COVID-19 Drugs Side Effects: Hearing loss and Tinnitus

COVID-19 Drugs Side Effects: Hearing loss and Tinnitus

As we learn more and more about COVID-19, we are starting to realize the vast differences in reactions and symptoms in each person. The reported symptoms range from respiratory issues and loss of taste and smell to aches, coughs and hearing loss.

Researchers and scientists from all around the world are working tirelessly to come up with a vaccine or treatment to help reduce the effects of COVID-19 (coronavirus). And although there have been announcements of various treatments that could help, none of them have been backed by conclusive science and studies. 

However, back in April of 2020, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine for emergency use authorization to treat adults and adolescents with COVID-19. That emergency authorization was then revoked on June 15, 2020 after studies showed that the drug may be ineffective and cause harm to patients.

“Based on its ongoing analysis of the EUA and emerging scientific data, the FDA determined that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19 for the authorized uses in the EUA. Additionally, in light of ongoing serious cardiac adverse events and other potential serious side effects, the known and potential benefits of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for the authorized use.”

-FDA News Release, June 15, 2020

It is no longer recommended that physicians prescribe Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, however, physicians are still able to prescribe them if they deem them appropriate for their patients since they have already been FDA approved to treat other diseases.


Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine and your Hearing Health

Both historical and more recent studies have shown that Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine have been known to cause temporary and permanent sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus and imbalance known as ototoxicity or ear poisoning.

Although larger and more definitive studies about the dosage, the length or proposed treatments and other variables need to be considered and studied when related to treating COVID-19, it is prudent to know that these drugs have been known to be ototoxic in treatment in other diseases. 

Other proposed treatments may present potential ototoxic effects on your hearing health and include azithromycin and antiviral drugs such as remdesivir, favipiravir and lopinavir.

Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with questions you may have regarding a medical condition and the side effects of any proposed treatment. We hope you enjoyed this article on COVID-19 drugs side effects.

AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Revokes Emergency Use Authorization for Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

Letter Revoking EUA for chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine sulfate

COVID-19: Considerations for Treatments Using Quinine Derivatives and Other Ototoxic Compounds

Clinical Implications of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Ototoxicity for COVID-19 Treatment: A Mini-Review

Don’t forget ototoxicity during the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) pandemic!