What is Ototoxicity?
Certain medications can damage the ear, resulting in hearing loss, ringing in ear, or balance disorders. These drugs are considered Ototoxic.
Factors affecting Ototoxicity include:
- Co-administration with other drugs having ototoxic potential
- Duration of therapy
- Concurrent renal failure
- Infusion rate
- Lifetime dose
- Genetic susceptibility
Some Drugs that Cause Ototoxicity include:
- Chemotherapeutic drugs
- Platinum containing drugs eg. Cisplatin
- Ethacrynic acid
- Malaria medicine
- Ototoxic antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Elderly and people with pre-existing hearing loss should not be treated with ototoxic drugs if other effective drugs are available.
- The lowest effective dosage of ototoxic drug should be used and levels should be closely monitored.
- The risk of ototoxicity increases with the use of multiple drugs with ototoxic potential.
- If possible before treatment with an ototoxic drug, hearing should be tested and then monitored during treatment.
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