J Audiol Otol.  2016 Sep;20(2):90-96. 10.7874/jao.2016.20.2.90.

Effect of Tianeptine on Depressed Tinnitus Patients

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. logopas@korea.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong, Korea.


Tianeptine is a tricyclic antidepressant that has a novel pharmacological property: it increases the reuptake of 5-hydroxytryptamine. Recent studies have reported that the prevalence of depression is greater in patients with tinnitus than in control subjects who do not have tinnitus. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of tianeptine for the relief of tinnitus, especially in patients with depressive mood.
Among a total of 52 tinnitus patients, 15 had depressive mood. The depressed tinnitus patients were prescribed Stablon® 12.5 mg once daily for 1 month without any other drug. We assessed the severity of tinnitus, level of depression, and the quality of sleep in these patients by using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Hearing impairment and severity of tinnitus were measured with pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, and tinnitograms. These evaluations were conducted before and after medication treatment.
For the 15 depressed tinnitus patients, THI scores significantly correlated with BDI and PSQI scores prior to medication treatment. These results showed that the discomfort of tinnitus was closely related to depression and sleep disorder. After medication treatment, THI and BDI scores significantly decreased, indicating that tinnitus and depression improved. However, no significant alteration in PSQI score was observed, indicating that there was no improvement in sleep quality.
In the treatment of depressed tinnitus patients, tianeptine might be an efficient drug to treat both tinnitus and depression. However, tianeptine is unlikely to improve the quality of sleep in these patients.


Tianeptine; Tinnitus; Depression; Sleep disorder
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