Here we look at the claims for Amitriptyline.

Version: 2.1 Last updated: April 2023 To be reviewed: October 2025

Treatment details

Illustration of bottle of pills.





Some potential for harm



No or limited evidence that it is effective


Speak to your GP

The makers claim

That amitriptyline reduces or eliminates the perception of tinnitus.

What is the treatment?

Amitriptyline is given in pill form. Little data is available on a recommended dosage.

What are the downsides of this treatment?

Common side effects from clinical trials included: sedation, sexual dysfunction and dry mouth[1].

Has there been research into this treatment?

Very few papers have been published, with little new work in the last decade.

What does the research say?

In one small study, the severity of tinnitus decreased in the amitriptyline group by means of subjective and audiometric methods. The success of treatment was 95%[2].

However, a systematic review concluded that the studies reviewed were not of good enough quality nor long enough duration to be reliable[1].

It is unclear It is yet unclear if the potential benefits of antidepressants stem from reducing tinnitus distress or depression; well designed, long studies are necessary[1].

Antidepressants may be given to reduce depression and anxiety in tinnitus. There are, however, low evidence levels for the prescribing of antidepressants for reducing tinnitus distress.

We suggest talking to your doctor about the potential benefits and side effects of antidepressants.

Tinnitus UK


Studies seldom used appropriate outcome measures; studies had high drop-out rates; studies did not differentiate the effects of antidepressants on tinnitus distress and anxiety/depression.

All online references accessed 18 October 2022 unless noted.

1. Baldo P, Doree C, Molin P, McFerran D, Cecco S. Antidepressants for patients with tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2012), Issue 9. Art. No.: CD003853. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003853.pub3.

2. Bayar N, Boke B, Turan E, Belgin E. Efficacy of amitriptyline in the treatment of subjective tinnitus. Journal of Otolaryngology (2001);30(5):300-3.