“When you see a patient with hearing loss, ask them if they’ve used a PDE-5 inhibitor and what the temporal relationship is between the last dose and onset of hearing loss,” said Dr. Chandrasekhar. For patients who are taking PDE-5 inhibitors, and particularly those who do not recover their hearing, she counsels avoiding the use of these drugs.
Explore This IssueJune 2014
Dr. Saunders emphasized that he always asks patients about their use of PDE-5 inhibitors if they come in with sudden hearing loss, or with hearing loss that exceeds expectations for the age of the patient and exposure to noise. “I apprise them of the risks of these medications and tell them that the response seems to be individualized, with some people being more susceptible to the effects than others, possibly due to the external stressors such as noise,” he said.
Mary Beth Nierengarten is a freelance medical writer based in Minnesota.