Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Here we look at the claims for Carbamazepine (Tegretol).

Version: 1.0 Last updated: April 2023 To be reviewed: November 2025

Treatment details

Illustration of bottle of pills.





Some potential for harm



Evidence that it is not effective



Claims for treatment

That anticonvulsants potentially reduce central auditory hyperactivity that may be related to tinnitus[1].

What is the treatment?

Carbamazepine is taken in tablet, liquid or suppository form.

What are the downsides of this treatment?

Common side effects from clinical trials included nausea, dizziness, headache, tiredness[2].

Has there been research into this treatment?

Yes, but very limited[3] [4] [5].

What does the research say?

Carbamazepine is not more effective than placebo in decreasing tinnitus severity[5].

There is no evidence to show that anticonvulsants have a large positive effect in the treatment of tinnitus[2].

Use of these drugs for epilepsy may result in tinnitus and other auditory dysfunctions[6].

There is no evidence to show that carbamazepine has an impact on tinnitus.

Use of anticonvulsants for epilepsy may result in tinnitus and other auditory dysfunctions[6].

Tinnitus UK

All online references accessed 9 November 2022 unless noted.

1. Tunkel DE, Bauer CA, Sun GH, et al. Clinical Practice Guideline: Tinnitus. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. (2014) 151(2_suppl): S1-S40. doi:10.1177/0194599814545325

2. Hoekstra CEL, Rynja SP, van Zanten GA, Rovers MM. Anticonvulsants for tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2011) Issue 7. Art. No.:
CD007960. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.

3. Donaldson I. Tegretol: a double blind trial in tinnitus. Journal of Laryngology and Otology. (1981) 95: 947-951

4. Hulshof JH, Vermeij P. The value of carbamazepine in the treatment of tinnitus. ORL: Journal of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and Its Related Specialties
(1985) 47:262-6

5. Gerami H, Saberi A, Nemati S, Kazemnejad E, Aghajanpour M. Effects of oxcarbazepine versus carbamazepine on tinnitus: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Iranian Journal of Neurology. (2012) 11(3):106–110.

6. Hamed SA. The auditory and vestibular toxicities induced by antiepileptic drugs, Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, (2017) 16:11, 1281-1294, DOI: