Depressed and Frustrated — Thoughts About Xanax (Alprazolam) vs Klonopin (Clonazepam)?

Discussion in 'Support' started by mexigrl64, Mar 30, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. mexigrl64
      Frustrated

      mexigrl64 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/30/2000
      Hi,

      I've had tinnitus for 15 years now, in conjunction with hyperacusis caused by my M.S.

      It was never an issue until recently, they hyperacusis was a much more difficult issue for a long time. In the last few weeks my tinnitus has become constant, loud (where I can't even mask it and it seems to get louder when I try), and high pitched. This is something I can't find coping skills to deal with.

      I'm at the point where I'm seeing my GP next week and want to ask for Klonopin or Xanax at a low dose to see if it will at least help me not want to crawl out of my body, even for a little while. I do have ENT appointment set up, and can't seem to find a local audiologist that deals with tinnitus. However, I do believe this is an MS symptom. It certainly makes sense as it could be a nerve lesion or some misfiring of a sort. They do give steroids for M.S. but I don't know if that could be helpful for T.

      I did take Ativan year ago and tolerated it well. I hope it would be the same for the other benzo's as it seems from my research that Klonopin and Xanax are more likely to help.

      Thanks for being here, I feel so alone right now :(

      Barri
       
    2. LifesABeach
      Depressed

      LifesABeach Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      Hi Barri:

      I don't really have any sort of precise answer for your questions (especially with regard to MS, but I do know how it feels to be alone with something like tinnitus and so I'll do my best to say something, at least.)

      I've never been on Xanax and so I can't help you there, except to say that it's sort of a hot button benzo. I remember asking my then-ENT about it back when I first started in with tinnitus in 2006. After I asked her what she thought of Xanax for tinnitus (after having read that old study about it helping 76% of the participants), she said and I quote, "well, I'm *not* prescribing THAT for you."

      After a while with her, I realized that she is just a conservative MD. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that may be the best sort of MD. All depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what "boat" you are in, if you know what I mean.

      As a sounding board, I asked a good friend of mine who happens to be an MD about Xanax and his opinion was that it is "nasty," and that he'd have a hard time prescribing it except in the most dire circumstances. He's not my MD, but I greatly respect his opinion, and so I - personally - wouldn't take that Rx unless there literally was nothing else.

      With respect to clonazepam/Klonopin, yes, my docs have prescribed in for tinnitus. Please bear in mind that I'm no expert, but from what I've learned, this is the benzo that the international community (Europe, especially) considers a "best bet" from the perspective potential benefit vs. potential harm. For me personally, Klonopin didn't aggravate my tinnitus but it didn't reduce it either. I think it helped me habituate to tinnitus the first time around (it chilled out my more extreme reactions and let me approach the situation in a firmer state of mind), but please be clear that others feel that benzos *delay* habituation and don't promote it.

      Barri, don't worry quite yet about being able to find an audiologist with lots of tinnitus experience. You haven't even seen an ENT yet. When you see the ENT, just ask him or her for a recommendation re: such an audiologist. If the ENT can't make the referral and if you can't find an audiologist with the requisite experience yourself, then try ata.org (the American Tinnitus Association's website.)

      All the best.
       
    3. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Benzos.
      If they make you feel better, use them. Feeling better is what they do, even if the relief is temporary.
      Don't be intimidated by them, just don't go too far and get addicted. Self-control is a must with benzos.

      I've used both Alprazolam (Xanax) and Bromazepam (Lexotanil). I still do once in a while, mostly for the kicks nowadays. I've never used them on a daily basis. Once a week maybe. That way I don't develop tolerance and there is zero chance of getting addicted.
      Both have a dramatic effect on my tinnitus (almost complete silence).

      Don't be disappointed if they don't seem to work at first. It might be a dosage issue.
      For example, 0.5mg xanax was doing nothing for me. With time, I found out that 1mg - 1.25mg is my sweet spot.

      I don't have an opinion on Clonazepam, however I'm reading that it's as potent as Alprazolam but it has a much longer half life which is a definite advantage. I'd go for Clonazepam if I were you.
       
