ACE Inhibitors and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Karen, Aug 11, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Is there anyone else out there whose tinnitus was caused by, or worsened, after taking an ACE inhibitor drug?

      I had mild tinnitus in my right ear for many years, but it was not bothersome, and I had long since acclimated to it. Then, two years ago, my doctor prescribed an ACE inhibitor drug for blood pressure. Within about 10 days after taking that drug, I developed a loud ringing in my right ear. Following that, I began hearing a heartbeat sound in my right ear, which I now know is pulsatile tinnitus.

      I am no longer taking blood pressure drugs, but the ringing and pulsating remain. I was wondering if anyone out there has had a similar experience, and if their tinnitus has improved. Are you still taking any blood pressure medicine? Has your tinnitus lessened, or remained the same?

      I would be interested in hearing your story!
       
    2. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Karen, I have started taking ACE (zestril) just after my open heart bypass on 4-30-12 you may be on to something, my T started on 7-29-12 I would like to get off of it for awhile to see what happens. This is one of four drugs I take for my heart. All are on the T side affects list. Others are lopressor, lipitor, aspirin. The last three I have been on for years. I will bring this to my cardiologists attention and see what I can cut back on if anything. Thanks!!
       
    3. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Gary,

      It does sound like all four of the drugs may have been a quadruple whammy to your ears! However, if you've been on the last 3 drugs for years, and just started the Zestril, it could be that was what set off your recent bout with tinnitus.

      I know that I had been taking baby aspirin, and sometimes regular aspirin, for a long time, and it didn't affect my tinnitus. What set mine off was the Lisinopril, because I wasn't taking anything else at that time.

      Hope your cardiologist gives you permission to cut back on something. Keep us posted!
       
    4. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Interesting Karen, Zestril is the same thing as Lisinopril. I have to ask him about going off that one. Has any Dr been able to tell you why, after stopping it that you still have T, is it as bad now as it was when you were on Lisinopril?
       
    5. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Gary, no doctors have been able to really answer that question. In fact, they will not say that it was the Lisinopril that caused my problem.

      I got off the Lisinopril after 10 days, but still felt awful, and had many side effects that didn't go away for awhile. So, the doctor then suggested that I needed another blood pressure drug. and put me on propranolol (a beta blocker). When I still complained of problems, the doctor switched me to Toprol XL (a beta blocker, also ototoxic). I finally got myself off all of these drugs 3 months later. It took quite awhile for my blood pressure to stabilize, and I'm now controllling my blood pressure through exercise and natural supplements. I'm not suggesting that everyone can do that, but it is working in my particular case.

      I still have pulsating tinnitus and ringing tinnitus, but lately it has gotten a lot better. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but I'm using a lot of natural remedies, going to a chiropractor/neurologist, etc. Part of it may be habituation, part of it the therapies and natural remedies, and part of it my sheer determination that I'm not going to let this tinnitus thing ruin my life!
       
    6. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Hmmm, this T is so elusive. I am wondering, if perhaps we are looking so hard for a reason that we have T, we convince ourselves that it is from a drug we took, diet, stress etc, we want it to be something we can control. There are just so many things it could be, trying to figure it out is almost fruitless. As I was was typing this reply, my T was actually pretty good the last three day's, around a 2-3 I just got up to get some water and BAM there it was, back to an 8-9 go figure lol....
       
    7. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      You have a good point, Gary! It is very elusive, and there are as many possible causes as there are possible treatments. I hope your T settles back down soon. And that's another good point: As soon as we tell people that our tinnitus is quieter, it gets louder again. That has happened to me, too. Elusive, indeed!

      All I know is that my severe tinnitus appeared not long after I took this drug, and has been around ever since. It could have been a combination of factors, including the trauma of getting on and getting off the drug. Hard to say. Thanks for your replies!
       
    8. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Yes it is hard to say. A lot of it I think is just coincidental, I heard one person say he brushed his teeth and his T went away, another got a haircut and said maybe the vibration from the clippers helped his T lessen.

      I try to be rational about the T, and not drive myself wacko thinking what I may or may not have done. Of course if you have had head trauma, fire cracker going off next to your ear, then notice T that's a different story.

      I am very grateful for this site. This is where I find relief for my T, just by read others experiences, knowing I am not alone in this....
       
