Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Aspirin Shows Promise In Combating A Common, Antibiotic-induced Hearing Loss

Date:
April 27, 2006
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Around the world, inexpensive antibiotics known as aminoglycosides are commonly used but also are widely linked with irreversible hearing loss. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan's Kresge Hearing Research Institute and their Chinese colleagues have found that the hearing loss can be prevented in many people with the use of aspirin.

Around the world, inexpensive antibiotics known as aminoglycosides have been used for the past 60 years in the battles against acute infections and tuberculosis as antibacterial prophylaxis in cystic fibrosis patients and in other conditions. But for all of the good they do, the drugs also have been widely linked to irreversible hearing loss.

Now, researchers at the University of Michigan's Kresge Hearing Research Institute and their Chinese colleagues, working under the leadership of Jochen Schacht, Ph.D., and Su-Hua Sha, M.D., have found that the hearing loss can be prevented in many people with the use of another inexpensive, widely available medication: aspirin. The results appear in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers studied 195 patients in China who received 80 to 160 milligrams of gentamicin (a type of aminoglycoside) intravenously twice daily, typically for five to seven days. Of those, 89 patients were given aspirin along with the antibiotic, and 106 were given placebos along with the antibiotic. The results were dramatic: The incidence of hearing loss in the group that was given placebos was 13 percent, while in the aspirin group it was just 3 percent, or 75 percent lower.

"We would like to see the word get around to the medical community around the world that you can take some precautions to minimize the risk to your patients. Aspirin is available everywhere, and it's cheap," says senior author Schacht, professor of biological chemistry in otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Medical School and director of the U-M Health System's Kresge Hearing Research Institute. Gentamicin is not commonly used in the United States.

He notes that this research builds on earlier U-M studies that showed promise in combating drug-induced hearing loss in the laboratory. "Previously we found that such a treatment works well in mice, but I am very excited that this worked so well in humans," says Schacht. "Translating animal studies into clinical practice is not an easy thing to do. We were fortunate that our extrapolation from mice to men and women worked in the first trial."

The research is exciting, says lead author Sha, because hearing loss caused by these antibiotics is so prevalent. The incidence of aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss averages 8 percent but the numbers may be higher in developing countries, she notes, where aminoglycosides are frequently the only affordable antibiotics and are sold over the counter. No therapy currently exists to prevent ototoxicity.

This research began in 1999 with a collaboration with Chinese hospitals. Working with Schacht, Sha -- associate laboratory director of U-M's Kresge Hearing Research Institute's Biochemistry Laboratory -- got in touch with her colleagues in China. The two traveled to China and presented their ideas, and ultimately began a partnership with the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, China. The third author on the paper, Jian-Hua Qiu, M.D., represents the colleagues of the Fourth Military Medical University.

After receiving approvals from institutional review boards at U-M and the Fourth Military Medical University, the otolaryngology department in Xi'an conducted the prospective, randomized, double-blind trial at Xijing Hospital and Airforce Chengdu Hospital from 1999 to 2003. All of the participants were ages 18 to 65, and were inpatients who were scheduled for treatment with gentamicin. Hearing damage, or ototoxicity, was defined as a shift from a person's baseline hearing by at least 15 decibels at both the 6 and 8 kHz frequencies, which are the first affected by the drugs. The effectiveness of the gentamicin as an antibiotic did not lessen when it was paired with aspirin.

Schacht notes that even though gentamicin has been linked widely with hearing loss, and its use has been declining in industrial countries, it is not practical to think that it will be replaced in the near future by other antibiotics because it has specific applications and is so inexpensive and available, especially in poor countries. While aspirin shows promise, and he hopes that health care providers pair it with gentamicin, he also notes it is not yet the perfect solution because of the potential side effects of aspirin, including gastric bleeding. And he notes that this is an off-label use of aspirin, which may inhibit some practitioners from giving it to patients in such instances.

He hopes that further studies will lead to the development of new and safer antibiotics, or another drug that can be paired with gentamicin that has fewer side effects than aspirin. He and Sha are exploring partnerships with other countries to conduct future research.

Funding for the research came from George and Christine Strumbos and the Kent and Carol Landsberg Foundation.

Citation: New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354, Issue 17: April 27, 2006.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Aspirin Shows Promise In Combating A Common, Antibiotic-induced Hearing Loss." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060427094359.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2006, April 27). Aspirin Shows Promise In Combating A Common, Antibiotic-induced Hearing Loss. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060427094359.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Aspirin Shows Promise In Combating A Common, Antibiotic-induced Hearing Loss." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060427094359.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins