Clonazepam: To Take or Not to Take, That Is the Question.

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tweaker, Jan 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Tweaker
      Doubtful

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi, I'm new to this forum. I had read that Clonazepam can reduce tinnitus sounds and GP prescribed for me. I took 0.25mg the other day and for about 3 days my tinnitus seemed really good. Wake up on the fourth day and it is back with a vengeance. The question is whether I should take it regularly or not but the worry is that stopping would be a nightmare. Perhaps occasional use? Wondering how others have used this medication and if anyone can advise?
       
    2. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      I think Clonazepam is ATIVAN right?

      I took ATIVAN while having T and it did reduce it temporarily.
       
    3. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Stay away from that stuff.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      @Tweaker Clonazepam or Klonopin is a primarily used as a sleep med. I took it for about 2 1/2 months at 1 mg daily. I had no side effects. I had no improvement in my T or H. I found once I caught up to a more regular sleep pattern, it really had no improvement on my T or H, though my perception was that my T did not continue to climb. I am pretty well off it now, used only occasionally and see no improvement. So, I personally think as a sleep med and to get your anxiety under control it is a great med to use in the short term because unlike Ativan or Xanax, it is longer lasting, should give you 7-8 hours sleep, the others give you perhaps 6 hrs and if your anxiety is really high like mine was, they were ineffective, only the Clonazepam. I had no issue coming off the med or any addictive tendencies, though I know there are some who MAY become addicted over time. So as a T reducer per se, not my experience.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Clonazepam is an anti-anxiety drug in the benzodiazepine family. Its brand name is Klonopin. It is not Ativan but is in the same drug category, and has similarities. Alprazolam (brand name Xanax) is another commonly used drug of this type. The dose you are on is fairly low.

      Yes, some benzos have been found to reduce tinnitus. They work on the brain receptors that trigger anxiety and by calming those symptoms, they in turn calm T. But such benefits can be short lived and, in fact, withdrawal from benzos can then cause tinnitus to spike.

      Benzos can be very beneficial to people suffering from severe anxiety, and some of those people are tinnitus patients. I have been taking alprazolam, in very low doses for a bit over a year. But these are serious, serious medications and I am worried that you are getting from a GP. Did your doctor tell you that you should never, ever quit these drugs cold turkey? Did you get dose parameters (you should take this much but never more than this much)? Do you have any refills that don't require you to see your doctor first? Benzos should be carefully managed by a psychiatrist (although I know in some national health systems, it can be difficult to go this route).

      Also, clonazepam really is not designed for occasional use. Alprazolam is. But a QUALIFIED doctor can give you a better opinion on if it will work for you than I can.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      By the way, @Tweaker, I am not anti-benzo. I am pro careful use and administration of benzos.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    7. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      All benzos are very hard to control when you have bad T.
      It's way to easy to seek relief and when you get relief and rely on them you are stuck.
      My anxiety has driven me to use these meds and even though I went through hell getting off of clorazapan, my new doc prescribed Valium for my insane anxiety I have even on quiet days.
      Now I'm stuck again and in the long run if you can't restrict use of these meds to an occasional use there's a big price to pay.
      Try and stay away. They are very dangerous. Not many with bad T and anxiety panic attacks can hold back from popping them and then you need more for same effect till it's not any use anymore.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    8. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      stay away your T will become unmanageable after some time
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Tweaker
      Doubtful

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Thanks for the many replies guys. Definitely have to be careful with this med, I know. Others experience is helpful. Best to manage without meds where possible, I guess. I was given a one-off prescription and would have to go back to GP if I found it beneficial. My GP knows I'm careful with meds and always try to avoid them where possible. I really struggle with sleep and sometimes bad anxiety though. My T is constant with lots of loud high pitched frequencies in both ears which has worsened with time.
       
    10. Viking
      No Mood

      Viking Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italia
      During the first period, clonazepam (Rivotril,Knolopin) could help to live with tinnitus, but it is the biggest benzos available in the pharmacy,with tolerance and addiction. All the benzos destroy the endogenus center of natural production of GABA in the brain....then for my experience...if you use it for long time and all days... tinnitus became worse. Contact the user @1MV, he is a monster on this arguments. My advice (i'm in a very bad period) avoid benzos (alprazolam,lorazepam,clonazepam,,,,etc). You have a valid alternative like Melatonin and valerian. I know that you will think about i'm stupid...but melatonin play a great role in the brain and on tinnitus! Valerian could help you to relaxe without addiction and tolerance. I'm trying to cutting off clonazepam by 2 years.... it's hard and i have developed hiperacusys and horrible tinnitus and related depression!
      Try to stay aware of this LEGAL DRUGS!
      best wishes
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      Listen to Viking because it's true. When I took Oxazepam...I feel relaxed for the time it works, but when it does not work anymore I get the depression or anxiety back 10 times as hard so I quit that also. At the end you still have to deal with it. Melatolin I also have for sleeping and does not effect my T in a bad way. I stopped valerian, don't know why.....just forgot about it I guess.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      It helped when I was a nervous wreck a year ago, but the withdrawal is an absolute bitch of the lowest order. Use it only for anxiety and try to use it for a short time.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. Viking
      No Mood

