Be Careful with Benzos

Discussion in 'Support' started by erniej, Feb 26, 2017.

    1. erniej

      erniej Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I don't know
      I searched all over looking for an explanation why my tinnitus got so loud all of a sudden. I thought it was this, and then that. I thought it was because of neck problems, etc. Then I went to a benzo support forum for support for my taper off of Klonopin. My God. There are as many people there complaining about their tinnitus that began after they started their taper off a benzo as there are people here seeking support and relief.

      I took my first Xanax for tinnitus back in 1991. As the tinnitus got worse my doctor would up the dose until I was on 8MGs daily of Xanax. I decided that I had enough and started a taper. When I got down to 4.5MGs a day the s**t hit the fan volume wise. I never put 2+2 together. Last February I was switched over to 6MGs of Klonopin daily and re-started my taper. What a living hell. I got down to .75MGs daily and that's where my doctor wanted me to stay. Taking my own advice I re-started my taper about a month ago and got down to .5MGs. I just went back up to .535MGs daily. I have never been so sick.

      I never had any idea just how awful this crap can be. From what I read on various benzo taper support forums Klonopin seems to be the worst tinnitus offender. They call it the muscle relaxer from hell. My tinnitus went from a ringing in one ear to a loud searing hissing that feels like it's coming from the center of my brain.

      And the worst thing is that the lower you get in MGs the worst the withdrawal symptoms become when you make even the smallest cut. I made just a .063MG cut about five days ago and it feels like I went cold turkey.
      I thought I was safe because I took them only as prescribed. Yea, for twenty years.

      I just want to say if you need to go on a benzo please be careful.
      One last thing that a lot of people don't know. If you google 'benzodiazepine conversion' you will see that 1MG of Klonopin is equal to 10 to 20MGs of Valium depending on the chart.
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    2. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      I haven't been on benzos for a year. Life was great the I had a seraquel crash with anti-bio tics. I took benzos for two nights and the tinnitus and anxiety are back in full. I will no longer take bezos I d rather be dead...
    3. Alex Matyjasek
      Not amused

      Alex Matyjasek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8 September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? Who knows...
      I've been on aprazolam 0'5 mg daily for the last 4 months. It's not a lot at all but soon will start taper... After all the horror stories i've read I don't think it's a good idea to keep taking them.
    4. Shaqz

      Shaqz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hey, you hear your tinnitus in the middle of your brain? Can you describe it because mine is similar?
    5. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.
      Man- let me tell ya- I realize everyone’s tinnitus is different- but even a one time use of a very low dose of Xanax cause me permanent damage.
      My tinnitus probably initiated from many years of overexposure to harmful noise levels- but once your ears/brain is comprised by tinnitus- just about anything that is harmful to your ears/brain can make it worse.
      lidocaine from the dentist and ibuprofen are really bad for me-and yes even a one time low dose.
      The hell of it is that the Xanax and Lidocaine give me significant relief - but once it wears off the party is over and I’m in agony worse than ever.
      May be hard to believe- but I know this as an undeniable fact.
    6. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      @Bill Arsenault it sounds like you had several different drugs at the dentist, what makes you sure the Xanax caused a problem?

      Anything is possible but the odds of a single side of Xanax doing anything to you that a glass of wine wouldn't, are basically nil. On the other hand, dental work and injected lidocaine are both higher risk.
    7. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.

      Hey Bud.
      Brother I so wish that was the case.
      Unfortunately for me my tinnitus is severe and is extremely effected by Ototoxicity.
      I have done a ton of trial and error at a severe cost- but i was determined to find out what was causing my tinnitus to get progressively worse every few days and to figure out what I would need to avoid in the future.
      So... I stopped everything:
      Noise exposure.
      And my tinnitus did indeed stop progressing.

      So eventually I tried a 200 mg ibuprofen because it allows me to get through the second half of a work day without knee pain.

      Well- the next morning my tinnitus was definitely worse and never returned to base line.
      I even tried again at some point out of desperation to get through a work day-
      I need to make a living, ya know.
      Well- same bad results.

