology and genetics. Some individuals may be more prone to developing tinnitus as a side effect.


  • Individuals taking higher doses of fluvoxamine are more susceptible to tinnitus caused by fluvoxamine as compared to individuals taking low doses. Fluvoxamine is typically prescribed as the lowest effective dose to minimize the likelihood of adverse reactions including tinnitus.


  • Duration of treatment with fluvoxamine also plays an important role in the occurrence of side effects. Extended use of fluvoxamine may increase the likelihood of tinnitus.


  • If an individual is taking other medications that are ototoxic and have a higher risk of causing tinnitus such as aspirin, then taking fluvoxamine with such medications increases the risk of tinnitus. 


  • Individuals with a history of tinnitus and other hearing problems affecting the ear are more prone to experiencing tinnitus as a side effect of fluvoxamine.

It is important to understand that tinnitus is just one possible side effect of fluvoxamine, and it does not affect everyone. If you have any concerns about tinnitus or other side effects while taking fluvoxamine, it is vital to talk to your healthcare provider. They can assess your individual risk factors, discuss alternative options, and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

Can you take fluvoxamine when using a hearing device?

An individual using a hearing device for a pre-existing hearing issue should use fluvoxamine only under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare professional.

While fluvoxamine is generally indicated for mental health disorders, there is a need for caution, especially if the person already has hearing concerns. Individuals with certain health conditions, including hearing issues, may be more susceptible to certain side effects of fluvoxamine including changes in auditory perception or tinnitus.

It is important to openly discuss your concerns and all existing health conditions or medications you are taking, with your healthcare provider, to receive personalized therapy tailored to your health status and individual needs.

What should you do if fluvoxamine causes tinnitus?  

If you develop tinnitus after taking fluvoxamine, contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor may adjust your fluvoxamine dosage or recommend an alternative medication that does not cause tinnitus.

You should never stop taking fluvoxamine yourself without consulting your healthcare provider. If fluvoxamine is discontinued abruptly, it may lead to withdrawal effects. In a case where discontinuation of fluvoxamine is necessary, your healthcare provider will guide you through a gradual tapering process to minimize withdrawal symptoms and potential rebound effects.

Treating tinnitus can be challenging, but there are measures that can be taken to alleviate its symptoms. One such measure is using noise-canceling devices that can help to reduce the uncomfortable buzzing sounds in the ears, promoting relaxation. Additionally, engaging in tinnitus retraining therapy assists individuals in learning how to effectively cope with the symptoms associated with tinnitus.

What are the additional side effects of fluvoxamine?

Fluvoxamine is associated with various additional side effects that are more common with its use as compared to tinnitus, including (5):

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • weight changes
  • sleep disturbances
  • dry mouth
  • appetite changes
  • diarrhea
  • agitation
  • numbness
  • sexual disorders

Fluvoxamine generally causes mild to moderate side effects. However, the intensity and frequency of these side effects may vary from one individual to another based on their underlying health conditions and individual susceptibility. 


In conclusion, based on my knowledge and experience, individuals rarely report tinnitus associated with fluvoxamine, in clinical settings. However, there are some cases where patients receiving fluvoxamine therapy have reported experiencing tinnitus after using this medication.

Tinnitus is a rare side effect of fluvoxamine and it does not occur in all the individuals who take this drug. The occurrence of fluvoxamine-induced tinnitus may depend on the individual sensitivity and the underlying health conditions. If you experience tinnitus or any other side effect of fluvoxamine, consult with your healthcare provider immediately. 

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