      Viking Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italia
      @Tweaker think this: before my use of this drugs i live with the damned tinnitus without anxiety or depression. After the use for 6 month of clonazepam, 1 day i forgot to take the pill...and the same the second day...it have a very long half-life in the blood. The 3rd day I began to feel strange, tinnitus very strong, I was sweating in the night and I had shots in the body (myoclonus)... i was only on 1mg before the night! Well, the day after i talk to my neurologist and He said that I should not forget to take the pill or stop suddenly ... then I could consider myself an addict .... it was in July 2007....now is 2015..ok! From that moment I started to suffer from anxiety attacks (for the first time in my life), then i took clonazepam double dose 2mg, up to high doses of 4mg x days mixed with other benzodiazepines, for fear of ending up clonazepam. By accident I discovered that cannabis gave me relief and I managed to descend slowly with dose up to 0.50 ... the vicious circle is not broke. I was, and I'm an addict. In more I add, that as a result of the use of these substances I developed major depression. Luckily I'm "allergic" to all SSRIs SNRIs (another vicous circle), otherwise I'd be dead. I'm trying to get on with all my strength, recalling a period of battle against heroin twenty years ago, and it was easier because we were helped with methadone. With these damn molecules instead, jumping from one to another benzodiazepine. Fight! Don't give others money to those big pharma who do not care, but you end up killing...think this...clonazepam only cost 2 euro...20 pills of 2 mg....only 2 euros...
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      If you T is 5/10 with clonazepam the first time will go to 1/10 or 0/10 with lorazepam
      but after some you will be addicted and you will develop tolerance the dose worked before will not work anymore.
      Plus you will develop depression panic attacks louder piercing T hyperacusis and severe insomnia.
      For example before taken this stuff i had sleep of 8 hours... now i got 2mg lorazepam and i get only 2.5 hours sleep
      and i wake up suddenly form my sleep with terrific T (does not work on T anymore at firt 0.5mg gave me a lot of sleep and significant T reduction close to 0/10 big tolerance after that).
      Stay away 2 weeks of use are enough to glue hard.
      The bad is very difficult to cut off because every time you lower the dose T will explode.
      T if you eliminate the to source of problem (even permanent problem exists) for example if it is from acoustic trauma
      and eliminate your exposure to sounds and take supplements that help hearing like acetylcysteine/pentoxyfilline/creatine/magnesium/get good night sleep with time will fade away.
      All people witch do no used benzos and do all these little things in 1 years besides of habituation their T lowers
      in levels they cope it.My father has more louder T from me but it has no hyperacusis so his T does not bother them.
      His T is only in background and you must remind him that have T to think about it. Have perfect sleep.

      Search in google benzo withdrawal
      read and see videos of how many people have been fucked with these drugs.

      http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha02.htm
      (this site has excellent information for successful withdrawal from benzos)

      Almost all loose hearing but only some of them get T those get T are statistically
      more anxious (have less GABA) and benzo use magnifies this problem.
      For example my grandfather had severe hearing loss every year loose some hearing
      but never got T never got H but he is not never anxious.
      If you are more relaxed protect your hearing take supplements to help your hearing after
      years your brain will adapt to the lowered hearing thresholds and T will fade away to 1/10 maybe 0/10 sometimes.Is not only habituation is reduction of volume.
      Hyperacusis can do a 2db T sound to perceived like 50db screaming sound.
      I had problem with T before getting benzos but with benzos i developed HF T and hyperacusis i tried very hard to cut off and finally i cut them
      with support from one experimental drug that gave me full 10 hours sleep after 1.5 year being off from benzos my T went to 0/10 HF T disappeared completelly and the other T witch was from
      problem in ear was 0 and after noise exposure to 1-2/10 with no hyperacusis with perfect sleep 8+ hours.
      All people 30+ years old have hearing loss after 10khz for example almost all my friends
      have no hearing after 10khz i have tested them i hear better from them but i have HF T and they don't have T because their central nervous system is not amplifying signals.
      The relapse in my T and H happened once i got again benzos the first 10 pills income and other pills and other pills and this was enough to bring me back in bad situations.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Everyone's experience is different. My PCP prescribed Alprazolam for me in my second month--he also gave me two weeks worth of Ambien (sleep med). I finally got some sleep and some sanity. I continued to take the Alprazolam 3 times a day for one year. I slept 8 hours a night--but I also exercise. I am now taking 1/2 the Alprazolam (Xanax) as needed, which is usually at bed time. I haven't any withdrawal symptoms. I never built up a tolerance or became dependent on it. My physician told me I wouldn't as long as I took it exactly as prescribed and didn't add any 'extra' pills between doses. I'm not sure how this relates to Clonazepam but they are both benzos. These meds get a bad rap but they can be very helpful and if taken as directed, under the supervision of a doctor should not cause problems.

