Background: The ability of drugs to reduce noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) has been evaluated in diverse experimental conditions (animal species, noise intensities, durations, assessment techniques, etc), making it difficult to assess their relative efficacy. The present study was designed to provide more uniform comparisons and to allow to a better understanding of the mechanism of the NIHL. Methods: The drugs studied included furosemide (loop diuretic) and the antioxidants N Acetyl-L-Cysteine, vitamins A, C, E with the vasodilator magnesium. Mice were exposed to a continuous broadband noise (113 dB SPL for 3.5 hours) and the NIHL was assessed in all animals before noise exposure and 1 week after with auditory nerve brainstem evoked responses (ABR) to broadband clicks and to 8 kHz tone bursts. Results: Each of the drugs alone and in combination led to similar reductions in NIHL. Conclusions: The loop diuretic furosemide, by reducing the magnitude of the endocochlear potential in scala media, probably depressed active vibrations of the outer hair cells and basilar membrane, resulting in reduction of free radical formation during the noise exposure. The antioxidants N Acetyl-L-Cysteine and vitamins A, C, E with the vasodilator magnesium presumably counteract the free radicals. Thus, the administration of the antioxidants to animals in which free radical formation had already been reduced by previous injection of furosemide did not have an additional protective effect on the NIHL.