Tinnitus from Clonazepam withdrawal

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by rubyslippers, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    I was put on 1.0 mg Clonazepam taken nightly 13 years ago for anxiety and panic attacks. Years later I got to the right doctor and found thyroid disease and multiple hormone and vitamin/mineral deficiencies were the real cause of the anxiety. The panic attacks and anxiety went away after maybe 18 months of a proper hormone regimen, but my old and now my new doctor did not want me to withdraw from the C due to believing I was just not well enough to deal with it. In early July of this year I got the wrong form of a new thyroid medication which was sustained release and it caused insomnia. It went on for 3 weeks and due to my lack of concentration, I forgot to load my C in my pill towers for a whole week. The insomnia got worse but I thought it was the thyroid med. Luckily I discovered the C was missing and called an RN who works for me and she was also taking it but for leg seizures. She told me to immediately take at least some small amount so I took .25mg. She said to take more as needed if I had bad symptoms and call my doctor in the morning. I was OK on the .25mg for a couple of weeks, but had a slide into depression, anxiety, insomnia, vertigo and a couple of episodes of small seizures. I got too uncomfortable and raised my dose to .375 mg of C. It helped. A few weeks later the tinnitus started. Mine is a high-pitched hissing sound, or hissing electric sound. I've had it before from taking Ibuprofen too long, and I think from other medications, but it always lasted only a couple of days and was at a lower volume. This time it lasted for 2-3 days at a time at a louder volume and then 2-3 days at a very low volume or not at all. I was exhausted when it was loud, and got rest and felt fine when it went away. I did a very tiny increase of my C to .4375mg to see if it would help but it hasn't. About 8 days ago the tinnitus started up again and was loud and has not stopped. It is sometimes at a bit lower volume but still noticeable. Tonight, it suddenly quit completely for about 10 minutes, I felt such relief, and it started up again. It's torture. Last "night" I didn't get to sleep until nearly 6am and slept until 2:00 pm. It was there again when I woke and has been non stop all day. I know I have been very busy and stressed during this period, so perhaps that has kicked it up a lot more. I am losing ability to work and am getting exhausted again. I have started to slowly increase my Nortriptyline that I've been on for 11 years to try to get to sleep earlier and sleep deeper. It is helping some and I will continue to do small increases until I can count on getting to sleep. Once you know you can sleep, you feel better. At the same time, I must increase my thyroid medication per my doctor's orders which is counter to that, it gives me more energy. So I am really going through a balancing act to see where I can find some kind of consistent sleep and perhaps periods of peace. I feel like I may go mad if I can't find some kind of relief. I know that the cold turkey withdrawal was a huge mistake, and I wish I'd never decided to try to stay off the C, and had just gone back up. I don't know if I still would have developed the tinnitus. I have read that per the Ashton manual about benzo withdrawal, tinnitus is the last symptom to resolve and takes the longest, perhaps up to 18 months, and in some cases is permanent. I am holding on to hope that I have not permanently damaged anything, such as with loud noises, and perhaps this will resolve after time. That hope of resolution is keeping me going. I would appreciate anyone sharing info on their own or anyone else's benzo withdrawal that resulted in tinnitus and if they found that it got better after some time. I read on line last week - http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-tinnitus-cause-treatment-171200838.html - that a research team in Pennsylvania discovered the cause of tinnitus this last May, but they are concentrating on developing a prevention protocol, I would guess for the military. http://www.pnas.org/content/108/18/7601 . I hope to contact them and find out if find a cure is on their radar yet. We really need one. Thanks in advance for your help and any sharing of experiences similar to mine.
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  2. yonkapin

    yonkapin Member

    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Tinnitus Since:
    March 2012
    Oh man, that sounds rough! You probably already know of it, but the guys at the benzobuddies forums will be able to help out more when it comes to figuring out a suitable taper schedule or a way for you to stabilize on your meds, well the clonazepam at least. There's a bunch of people on that forum that have dealt with tinnitus during withdrawl.

    Other than that I can't offer much other advice, benzos are some tricky stuff! I've been on Ambien/Stilnox (Zolpidem) for years and have always wondered if it has had anything to do with my tinnitus/ear issues.

    Anyway, good luck and hope you start to feel better!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. HaZaR
    Musical

    HaZaR Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Reykjavík, Iceland
    Tinnitus Since:
    2012/04
    Yes, I quit Rivotril cold turkey and got tinnitus.
  4. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    Thanks yonkapin. I've looked at that site and will review it again. I don't plan any more withdrawal any time soon. Just trying to figure out how to adjust to the tinnitus volume. I kicked up my Nortriptyline a bit last night and turned up my air purifiers to high which did a bit better on drowning out the sounds. So I ended up sleeping 3am to after 12 noon. So nice to get more and deeper sleep. Hope this keeps working. I think the stress level in one's life can kick up the loudness, as well as loud music and TV, so I'm trying to keep those lower. And pace myself each day to not do too much, get in some breaks and rest, if possible. Will just keep hoping that the Ashton manual info on how this is the last symptom to resolve will be right in my case, and in a few months the T will start to get better or start to fade away.