      Eventually tried the same thing with Xanax-
      several times and had bad results.

      Trust me if I could take the Xanax I would-
      It absolutely gives me significant relief and I don’t usually get the severe withdrawal or tolerance issues that most people seem to get.

      The person I get my Xanax from has been taking massive doses for decades and has no tinnitus.

      I don’t think it’s necessarily “easy” for “most” people to get tinnitus from benzos.
      But I think once you do- it may leave “some”
      people very sensitive to ototoxic drugs in general.
      Maybe I just got a really raw deal or did some extreme damage and most people with tinnitus will be fine taking most ototoxic drugs in moderation.
      And I fully realize how absurd it is that 200mg of ibuprofen or 1mg of Xanax or a getting a cavity filled makes my tinnitus instantly and permanently worse- but that’s the reality of it.
      I love my vices - cigarettes and strong beer-
      chewing on a Xanax with a super strong hot black coffee- but when I do these things I pay dearly.
      And I do know my tinnitus extremely well-
      It’s started a few years ago at barely noticeable levels - and now I often need to
      mask outside and just sitting in a parked car with the windows up drives me insane.
      So I was very aware of every increase throughout the entire process- and what I took each time before every increase.
      And I’m no complainer - I share this uncanny problem I have with most medications in hopes of making people aware and maybe saving them some grief.
      Especially when I read about people who cannot understand why their tinnitus is getting worse-
      yet they are on a handful of meds.
      I still get on with my life the best I can and my friends, girlfriends, family and co-workers have no idea how severe I have this- although my odd behavior in quiet places, sleeping with a fan turned on high in winter and my totally inappropriate use of blue tooth headphones often raises some eyebrows.
      I got some real nasty looks wearing my ear-phones at a funeral once- oh well.
      Of course, I don’t tell them that I’m only listening to a waterfall and that I can still hear everything fine. Whatever.
      By the way- most normal to moderate noise exposure has no permanent effect on my baseline - although it does sometimes make me uncomfortable- but that could be psychological.
      But I do sometimes get some serious reactive spikes from loud sharp noises that last anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds and the shower seems to give me temporary issues that last about 45 minutes.
      And of course putting my ear against a pillow is borderline painful it’s so damn loud.
      When I use the blue tooth ear-phones - I don’t push them in very far at all so I can still hear everything perfectly- and of course I use minimal volume.
      I hope there will be a treatment available some day that will just lower the perceived volume without leaving me with a worse baseline when the treatment is discontinued or wears off like what happens when I use Xanax.
      But hey - plenty of people take benzos for tinnitus with no problems and I would too without reservation at my age.
      I would never recommend benzos to a young person though- I do think they have an effect on your lifestyle and have the potential to turn you into a bit of a zombie and also lower your inhibitions to dangerous situations.
      They dont call them “little blue felonies” on the street for nothing.
      Many a person has woken up in a jail cell after taking them irresponsibly or mixing them with other drugs or alcohol.
      Have a good one.
      Best wishes and good luck.
    8. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.
      In my long winded post above I got off track.
      This thread is “Beware of Benzos”.
      I may have done a disservice to the many people I personally know who have had their lives at least temporarily ruined by having Benzos prescribed to them by a doctor.
      Not to mention the lives lost when this class of drugs is abused.
      These two different scenarios are not mutually exclusive.
      Many people who are prescribed Benzos often end up abusing them due to the fact that you can rapidly develop a tolerance to the prescribed dose and they are addictive by their nature.
      Seriously, who doesn’t want to feel like everything is great and nothing bothers you.
      There is a reason so many people consider these drugs to be the evilest concoction ever created by man- and that they were intentionally designed to consume your life.
      That said- there are few other readily available drugs that will stop a severe panic attack dead in its tracks as effectively as a Xanax will.