    9. Kasey Coff

      Kasey Coff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      I've been considering whether lisinopril (Zestril / Prinivil) is the root cause of my tinnitus - equally, I've read that a slight overdose of certain B vitamins (niacin being a particular culprit) can cause or exacerbate the problem. I generally have a tablepoonful or so of brewer's yeast each morning, so yes, I'm getting plenty of Bs, and I'm on 5mg / day of lisinopril (generic; been on it for over four years, tho I've tapered down from something like 25mg / day). Is either causing the T? Both in combination? No connection? Maybe there's no outside cause, perhaps it's simply a by-product of aging? At any rate, four weeks ago we were on vacation for two weeks, and at the end of that two weeks, I noticed my tinnitus had largely disappeared. That lasted for several days after we returned, but now the T is back with a vengeance. I've been taking the lisinopril right along... been taking the supplements (multi-vitamins) I normally take... but during the time we were away, I wasn't having the brewer's yeast because I'd forgotten to bring it. So - today the new experiment begins. I'll spend two weeks not taking the yeast, and will see what happens. Meanwhile, Karen, like you, I hope to have my BP "lifestyle controlled" with diet and exercise. Gary: and for what it's worth, I too try not to drive myself wacko thinking what I may or may not have done, lol...
       
    10. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      It's interesting that you feel an overdose of B vits could cause T Kasey. I've wondered whether the supplements that so many people take to try and help get rid of their T or reduce it may actually make it worse.

      Vitamin supplements have always made me feel weird and I believe it's because I haven't got a deficiency so when I 'top up' I'm making myself ill.

      I've been tempted to take magnesium, B vits etc. since getting T in April but I haven't ... yet.

      My T has recently changed completely. It's mostly hardly there now and, when it is there, it's 'in the distance'. Describing the change is difficult because I can't say that all days are good... just that the actual T has changed, even when it's bad.

      I am now starting to believe that it was caused by congested eustachian tubes - from a combination of high humidity, change in altitude and 2 heaters that blew out hot air (dust?).

      Since eating spicy food every day and sucking a mountain of extra strong menthyl I think I can feel the T going away.

      Of course it may come back with a vengeance and this all may be rubbish... but I'm hoping it's true!
       
    11. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Kasey, and welcome! I'm glad your T got so much better during the time you were on vacation. It will be interesting to see if you continue to improve when you go without the brewer's yeast for awhile. Tinnitus is so elusive, it's possible that some little thing we're either doing or not doing can make a difference. Please do keep us posted on how your experiment goes!

      I notice that your tinnitus started back in 2010, as my severe tinnitus did. (I had mild tinnitus before that time). How long have you been taking lisinopril, by the way? Did you start taking it in 2010? Just curious....

      I'm sure the lisinopril exacerbated my tinnitus, because I wasn't doing anything different except taking the lisinopril at that time. Since then, I've read on other forums about people who had some of the same problems I did with the lisinopril, including ringing in the ears, which began after they began taking the drug. But, everyone is different; yours may have a totally different cause than mine. It doesn't do any good to wonder what caused it to begin with; it's learning how to live with it now that matters!

      Click, I'm glad to hear that your tinnitus has gotten so much better! I'll hope for more quiet days for you in the future. Maybe the eustachian tube problem is the answer. Best wishes, and keep us posted!!
       
    12. Kasey Coff

      Kasey Coff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Hello again, Karen &c!

      My apologies for the late follow-up; the experiment - and getting back to the website - took a bit longer than I'd anticipated.

      Eliminating the brewer's yeast from my diet seemed to make no difference - I was pretty sure it was a long shot, but I figure I need to take any differences between my diet at home and my holiday diet and try to experiment with them one-by-one.

      Years ago whilst taking a niacin supplement I developed a mild sensitivity - not exactly an allergy, as I didn't break out in hives or swelling, but my skin suddenly turned super-dry and itchy. I stopped the niacin supplement (which had already been listed as potentially causing flushing / skin irritation in some people) and within a week or so the problem disappeared, hence, cause-and-result.

      Brewer's yeast is loaded with B-vitamins, including niacin (B3). Since the difference in my tinnitus isn't (apparently) whether or not I have brewer's yeast, that doesn't appear to be the problem, and the next thing I'm looking at is food additives.