    This board is really great. I've been looking around, and it's much more supportive and full of intelligent and helpful information, compared to some others I've visited.
  5. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    HaZaR, since you first got your T, has it changed at all or have you had better periods where the T is lower volume? What have you used as coping tools?
  6. Markku
    Inspired

    Markku Director Staff Benefactor

    Location:
    Finland
    Tinnitus Since:
    04/2010
    I think it's much more common for tinnitus to be temporary due to benzo withdrawal than it is to be permanent. Could take a while (like you said, months even), but don't lose hope yet.

    Thanks for the kind words regarding the forum, too.

    :welcomesignanimation:
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  7. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    Thanks Markku, you have made my day!
  8. Karen
    Sunshine

    Karen Member Benefactor

    Location:
    U.S.
    Tinnitus Since:
    05/2010
    Hi, Rubyslippers,

    I've read your post, and I certainly understand how hard it is to balance various meds. I am not on benzo drugs, but I can relate to the ups and downs you're experiencing with your thyroid condition. I've been on Synthroid for many years, and had mild tinnitus. Then, in 2010, my doctor put me on blood pressure medicine for the first time. It did really bad things to me, and I got myself off the drug very quickly, cold-turkey. Right after that, my tinnitus was roaring, and I also ended up with pulsatile tinnitus (hearing one's heartbeat in the ear).

    It could be that those of us with a thyroid condition may have a different experience than average when taking other meds at the same time. I've talked to other people who take the same blood pressure drug I did, and they have no side effects at all!

    I also want you to know that, three and a half years later, my tinnitus is much improved and continues to get better. I agree with Markku that your condition may not be permanent; it just may take awhile for things to settle down.

    We're glad you joined us, and I hope things get better for you soon!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    Thanks so much, Karen! Yes, the thyroid meds juggling act is truly challenging. My doctor resists putting me on bp med due to such side effects. My daily ranges are not at a critical point, 120s/70s to 140s/80s, but I need to get better. I just try to do all I can to keep myself paced, get good sleep, and I need to lose more weight, for sure. But as you know, if one has adrenal issues along with the thyroid disease, your bp can range widely during the day, so bp meds become hard to manage in themselves. So glad to hear that your T condition has improved with time. You've also made my day!
  10. Karen
    Sunshine

    Karen Member Benefactor

    Location:
    U.S.
    Tinnitus Since:
    05/2010
    @rubyslippers,
    You sound a lot like me! As a matter of fact, when all this started for me, I ended up with adrenal fatigue along with the tinnitus, PT, etc. What a 3 1/2 years it's been! I'm feeling much better now, and I believe you will, too. It just takes getting that balance right. I hope things begin to work out for you soon. It sounds like you have a good doctor, who is trying to help you.

    Take care, and keep us posted on how you're doing!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    @Karen, great to find a fellow thyroid disease traveler going through this, too! I'd had increasing health problems for probably 20 years before getting a proper diagnosis, and I'd really blown out my adrenals trying to make up for the gradual loss of energy. It's been a long road back but I've been feeling much better over the last year. My new doc is amazing, will stop at nothing, use traditional medicine or holistic, to help patients get better. He will spend 90+ minutes per visit! I've never seen a doc like him anywhere. Just lucky to be in Texas where he is located. I was doing super-great until the benzo withdrawal bump in the road in July. More like a 10 ton boulder, lol! I will let you know my progress. Already better today with good sleep and the support from this board. Hasn't been as loud so far today. * doing Snoopy happy dance *
  12. Relic Hunter
    Cynical

    Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

    Tinnitus Since:
    01/1990
    I started on Xanex then Clonazepam about 4 years ago when the tinnitus went ballistic. This time last year I was taking 4 MG daily with a prescribed dosage of 6 MG daily.

    I asked to come off the C because it just wasn't seeming to do any good. It never did really. At first a little sleepy when I first started but then nothing.

    I tapered off the C per Dr's orders over a period of 3 to 4 months. Nothing happened. I could not tell any difference in the tinnitus either before or after taking the benzo. However shortly after completely stopping the C. I started having full blown panic attacks. At first I thought it was a heart attack. These would occur almost like clockwork every couple days and always at nite. I never connected these with the benzo. These attacks started suddenly and quit just as suddenly after about 3 months. I also started have floaters (like cobwebs) on my eyes. These also have disappeared.

    I have since learned these panic attacks and floaters were most likely from benzo withdrawl. I have also since learned that benzos can cause tinnitus. Even thought mine does not seem to be any better or worse for the use.
    DUMBASS Doctors know nothing nor really care.

    I WOULD NOT recommend anyone to start taking benzos for their tinnitus. I am very drug tolerant to just about any medication. 4 to 6 mg daily of C should have kept me in dreamland but really did nothing but get my body hooked on a drug that was doing nothing.

    I now take REMERON (30mg) daily. It does help me sleep.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Karen
    Sunshine

    Karen Member Benefactor

    Location:
    U.S.
    Tinnitus Since:
    05/2010
    @rubyslippers,
    I'm so glad you're doing better today! That's great news. Yes, the adrenal problems are bad enough in themselves, without the tinnitus and the problems you've been experiencing with the benzos, too.