      As for tinnitus:
      Any top ten list of tinnitus inducing drugs will invariably include Xanax.
      I don’t go beyond the top ten because the list becomes endless.
      But you don’t consistently make the top ten without good reason.
      Xanax does cause tinnitus for many to some extent.
      Also- warnings are not generally provided for people who abuse things.
      A set of knives does not come with the warning “Do not juggle”.
      At the minimal/normal dose - Xanax can cause tinnitus.
      Can 1 pill cause tinnitus?
      Well if it’s always prominently mentioned on the list of top ten drugs that do- I wouldn’t bet my life that it won’t.
      That said - they are most safe and effective when you only take 1 when having a panic attack or in moments of extremely high anxiety.
      They were only meant for you to take one.
      Whether or not the pharmaceutical companies knew most people would become reliant on them and eventually not be able to stop at one pill is a whole different story.
      Some people have a panic attack once a year and take a Xanax.
      Some have a panic attack once a week or month and take a Xanax.
      If your having multiple panic attacks a day and use Xanax- you may be better off taking a longer acting Benzo like Klonopin.
      Xanax is a fast acting Benzo best suited to instantly stopping a severe panic attack.
      If you take them all day, everyday ,long term, because you have general anxiety-
      then you are at a high risk to develop tolerance issues.
      Which means you may need to take a higher and higher dose for the drug to be effective.
      Eventually these doses may exceed what your doctor is willing to “safely“ prescribe.
      At that point you may decide to cut back or try to get off them only to realize that the anxiety you now experience is much worse than it was initially when you first started to take them in the first place- and to top it off your having full fledged withdrawal symptoms that can last a very long time.
      Good luck with all that- especially for someone who may be a bit fragile to begin with.
      This is a hell of a dilemma for many and can lead to many different scenarios playing out- most of them not ending well to say the least.
      Knowing what we now know- and what BigPharma likely knew all along -is that
      if you take Benzos daily for more than a couple weeks- all bets are off.
      If you have been through a severely traumatic experience or are just having a really tough time and you don’t have issues with drug addiction- then perfect.
      Two weeks of reduced stress thru the use of Klonopin might be just what you need.
      Having a panic attack once a month?
      Then Xanax will likely serve your needs very effectively.
      Even most Quack doctors are now reluctant to prescribe them long term - but their patients demand their Benzos- can’t live without them.
      My rule of thumb now that I know better has always been never more than two days in a row and at least 5 days off after that.
      Which leads me to where we began.
      Now that I have tinnitus I cannot take any Xanax without causing a permanent spike to my base-line tinnitus level.
      The very intelligent, knowledgeable and open minded person in the post above my previous post feels that the chances of that being reality are “NIL”.
      Although he did graciously point out that “Anything is possible” - proving he is well aware of how insidious and baffling tinnitus is.
      I carefully read all of his posts and will continue to do so.
      He is a huge asset here and I don’t have even have a fraction of his knowledge on the subject of tinnitus.
      I only know for fact what I have personally experienced- and I am still very confused and still learning about all of that.
      Nobody is even close to perfect and we all say things that don’t always translate properly- especially me.
      I fully understand his analogy about a Xanax and a glass of good wine being about equal to some degree for someone with no tolerance issues to either.
      Alcohol has destroyed more lives than Benzos probably ever will.
      But wine is never listed in the top ten drugs that cause tinnitus- and Xanax always is.
      So be aware- A single Xanax probably won’t give many people tinnitus.
      But given that it’s only meant to take 1 at a time and yet it’s on the top ten list of offenders-
      i would assume it is possible.
      And if you already have tinnitus-
      well I think that the fact that it’s so commonly referred to as causing tinnitus speaks for itself.
      And my own experience is that even a one time minimal dose of Xanax unfortunately has a significant and noticeable effect on my tinnitus.
      Relief while I’m on it - permanently worse the next day.

