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Gingko Benefits for Tinnitus?

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Dr. Kiefer reports no financial relationships relevant to this field of study.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

• For 12 weeks, 200 study participants with chronic tinnitus received either 120 mg of Ginkgo biloba (extract EGB761 ® ) or 600 mg pentoxifylline twice daily. There was no placebo group.

• Daily ratings for tinnitus loudness and annoyance were collected and analyzed.

• Both treatment groups similarly improved during the course of the study in a variety of parameters.

• In the ginkgo group, anxiety and depression scales statistically improved more than in the pentoxifylline group.

SOURCE: Procházková K, Šejna I, Skutil J, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 ® versus pentoxifylline in chronic tinnitus: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Int J Clin Pharm 2018;40:1335-1341.

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is a symptom that can be acute or chronic and have numerous etiologies. 1 It is notoriously difficult to treat, with some of the options including noise masking, pharmaceuticals (tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, pentoxifylline, steroids, etc.), acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Integrative modalities (including herbal medicine) step into the void of consistently effective therapies. One of the botanicals most evaluated for tinnitus is ginkgo ( Ginkgo biloba , Family Ginkgoaceae). Procházková et al pitted ginkgo vs. one pharmaceutical option, pentoxifylline, both of which are thought to increase cochlear and cerebral blood flow.

The researchers recruited people with chronic tinnitus from an ear, nose, and throat clinic in the Czech Republic. Inclusion criteria are detailed in Table 1. Exclusion criteria included tinnitus from pharmaceuticals, any current tinnitus treatment, and a variety of severe medical conditions.

Table 1: Inclusion Criteria
* At least 30 years of age •Tinnitus of at least three months’ duration •Tinnitus able to be masked by noise •A score of at least a 3 (out of 11) of noise...