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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Adjuvant Migraine Medications in the Treatment of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

  • Author(s): Abouzari, Mehdi
  • Goshtasbi, Khodayar
  • Chua, Janice T
  • Tan, Donald
  • Sarna, Brooke
  • Saber, Tina
  • Lin, Harrison W
  • Djalilian, Hamid R
  • et al.

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:To examine the hearing outcomes of patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) treated with oral and intratympanic (IT) steroid only or a combination of steroid and migraine treatment. Our hypothesis was that adjuvant migraine medications may improve outcomes in SSNHL. METHODS:A retrospective chart review at a tertiary otology center was conducted to identify patients with SSNHL who received oral steroid and IT dexamethasone injection(s) with or without migraine medications (a combination of nortriptyline and topiramate). RESULTS:A total of 47 patients received oral steroid and IT dexamethasone injection(s) only, and 46 patients received oral steroid and IT dexamethasone injection(s) as well as migraine lifestyle changes plus a combination of nortriptyline and topiramate. There were no significant differences in demographics and baseline audiometric data between the two groups. Both groups demonstrated improvements in pure tone average (PTA) and hearing thresholds at 250 Hz and 8000 Hz posttreatment. However, compared to steroid-only group, the adjuvant migraine medications group had significantly greater improvements in hearing thresholds at the lower frequencies (250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1000 Hz). Patients in the latter cohort also had greater improvement in PTA (P = .01) and received fewer IT injections (P = .04) PTA improvement of ≥ 10 dB was observed in 36 patients (78%) in the adjuvant migraine medications group and 22 patients (46%) in the control group (P < .001). CONCLUSION:In multimodal treatment of SSNHL, supplementing oral and IT steroid with migraine medications may result in greater improvements in lower frequency hearing thresholds and PTA. Furthermore, adjuvant migraine treatment can lead to decrease in number of IT injections, thus reducing procedure-related risks and complications. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:3 Laryngoscope, 2020.

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