      Many years ago (is this a common theme for me? lol) I found that takeaway from our local Chinese restaurant could give me pounding migraine-type headaches. It took awhile to pin down the cause, but eventually I found it was down to the MSG they added to some of their dishes. Requesting "no added MSG" did the trick. In the ensuing years, nearly all restaurants have discontinued its use - in America.

      Equally, since many people have sensitivities to MSG (and hypertensives predominate amongst them) its use as an additive in processed foods has also been curtailed in food production - in America. My personal guess is that in turn many companies have simply increased the added salt to boost flavour - don't get me started. Still, perhaps it's better than MSG.

      At any rate, the high sodium content of foods in the UK has come under scrutiny recently, and now there are calls to address the ever-soaring amounts of salt added to processed foods. Personally, I'm all for it: as someone with high blood pressure, I'd prefer to add any salt or flavourings if and when I choose to.

      This morning I read that in Britain the catch-all "flavourings" so often found on ingredients panels can contain, amongst other things, MSG. Now, that's interesting.

      On holiday in the States for two weeks, the tinnitus abated. Back in the UK for a week, week-and-a-half, the tinnitus returned.

      Is the difference to be found not in the foods I eat (which remain generally the same brands / types), but in the differences in the compositions of those foods, i.e., US versions as opposed to UK versions?

      Confession here: I do eat processed foods. No, not a lot, but even so, several times a week, because I use Quorn products. I also have low-cal frozen ready-meals once a week or so. And of course foods like dry cereals and even yoghurt have additives of one kind of another, even though they are usually minimal.

      Quorn is available in the US, and indeed, I had it several times whilst away. Same with the brands of fat-free yoghurt I eat. If the formulation of such foods there is MSG-free, but the formulation here has even a small amount of MSG--? Would a low dose of MSG throughout the week result not in the pounding, tight-sensation headaches of yore but rather a constant underlying chronic condition presenting (in my case) as tinnitus?

      It's a new line of thought that has only just occurred, and I will need to do more thinking - and research - before I decide how I'll experiment with this. Or maybe I'm over-thinking. Regardless, this time I'll try to check in more frequently to keep you posted--!

      [I realize this is a lengthy post, and those of you who've read it through, I salute you, lol. Posting more often will hopefully result in shorter posts. ;) ]
       
    13. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      mmmmmmmm I broke my nose badly playing football a week later the T arrived ,I had allways put 2 and 2 together and got four ,BUT at around the same time I started on Lisinipril??????????????????
       
    14. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      So many good ideas about the cause of Tinnitus. It seems all of us want to find the cause. I take lisinopril too, one-a-day as prescribed to me. I'd might skip a day or so, maybe I'll hear a difference? The last couple of days have been awful Tinnitus-wise. I'm not sure how I keep going with the T , but I do.
       
    15. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @James,

      For me, it was Lisinopril that got me started on this "journey". If your tinnitus continues to be a problem, maybe you could try a day without it to see if it makes any difference (?). It was the Lisinopril that caused my tinnitus to get really bad, and it also caused my pulsating/whooshing to begin. I've found a few other people on other forums who have this side effect.
       
    16. Teresa from WV

      Teresa from WV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2015
      I also had taken lisinopril for my bp.. Within 10 days the loud ringing started! I have since had a MRI which came back negative and hearing tests. I bought hearing aids that are supposed to help counter the ringing. As of date this has not happened..Its been 6 months now still have the tennitus.. Some days are better than others but far and few between. I'm sure the lisinopril caused it as it was the only new medication I started.. Some days it drives me crazy . I have stopped taking the bp medicine when this T started but still there.. Does anything help to lessen the noise ???
       
    17. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I can only take calcium channel blockers for this very reason. Also aspirin and Tylenol fire up my T.
       
    18. FilmRebelLA
      Angelic

      FilmRebelLA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      I'm having the same problem as everyone else here. I was taking 30mg of Propanolol a day and my BP was perfectly in check. I've had occasionally ringing in my ears. Then in 10/15 I got a car accident and my doctor put me on 20mg of Lisinopril. Since then--I've had massive ringing in my ears. Sometimes I have a wooshing noise--almost like I'm in a wind storm. I've tried everything. Lower BP seems to not help this. I'm continuing to take 20mg of Lisinopril but after reading most of your posts...I'm a little hesitate to continue--even though most of you have ongoing ringing. :( Help! It's very debilitating.
       

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