Gabapentin (Neurontin)

Here we look at the claims for Gabapentin (Neurontin).

Version: 2.1 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?

Gabapentin is taken in pill or capsule 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, although very few[3-6].

What does the research say?

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

One study showed treatment with gabapentin led to an increase in tinnitus[3]. A different study showed no differences on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory compared to placebo[4].

There is no evidence to show that anticonvulsants have an impact on tinnitus.

Side effects were experienced by 18% of patients in the trials reviewed[1].

Tinnitus UK


Studies seldom used appropriate outcome measures and had high risk of bias.

All online references accessed 1 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.

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. Bakhshaee M, Ghasemi M, Azarpazhooh M, Khadivi E, Rezaei S, Shakeri M, et al. Gabapentin effectiveness on the sensation of subjective idiopathic tinnitus: a pilot study. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology (2007) 265(5):525-30.

4. Witsell DL, Hannley MT, Stinnet S, Tucci DL. Treatment of tinnitus with gabapentin: a pilot study. Otology & Neurotology (2006);28:11-5.

5. Dehkordi, MA, Abolbashari, S, Taheri, R, Einolghozati, S. Efficacy of gabapentin on subjective idiopathic tinnitus: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ear Nose Throat Journal. (2011) 90:150-158.

6. Piccirillo JF, Finnell J, Vlahiotis A, Chole RA, Spitznagel E. Relief of idiopathic subjective tinnitus. Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery