Benzos and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Neenie, Jan 15, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      So my psyc has gone on holidays and I can't get a script for triazolam (a benzo sleeping tab) so I may as well stop using it but I have read that discontinuation of benzodiazepines can cause tinnitus. I can't find anything concrete on the web that states that triazolam does. My sensible brain says that it is unlikely, as many people go off benzo's and don't get tinnitus. I guess I already have bad tinnitus but I just don't want things to get worse for me. Any of you know anything?
       
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    2. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Also I should add, that I did intially go off this particular benzo and 5 days later had tinnitus. It may be a conincidence, my pscy says it is. So i started using it again in a hope to fix the tinnitus but it didnt
       
    3. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Hey Neenie, I started with T and was prescribed Xanax (benzo), worked great initially but a bit dependent. I don't believe the benzo had an initial impact or was a cause of your T. I wouldn't worry about the benzo contributing to your T! Can help in the short term just don't take too long! Hope you are well!!!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      Don't discontinue it cold turkey you will have withdrawal symptoms, one of these is tinnitus.
       
    5. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Any long term benzodiazepine use needs to be tapered properly, maybe see one of the other doctors at the same clinic and explain the situation. I would definitely not go cold turkey, some doctors don't even realize the importance of this. http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php is a good resource for this sort of thing.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Thanks man. I used a pill cutter to cut it in half, hopefully things will go ok
       
    7. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Yonkapin said it best.
      I'm currently withdrawing from Lorazepam after 8 years on it. My tinnitus is acting up, as are my nerves, I've got some shaking and other issues. I'm going to be on it several more months before I'm completely off it. NOT good for long term. I know.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    8. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      ALL my T misery stated after a far too rapid taper from long term benzo use. I can absolutely attest to the fact that benzo cessation syndrome has hundreds of symptoms but the one that usually ends up being protracted is tinnitus.
      To mitigate the possibility of this, it is imperative that you taper VERY slowly. It gives your GABA receptors some time to up regulate.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    9. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Yeah , me too. Cold Turkey from Benzo, lost hearing and then T.
      No doubt in my mind whatsoever.
       
    10. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      I have been through a lot of forums and it seems that the common denominator in people suffering from T that it is pharmacologically attributable are the poor souls that tried to withdraw from Xanax or other short acting benzos too quickly. I believe that there is a place for these drugs but I was prescribed 4mg a day right from the start as an adjunct to Soma 350mg 3x per day fro muscle spasms! That's fu+++ing INSANE (retrospectively speaking). If I had known then what I now know, maybe it wouldn't be suffering with what is most likely a very long (God forbid permanent) bout with screaming T.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Yup , same here , 5 mg per day Rivotril for muscle spasms.
      As it turns out muscle spasms are a minor problem compared to being on Benzos ,quitting benzos and enduring screaming T. I would switch in a heartbeat.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Hi guys.
      Man, I can't go a day without posting. I'm more in love with this forum than facebook and all my friends have been asking me if I'm ok coz I'm never on facebook anymore! Haha.
      Anyway, a few questions:
      1) I've been reading all I can about benzo withdrawal causing tinnitus and I'm still unsure. Surely if my tinnitus was from benzo withdrawal then I'd have it in both ears? (I only have it in my left). I was only on the bezo for about 3 weeks before stopping it and I've read that withdrawal only happens with chronic use? If benzo's caused it, I'll be so mad at myself coz I shouldn't have taken them in the first place
      2) The noise is constant to matter what I do. If I sleep less, eat sugar, MSG, caffeine, anything it has zero effect on my tinnitus. I was hoping that if I changed my diet things might be different but they're not.
      3) I have some Phonak hearing aids set to zero amplification. When I wear them I can still hear my tinnitus but not as bad. Why doesn't everyone with tinnitus get hearing aids? Wouldn't it help everyone a little bit? Is there a disadvantage in wearing aids?
      4) I bought a ticking clock in an effort to prove to myself that you can habituate to new sounds. It's only been up for about 2 weeks and I already don't notice it ticking unless I think "oh yer, is the clock still ticking?" And then I hear it again, until I next forget about it. How come I can't do that with my tinnitus? I'm trying to be as emotionless as possible and just try to observe the noise without placing negative thoughts onto it. Hasn't helped.
      5) I only got 2 hours sleep last night, ugh. I'm tired.
      6) It's nearly been half a year and it hasn't gotten even a tiny bit better. I'm losing all hope.
      7) How come I can be fine one day. Then BAM get tinnitus, then have my life change within the matter of one day.
      8) Did I mention I was tired yet?
      9) This number only exists so I can have ten questions! :p
      10) Will it ever go away? It came in a day, will it go away in a day? One day? Be gone? Or will my life suck forever? I want to talk about it every day somehow to try to make it better and it doesn't and I have no one to talk to and I'm sad and when I say I'm sad my family says I'm just seeking attention and that I choose to be sad. That makes me even more sad.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    13. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      1) Tinnitus is unpredictable. You are taking multiple meds, there could of been more than 1 trigger.
      2) Tinnitus varies from individual to individual.
      3) If your aids are set to zero amplification, then you are probably using it as a masker only. Some people`s tinnitus cannot be masked and may even get worse. Hearing aids are used only when hearing loss is in the speech range.
      4) High pitched noise is more obnoxious than low pitched, or ticking noise. Typewriter tinnitus sounds like an old typewriter and is not intrusive.
      5) Your sleep will improve.
      6) Tinnitus sucks.
      7) Tinnitus can come out of the blue for many people.
      8) Yes.
      9) T sucks.
      10) Benzo induced tinnitus has been known to improve even after over a year.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    14. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Thank you!!!
       
