Review  |   December 2011
Gabapentin for Tinnitus: A Systematic Review
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hashir Aazh
    Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, United Kingdom
  • Amr El Refaie
    University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Rachel Humphriss
    University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Correspondence to Hashir Aazh: hashir.aazh@nhs.net
  • Editor: Sheila Pratt
    Editor: Sheila Pratt×
  • Associate Editor: Dana Boatman
    Associate Editor: Dana Boatman×
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Review
Review   |   December 2011
Gabapentin for Tinnitus: A Systematic Review
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 151-158. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0041)
History: Received October 11, 2010 , Accepted July 1, 2011
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2011, Vol. 20, 151-158. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2011/10-0041)
History: Received October 11, 2010; Accepted July 1, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose: The main aim of this study was to assess the effect of gabapentin on tinnitus via a systematic review.

Method: An electronic search of literature as well as a hand search were conducted. Only double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that met all of the inclusion criteria were included in this review. The Cochrane Collaboration tool for risk of bias assessment was used to investigate the validity of the included studies. Meta-analysis was not appropriate due to inadequate details in reporting the data in the included studies. Hence, qualitative synthesis and interpretation of the data were carried out.

Results: Two studies that met the inclusion criteria were included in the review. Fourteen studies were excluded. There were substantive within-study clinical heterogeneities with regard to the baseline tinnitus handicap scores, duration of tinnitus, and severity of hearing loss in the included double-blind RCTs.

Conclusion: The authors of both studies reported that gabapentin was not superior to placebo in their primary outcomes. However, following the assessment of risk of bias and within-study clinical heterogeneities, this review concludes that there is insufficient evidence regarding the effect of gabapentin on tinnitus.

Acknowledgments
This study was part of the first author’s master of science (MSc) dissertation at the University of Bristol. We would like to thank Shahrzad Aazh, Helen Pryce, Pete Roberts, Deepak Prasher, and James Lockley for their support throughout the MSc program. We thank Jay F. Piccirillo for providing additional data concerning the Piccirillo et al. (2007)  RCT on the effect of gabapentin on tinnitus. Finally, we thank Brian C. J. Moore for his valuable comments on an earlier version of this article.
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