Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of tinnitus: a systematic review
Alexander von Boetticher
Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Lueneburg, Germany
Abstract: Tinnitus is a symptom frequently encountered by ear, nose, and throat practitioners. A causal treatment is rarely possible, and drug and nondrug treatment options are limited. One of the frequently prescribed treatments is Ginkgo biloba extract. Therefore, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of Ginkgo biloba extract preparations were searched for and reviewed systematically. There is evidence of efficacy for the standardized extract, EGb 761® (Dr Willmar Schwabe GmbH & Co KG Pharmaceuticals, Karlsruhe, Germany), in the treatment of tinnitus from three trials in patients in whom tinnitus was the primary complaint. Supportive evidence comes from a further five trials in patients with age-associated cognitive impairment or dementia in whom tinnitus was present as a concomitant symptom. As yet, the efficacy of other ginkgo preparations has not been proven, which does not necessarily indicate ineffectiveness, but may be due to flawed clinical trials. In conclusion, EGb 761®, a standardized Ginkgo biloba extract, is an evidence-based treatment option in tinnitus.
Keywords: tinnitus, Ginkgo biloba, EGb 761®, systematic review
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