HealthDay News — Patients with tinnitus may find some immediate relief with nasally-administered oxytocin, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, held from September 18 to 21 in San Diego.

Andréia Azevedo, MD, of the department of otolaryngology at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues randomly assigned 17 patients with tinnitus, average age 63, to puffs of oxytocin or a placebo in each nostril. The study volunteers were asked to assess their symptoms 30 minutes after treatment, and then again 24 hours later. 

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Azevedo’s team found that patients who received oxytocin reported a significant reduction in tinnitus, compared with those who received the placebo. Although oxytocin appeared safe, its long-term effects aren’t known, Azevedo told HealthDay. The research team is conducting additional studies to see if increasing doses of oxytocin can improve and lengthen the response.

“Oxytocin has an immediate positive effect on tinnitus sensation when compared with placebo,” the authors write. “Further studies are needed to evaluate its potential therapeutic role.”

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