    15. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      There's been plenty of threads about tinnitus and benzos, but it's hard to find the correct info.

      I dont have benzo induced tinnitus. Most likely hearing loss related, but it's unclear.

      Could taking benzos (0.5mg of xanax a day) cause the tinnitus to get worse over time? The answer seems to be "sometimes", which is so typical for tinnitus.

      I tried reducing xanax once before, but that wasnt a great success. I did not taper very much because im already on a very low dosage. How does one taper from 0.5mg?

      Regards,

      Cor
       
    16. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      There's 0.25 mg version of Xanax available too.

      You could maybe take that for a while, then possibly start splitting that up to get down to 0.125 mg. Then stop altogether.

      UPJ00290.jpg

      How long have you been taking Xanax?

      Sometimes diazepam (Valium) could be helpful to help ease the process:
      http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzsched.htm#s7

      Naturally your dose of alprazolam (Xanax) is much less than the mentioned 4 mg...

      All of the above my personal thoughts... you should consult your doctor.

      You answered your own question. :) How I've seen it, most often any spike related to benzos is temporary. But then we have cases like @RaZaH whose tinnitus was brought on up by stopping Clonazepam cold turkey. I guess it's anybody's guess if he would have averted tinnitus by slowly tapering down. Not to mention that in theory it could have been coincidental as well -- even if seemingly a direct connection.

      Anyway... Let us know how what you decide to do and how it went.
       
    17. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I take 0,25mg twice a day, thats how I get 0,5 :) It's actually very hard to get. My pharmacy never has it because people generally dont take such low dosages.

      Im going to the USVI soon for a few months, which is a welcome change of scenery from the dark and gloomy amsterdam, so I think i'll try and slowly lower the xanax by breaking pills in half and taking 0.125x2 for a few weeks, and then maybe just once a day, and then stop altogether.

      What confuses me still is some of the threads here where people talk about GABA and the influence on tinnitus and how benzos mess that up. That seems to be mostly theory, while people's experience seems to be more complicated. Including my own.

      My tinnitus is slowly getting worse over time. It's already variable, but with a clear line going up in volume. Im still wondering if Xanax could be partly to blame, bio-chemistry wise.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    18. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      In my mind there is no doubt that Benzos killed my hearing.
      In fact before I quit cold turkey I shut off my studio and did not listen to anything for the duration.
      Two or three days into it a was on the phone and could hear the top end of my hearing simply disappear.
      A week into it T started to surface.

      Also , there are a lot of people on forums like Benzobuddies that claim they got T from stopping benzos.
       
    19. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      I will atest to the fact that my crazy cycling T was brought on by benzo withdrawal
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. MariaH
      Dreaming

      MariaH Member

      Location:
      Barcelona
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Mine was due to taking anti-depressants... it started shortly after I started taking it and got much worse when I stopped cold turkey after just three weeks. These days I also have cycling T, although its never gone completely.
       
    21. tomm
      Thinking

      tomm Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (club drumming)
      Over the past week or two, I've occasionally had 1mg of the benzodiazepine 'diazepam' (valium) and a few beers before bed. The following day my T is normally easier to deal with and with none of the insensibility that retigabine gave me.