    Did you take any special meds or supplements for your adrenals? I've been taking various supplements, and have gone to various doctors. I finally found a very good naturopath who helped me with natural supplements and diet, and I have greatly improved.

    You're so lucky to have found a great doctor who will spend time with each patient. After my recent experiences with doctors, I'm definitely a believer in holistic medicine! I hope he is able to help you come through the benzo withdrawal without any more problems.

    Take care,
    Karen
    • Like Like x 1
  14. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    @Karen, I've not had to take any direct adrenal support meds. I always managed to register decent cortisol levels. I just had all hormones balanced and optimized and needed tons of iron supplementation, and I take compounded DHEA. Other than that, I've just always been told to delegate, delegate, delegate and get good sleep, eat really well. I got really burned out building a company and I crashed in 2003/2004. I try to watch my work load and stress levels, but it's really hard to try to manage your days perfectly. I just haven't been able to do that. My cortisol was very high in late Sept from the benzo withdrawal and my doctor said the bad news is you must get this down but the good news is you are obviously still able to produce it. He felt getting sleep was the most important thing, since the other withdrawal symptoms seemed to have dissipated. So dealing with the tinnitus is job #1 right now. And delegating. And the holidays are right around the corner. Lots to do in the company at the end of the year as well as personal things. Where did this year go??? :wideyed: Thanks for the good wishes!
  15. Markku
    Inspired

    Markku Director Staff Benefactor

    Location:
    Finland
    Tinnitus Since:
    04/2010
    How are you doing now, @rubyslippers?

    It's been almost a week. I hope you are feeling much better!

    Here's hoping you'll have a blissful weekend,
    Markku
    • Like Like x 1
  16. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    I'm doing better Markku, thanks for asking. My T dropped in volume starting last Friday and for the most part has stayed pretty low. Just one morning where it was loud as I woke up, but got quieter after I stood up and walked around awhile. This is not new, so wonder about inner ear/balance having something to do with loudness. I have been sleeping a lot, 9-10 hours a night, I guess my body really needed to get caught up. It felt great, and I think the more I was able to sleep, the more it kept the T at a low volume. One afternoon, out of nowhere, I heard....absolutely nothing. It was such a shock, to hear absolute quiet. It's been so long. Only hung around for 10 mins but was a gift. Glad I tweaked my Nortriptyline up a bit, as it reduced the anxiety and calmed me down, and I slept better. I think it all feeds together and helps wind things down, at least for me. The last two nights my sleep was not as good due to eating rich food too late, my own fault, and the T has been a bit louder. But isn't anything like before. Currently I'm trying to balance my thyroid increases with the Nortriptyline dose to see where I'm still sleeping but not so "duuuhhh" during the day. Not where I need to be yet. But so thankful the T is at lower volume! Have been working a lot over the weekend, trying to catch up on a few things. It's been blissfully cool in Dallas, crisp mornings and evenings, so have been enjoying that. Trees still not turning to fall colors down here, should be doing that in 2-3 weeks. What is the weather like right now where you are?

    Just wanted to mention that I love the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" clip IZ version you have in your profile. Definitely in my top 10 songs list. I grew up in Kansas, USA, my mother's name was Dorothy, and I had a little dog, but not named Toto, lol! I did nearly get killed by a tornado. That song is the unofficial state song of Kansas, and when I was a little girl, before cable, everyone in the state waited excitedly for "The Wizard of Oz" to show on TV, usually on a Sunday night close to our Thanksgiving in late November. The whole state stopped to watch on that night!

    Have a great week -
    RubySlippers
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  17. rubyslippers
    Fine

    rubyslippers Member Benefactor

    Location:
    Texas
    Tinnitus Since:
    9/2013
    I can't believe I did it again. Forgot to take my Clonazepam! It became a pain in the neck to make up up my odd dosage level by hand, so I got a liquid compounded. Didn't know it had to be refrigerated. So, out of sight, out of mind. Did OK until last Wed-Thu-Fri and didn't realize what I'd done until Saturday afternoon. My sleep became broken, my tinnitus got really bad again, I got very depressed and anxious. Wow, what an immediate reaction. As soon as I took a dose, all was well, the tinnitus subsided. Then I put a nightly reminder in my phone scheduler. The tinnitus has been pretty low, sometimes moderate. Hopefully it will get back to lower range again all the time. I've developed tendonitis and a lower back pull so have been on more Ibuprofen. That kicked it up a bit, too. I wish they'd never changed the MacBook Pro touchpad to the single plate. I hate it. My old laptop from 2008 died and I got a new one several weeks ago. I've had to click over and over again, try to figure out where to place my fingers, the act of highlighting anything is a joke, the cursor jumps all over. It got worse and worse and wore out my arm. Feels like it's on fire. I'm taking the laptop into an Apple Store when I can drive again to see if the touch plate needs replacement. Major design screw up in my opinion! Oh well, just glad to report the tinnitus is tolerable if I'm not an idiot and forget to take my Clonazepam.

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