      I am not advocating the use of meds, just sharing my experience.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    16. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Tweaker
      I have to echo @LadyDi and @Larry OT and add that habituation can be a long (yet natural) road worth taking. I am not adverse to the use of pharmaceuticals as long as they do not interfere with or delay natural habituation and are highly monitored by a professional. I say that after reading some of the testimonies about getting off these drugs (very counter productive).

      Having said all that, I totally understand (from personal experience) the overwhelming desire to 'put out the fire' that is your T. I avoided pharmaceuticals -- barely; and I would still consider them if needed. But I'm glad I didn't go that route. If anxiety is significantly (and uncontrollably) increasing your T I would suggest a very targeted, focused administration of meds by a trained professional (else forget it); otherwise, you are far better off working your way toward natural habituation and finding ways to control your anxiety (finding causes and exercising different approaches). Pharmaceuticals have a nasty way of treating a symptom while masking the cause (meanwhile the cause tends to germinate like a science project).

      Until then...Prayers!

      Mark
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    17. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I agree with Kathi. Each person is different. Talk to your doctor about the use of meds and about how to phase it out slowly. Some people can get suicidal with their severe sufferings which they can't control with pure will power, and the meds help to intervene. But meds should be the last resort and it is best to use it short termed and phase it out slowly under the supervision of your doctor when you don't need the meds any more.

      I am someone with prior condition of anxiety and panic disorders. During the initial days, my ultra high pitch T and severe hyperacusis just opened up the flood gate of hell of relentless anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode, from the moment I barely woke up with the T already blasting away. The sufferings were immense when you add all the symptoms of T, H, A & P together. What choices were there. The big 'S word was floated in front of my tired and stressed out mind when it saw no way out of the immense sufferings. No amount of will power or forum support could stop the adverse reactions for me. So I had to depend on meds to survive. I took Ativan for anxiety, Prozac for depression and some sleeping pills. When I realized something could stop my horrible panic attacks and other hurtful sensations, I began to have hope that 'S' would not be my foregone conclusion. I was preparing for drug OD instead of 'S' then. LOL.

      But I later learned other techniques such as CBT, mindfulness etc. to help me deal with my sufferings better. The meds bought me the time I needed. When my condition improved, I just phased out the meds slowly and I didn't suffer any strong withdrawal problem too like Kathi. I would say use meds as your last resort but use it with the help of your doctor if you really can't move on with sheer will power.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
      • Like Like x 2
    18. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Wow Billie; what a testimony! Thanx for sharing (and I agree with you 100%)

      Mark
       
    19. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Thanks Mark. Yes, I am not proposing dependency of drugs. It should be the last resort. Even if you need them initially, there are many ways to help yourself which will reduce the need for drugs. These other ways can help you phase out the drugs faster. As I posted before, the anxiety and panic disorder I suffered for decades on & off long before T have recently flared up. The initial panic attacks came when I woke up and the sensations were too strong for me to take w/o meds. The body wouldn't listen easily at the start and more panic attacks ensured. The limbic nerves took over and my mind was in stress over-drive. So I had to use meds again to calm down the nerves.

      But now I have learned other techniques to combat fear and anxiety. The things I have learned after having T have helped to speed up my recovery. CBT helps me to counter distorted thoughts which are quite common when the limbic nerves take over. By doing so, I didn't let my mind drift further into acute anxiety when I start phasing out the drugs. Mindfulness meditation now helps me to bring all the sensations, even the bad ones, into full awareness. I stay present with them instead of running from them. I learn to face them, feel them, and embrace them. Acceptance is a powerful approach to combat even anxiety. I learn the proper breathing technique to relax my nerve and my body. I even learn from RaZaH about his amazing approach to cure panic attacks. I exercise to produce some natural endorphin, and I practise 'Finding Joy Amid the Pain', insisting to go on trips (a mini cruise & a trip to Asia) even in the middle of the attacks. I try to bring positivity to the NOW, the moment right in front of me, instead of worrying about the future.

