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B-ENT. 2011;7(2):127-30.

Clarithromycin induced reversible sensorineural hearing loss.

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ENT Department of General Hospital of Nikea, Piraeus, Greece.



We present a rare case of reversible sensorineural hearing loss caused by clarithromycin.


We present a case report of hearing loss following clarithromycin administration; we also review the current literature and case reports concerning macrolides and, in particular, clarithromycin induced hearing loss.


A young pregnant woman presented with sensorineural hearing loss after clarithromycin intake. The subject's hearing returned to normal limits after drug discontinuation and short-term treatment with low dose steroids.


Newer macrolides are considered to be safer regarding ototoxic effects, and a few cases have been previously described. The present case adds to the body of knowledge concerning clarithromycin ototoxicity. Clinicians should be aware of this rare complication and a thorough otologic history should be established prior to macrolide administration. A baseline audiogram and close observation for patients at higher risk is suggested to identify patients with prior hearing loss and serve as baseline for future reference.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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