OBJECTIVE Tetramethylpyrazine has been suggested to have a therapeutic effect on impaired hearing that is induced by aminoglycoside antibiotics. However, its effectiveness on streptomycin ototoxicity and its cellular mechanisms are relatively unknown. Here we investigate the protective effect of tetramethylpyrazine on streptomycin-induced ototoxicity in guinea pig cochlea. STUDY DESIGN Prospective randomized laboratory study. SETTING Hearing Research Laboratory of China Medical University. SUBJECTS AND METHODS Adult guinea pigs were randomized to 4 groups. Hearing sensitivity of guinea pigs was tested by auditory brainstem response measurements before streptomycin exposure and again 10 days later. The cochlear tissues were prepared for electron microscopy and immunohistochemical staining of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). The effect of tetramethylpyrazine on streptomycin-induced activation of caspase-3 was evaluated by Western blotting. RESULTS Co-therapy with tetramethylpyrazine reduced a profound streptomycin-induced auditory threshold shift compared with streptomycin treatment alone (P = .0002 or P = .00008). Tetramethylpyrazine also attenuated the structural disruption in streptomycin-treated outer hair cells and marginal cells of vascular stria by transmission electronic microscopy and scanning electronic microscopy, respectively. Moreover, tetramethylpyrazine decreased the streptomycin-stimulated expressions of HSP70 and caspase-3. The correlation analysis demonstrated that HSP70 expression had a positive correlation with auditory brainstem response thresholds (|R| = 0.6-0.9, P = .0073 or P = .0169). CONCLUSIONS Our data suggest that the protective effect of tetramethylpyrazine on hearing function is associated with the reduction of stress response and inhibition of apoptosis. Tetramethylpyrazine may have therapeutic potential for patients with ototoxicity diseases.