      These new approaches bring spectacularly fast recovery. The result is the I didn't need that much drugs this time. Within weeks, my limbic nerve is back to normal. The normal parasympathetic nerve is restored . Ativan is phased out fast. I used to take months and months to get off each panic attack episode, and now it only takes weeks.And even within these few weeks I was enjoying myself on a cruise and travel instead of being home bound or acting like a zombie like before. The T experience, though traumatic, does give me the chance to learn new life's skills to combat the anxiety and panic disorder. LOL.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    20. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      @billie48
      We all have a lot to learn from you; thanx for sharing! I broached a little bit of what you are talking about (techniques and methods to combat anxiety, et al) during my dark days in the PIT; but nothing like you have endured (and overcome!) Awesome!!

      Mark
       
    21. Tweaker
      Doubtful

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Viking That is certainly a tough journey you are on. Hope things improve for you. Put me off this med.
      Billie48 I've got chance to do mindful meditation course. Maybe stay off the meds and see if the mindfulness works.
      Everyone who has replied, thanks for your honest experiences. I agree that if you can stay off the meds the tinnitus probably gets better but I couldn't function at work without sleep and ended up relying on different meds over past 5 years. Wish I had got by without. Been on temazepam for sleep (short term), amitriptyline for a couple of years and now mirtazapine and sometimes zopiclone (on and off). Now my T is loads worse than it was back in 2010. Don't know if it would have got worse anyway but do suspect all these types of meds such as AD's and sleeping pills end up making it all worse. It's a horrible situation. Adding another one like clonazepam seems like a bad idea. Wish I could give my brain some rest from meds but cant sleep. I tried valerian, melatonin, etc and they just dont do anything for me. Need sledgehammer or strong stuff to knock me out. If I cant sleep, working is too tough to cope with. Managed to keep working with the T but so tough some days when exhausted and feeling on edge.
       
    22. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      my tinnitus underwent an immense spike, and turned me into a wreck. my doctor prescribed clonazepam 0.5 - 1.0 twice a day. the first night i took 0.5 and then another 0.5 4 hours later. it made my tinnitus almost disappear. i know this stuff is really addictive, last night i took 0.5 and then 6 hours later took 0.25 my plan is to gradually taper it back to zero, and to get off all meds. right now i also take 300 lyrica, which IS a very good drug, and does not cause you to become dependent on it. also lyrica has a short half life, so it gets out of your system very quick, where clonazepam hangs around for a few days, and has a very very long half life. for me, clonazepam was a life saver, but i have been using it for 6 days only, and plan to taper it and get off if completely during the next week. i use pink noise at night, and quiet music. also, the wind has been howling the last several nights, and just the sound of the wind howling has been VERY beneficial for me.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    23. HThom4
      Not amused

      HThom4 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @object16 - does the Lyrica help your T? I was prescribed it for muscle and joint pain. I haven't started it yet. I see my doctor tomorrow and I was going to revist some other options to help me sleep. I am taking Ambien CR but I'm worried about getting dependent on it or used to it. We had talked about Klonopin and Xanax in the past, but so far I resisted them because it makes me nervous to think about taking them.
       
    24. kevin b
      Fine

      kevin b Member

      Location:
      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I have been taking .05 klonopin 3 times a day for about 6 months now. I find it really does not do anything anymore . I slowly weaned off the evening dose no problem. but it seems now that i am trying to wean off the middle of the day dose I am getting anxiety and an increase of my T, has anyone gone thru this? Is it temporary and things will settle down once my body and brain adjust?
       
    25. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      Hi @kevin b

      Everyone reacts differently to drugs, if you're feeling anxious, I would definitely go talk to your doctor and see if tapering off the drug yet more slowly would be helpful to you.

      In the long run, with help from your doctor, I think those feelings will be temporary. Please keep in mind I am not a doctor, and even if I were, I do not know your case. This is just my opinion based on my own experiences and reading those of others.

      I think you will be just fine, go talk to the doc :)
       
    26. erniej
      Assassinator

      erniej Member

      Location:
      Massachusetts
      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not so sure now...
      I took Xanax for years for tinnitus. I have been tapering off with terrible withdrawal.
       
    27. papu
      Amazed

      papu Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      In my experience it is very useful at onset of tinnitus. When i had my acoustic trauma i spent almost 7 days without sleep and anxiety and depression made everything 10 times worst. I took clonazepam and managen to take a few good nights of sleep and it made a whole world of difference. Only took it at start for a few days so i can not speak about the long term effects on tinnitus. Stay away from alprazolam. It short half life will induce sleep but not maintain it. I am an advocate of the use of clonazepam right at onset and only for a a few weeks. At least for acoustic trauma.
       

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