      Best wishes to all.
    9. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Well, I will just have to count myself lucky that years of benzo use and two long tapers off have never seemed to have any permanent impact on my hearing, so far.

      I agree with most of what you said, @Bill Arsenault - I think benzos are quite dangerous and overprescribed in general.

      I also find my own life a lot happier and more manageable if I take 2mg of Klonopin a day. I don't recommend that to anyone else, but I spent a decade trying everything under the sun to avoid regular benzo use (any medication you can name, I've probably tried something similar; any complimentary/alternative therapy you can name, I probably spent $500-$10,000 on). At the moment the quality of life I get from being on a benzo is just better than I had at any point in that 5-7 years, and I am approaching 2 years of this being sustained. (I was on the same dose for 6 years, 2 decades ago; the taper off was brutal, but the drug never stopped working, and I was "fine" for years after the taper until I f'd my hearing).

      If there's a price to be paid at some point, welp. Every day I get right now is a day with my small child that I can never have again, so, at the moment I will take the focus and quality of life the drug affords, in the interest of being a better parent and enjoying literally anything.

      The years after I popped my tinnitus into hell-levels with noise, before I went back on benzos, were basically entirely joyless and just a matter of getting through each day. There was some variation, once in a while I'd even have a few "okay days" in a row, and that was just as good as life got. Now I feel basically normal, admittedly still with tinnitus, with some mild short term memory issues, and with the knowledge that I am dependent on a dangerous drug that could turn on me at any time.

      I can live with that; we all find our own paths.
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    10. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.
      I hate the fact that there is so much fear associated with Benzos.
      And I hate the fact that relaying my own experience relative to tinnitus and the experiences of some people close to me might promote that fear.
      These drugs work extremely well for so many- including me.
      Addiction gives a bad name to so many things that are fine when used responsibly.
      I am devastated that I am unable to find relief thru Benzos now that I am an older, wiser and more responsible person.
      I am in no way content that this drug is off limits to me or out of my life- especially when its the only thing I have found that provides REAL relief for my tinnitus.
      My extreme reaction to most Ototoxins is not common or even fathomable- and that’s the hell of it.
      I thought it would be helpful to mention it when so many people are complaining that their tinnitus is getting worse despite taking every precaution- yet they are overlooking the ibuprofen or what not.
      Not to mention- I’m desperately seeking answers.
      As I get older there are probably going to be medications that can save my quality of life or even my life.
      Will it all be at the expense of worsening tinnitus?
      I’m already hanging on day to day.
      But maybe I should not be so quick to bring attention to something that is likely to be by far the exception.
      Just in case it is does more harm than good.
      Anyway- it brings me joy to hear that you have at least found some relief to the point that you can spend some quality time with your kid.
      I can only imagine what you may have suffered through dealing with tinnitus and having a responsibility to a child.
      You are the man- and I truly appreciate everything you say around here.
      You have had my attention since day 1 and it has ALWAYS been helpful.
      Even this last go around has enlightened me tremendously and leaves me searching for hope and answers.

      Kind regards my friend.
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    11. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      @Bill Arsenault out of curiosity have you tried the longer acting benzos?

      I understand if you don't want to mess with them at all anymore; only asking because Xanax gives me significant rebound at any dose, and Klonopin made me more unstable and piercing-headed at a low dose until I stabilized (for the moment?) at a higher one.

      It seems like fundamentally different things happen from continuous receptor saturation vs the sine-wave you get when you take fast-acting short half life drugs.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and severe since 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Black Sabbath.
      Yes- I think I am having better results trying Ativan.
      The relief factor is not as effective-but it does still help a lot.
      Jury is still out though because I woke up this morning in bad shape after a relatively stable week- that’s why I am on the forum at 5:AM.
      So now the question is did I do something I shouldn’t have - or is this just the way it is for me.

      It’s frustrating when almost all the “experts”
      say tinnitus absolutely cannot get worse without a cause.
      Well - lets just say I’m not convinced.
      I tried the clean living approach and it did certainly seem to slow the progression but it did not stop it once and for all.

      Anyway- In my experience- once tinnitus is severe and with multiple tones that fluctuate intensely- it becomes more difficult to detect any day to day permanent increases.
      These days the increases seem to just hit me all at once one random morning -and they are significant and permanent.

      But I will never deny the relief that Benzos provide-in several different ways- and that nothing else I know of even comes close.
      In fact there’s really nothing else at all that helps and that is readily available- at least that I know of.
      I will also probably try Klonopin again.

      But I am certainly not recommending them to anyone else under almost any circumstances.

      Have a good one.
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