      It's less than ideal taking benzos forever - but the difference in quality of life is enough that I'm considering asking for a permanent low dose prescription.

      Don't know what to think really. Might it only make it worse if I stopped suddenly?

      @MariaH What antidepressant was it?
       
    22. Richard Wallace
      Thinking

      Richard Wallace Member

      Location:
      Minnesota
      Cor, your dose of XANAX at .25 is already pretty low. I've taken XANAX before so I know how effective/ineffective it is at a small dose. If you cut a .25 in half it probably wouldn't have much of any effect on helping you with anxiety or whatever you're taking it for. Sorry, I'm not much help here I guess...... Rich
       
    23. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I take 0.5 a day, 2 x 0,25, and I know thats really low. I am kind of sensitive to these kinds of drugs though. Ive been on that schedule for about 2 months now.

      Im not too worried about the anxiety. I dont have that much at all any more, just sometimes when T is high. As we all know probably. But I dont want to just stop, so i just keep up the normal schedule.

      My plan is to just slowly go to zero, and even though it seems silly to use a taper schedule with low amount, i tried stopping cold turkey once and that didnt go so well.
       
    24. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      Keep in mind that .25mg of Xanax is the pharmacuetical equiv. to 5mg of Valium. To add to that, Xanax is both a fast acting benzo with a very short half-life. In other words its a very potent benzo that hits fast and leaves quick.
      You would be better off switching to Valium if and when you decide to taper off. It will allow your CNS the time it may need to gradually adjust to the paucity of the chemical it may now rely on.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. tomm
      Thinking

      tomm Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (club drumming)
      This is important. Diazepam has a half life of "20–100 hours (36–200 hours for main active metabolite)".

      Alprazolam "Immediate release: 11.2 hours. Extended release: 10.7–15.8 hours".

      Your body will have much more time to adjust to diazepam leaving your system.

      As an aside, please could you all consider using the actual chemical names for drugs rather than the marketing names. Marketing names change and there are often multiple names for a single chemical.

      Using the chemical name helps people who are searching and stops confusion when reading about drugs.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    26. Cor

      Cor Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Does this mean that if you take alprazolam once a day, you're basically continuously withdrawing your CNS? Or if you take a higher dosage at one time of the day than another? Could this cause problems with tinnitus?

      If so, wouldnt it be better to be on Diazepam as a longterm medication?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    27. David J
      Confused

      David J Member

      Location:
      Kent, Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      I take .5 mg Alprazolam at bedtime to help me sleep. Please forgive me for being stupid, but if the Alprazolam leaves my system in 11.2 hours, then why would I have withdrawal if I stop "cold Turkey"?
      I guess that if I were taking it multiple times/day, then it would always be in my system. So I am just not understanding the whole withdrawal issue. It probably would not be a concern for me if there weren't so much discussion about it here. My doctor has never mentioned or warned me about any withdrawal issues and has only said that it is a very low dose....which I have taken to mean that negative effects are relatively inconsequential.
      All the negative comments here about Alprazolam are giving me anxiety!
       
    28. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      probably because withdrawal symptoms start few hours/days after you stopped totally the drug.
       
    29. David J
      Confused

      David J Member

      Location:
      Kent, Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      See, that makes no sense to me. I can understand withdrawal as the drug concentration diminishes and leaves my system. If a drug is used multiple times daily there is always some level of that drug present in my system and thus; no withdrawal. Now I can appreciate that there are complex bio-chemical changes that may take time to complete and that could create a delayed response in withdrawal symptoms, but I just don't understand.
      Hopefully, someone can explain............
       
    30. David S

      David S Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Xanax is one of the most potent Benzos and possibly the one to be most addictive. I am surprised that it seams to be the doctors first choice in the US. In Sweden it would never be the first to be prescribed. They would use Zopiclone for sleep and oxazepam for anxiety. After getting T I used both and it helped me. I did not have much of an choice because SSRI and SNRI did not work for me. Fist i used it for 5 month and then i got of without any big problems (tapered down slowly). Then i have been using some small doses occasionally for a week of two when i had rough times. I have grate respect for this types of drugs and you have to be strict while using them. On the other hand i believe i worried a little to much about the addictive part. Having T is bad as it is. I include a chart so you can see how different benzos compare.
      Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 20.16.38.png
       
      • Funny Funny x 1

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