UNLABELLED Some pharmaceutical products are capable of damaging the human auditory system. Technological progress has provided numerous resources to monitor hearing but there still is some controversy regarding the selection of the most sensitive and specific tests. OBJECTIVE to analyze audiological procedures used in the auditory monitoring of individuals exposed to ototoxic medication. METHODS we searched the MEDLINE and LILACS literature databases, using terms pertinent to audiological monitoring, ototoxicity and cancer. The pertaining literature analysis identified two procedures often used worldwide for the early detection of auditory lesions induced by ototoxic pharmaceutical drugs: high-frequency audiometry and evoked otoacoustic emissions. Both allow early identification of hearing disorders before changes are seen in conventional pure-tone audiometry and, consequently, before speech understanding is compromised. CONCLUSION we suggest a hearing monitoring protocol, considering the patients capability to respond to behavioral tests and monitoring timing (first test/follow up). For cancer patients, hearing monitoring should be performed in the patients treatment venue.