    4. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      I have tested all benzos better effect has lorazepam.
      But for ms related T pulse corticosteroids may have the best effect when attack comes.
       
    5. mexigrl64
      Frustrated

      mexigrl64 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/30/2000
      Thanks for the replies. Good to have others that have had to travel this awful road. I think one of the issues now, 1MW, is that the docs don't know if this is an M.S. relapse. It's not a recognized one, but then neither was my hyperacusis. I worked with a great audiologist back in CT during that time, I sure wish she was down here in MS. She was quite sure that the hyperacusis and mild tinnitus (at the time) were from my M.S. and nerve damage. It seems that my lesions are generally brain stem area and effect vision, hearing, etc. Since there is no "known" connection my neuro doesn't call this an M.S. relapse.

      Pretty frustrating and I'm not hopeful that the ENT can help at all. Lifesabeach, I will ask the ENT if he can recommend someone. Unfortunately two local ones that are on the ATA website both can't help :( Not sure why they are on the website as the ATA is specific to tinnitus right?

      I did take Ativan years ago without an issue, hoping it would be the same for Klonopin or Xanax. I hate to add one more med to my currents ones but I feel like I just can't deal with this. I'm also in the middle of a move to a new place and selling my old one so pretty stressful. From what I've read I should ask my GP for the benzo based on my stress level and not the tinnitus...does that sound right?

      Thanks
       
    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      In general I am pessimistic about benzos in general and for tinnitus specifically, because I'm biased by my own bad experiences and a lot of things I've read.

      That said, the main differences are that Xanax is much faster acting, wears off faster, and only acts on GABAa channels. Klonopin also acts on GABAb channels, and there's some scant reason to think that might be significant in tinnitus.

      Definitely look into ototoxicity and benzo-induced tinnitus, before taking these drugs for more than very short periods of time. They absolutely cause tinnitus and possibly hearing loss in some percentage of healthy users.

      Klonopin completely obliterates my tinnitus, but I won't take it anymore because the price was too high for me.
       
    7. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      Everyones experience is different, but Klonopin is whats usually used for Tinnitus. It helped me out when I had H and T. I did .5mg in the the morning and .5 at midday. I used for 3 months and I slowly tapered off very very very slowly and didnt have any bad side effects. Any one of these medicines if used in excess can be bad for you. If you are looking for an occasional relief from T, then I say go for it. Really you can only put up with intrusive T for so long before you just go nuts. Even one day of relief is worth its weight in gold.
      If you just had T without the H then I would say don't do it, but for both H and T klonopin will help. For me having both extremely amplified the tinnitus and Klonopin did help a bunch. For just T or mild T its not really worth it to take it. Again just depends on how bad it is.
      This week I had a few good days and a few really bad days. I kept from taking it on the bad days and I am happy I didnt. For me as long as I get a little break every now and then, its good enough to keep me going.

      LifesAbeach, thats pretty funny about your ENT not prescribing a benzo for you. As far as I'm concerned they really dont understand what its like to have something like this. I bet if she got it for more than 1 hour she would be prescribing it for herself.

      Last week I had a co-worker come up to me and say Wow, I cant believe you can live with tinnitus like this. Someone left some high pitched machine running for 15 minutes and she had to go tell whoever had it on to stop as it was driving her crazy. She asked me for how long in a day I hear it and I answered only about 20 hours a day since I'm only getting 4 hours of sleep right now. She felt really bad for me and just shook her head as she walked away.
       
    8. mexigrl64
      Frustrated

      mexigrl64 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/30/2000
      RB2014 - I understand the sleep thing. My poor kitten climbed the blinds and broke one early this morning and I was actually asleep. I was pretty upset with her because I knew it would take me an hour to go back to sleep :( It certainly does affect my mood!

      I wonder if us having H and T makes a difference? Perhaps my T isn't as loud as it seems but because it's in my ear where I can hear at -10db it seems so much louder? This high pitch along with my H is just kind of crazy. I took Ativan when I had H really badly. It did seem to help, at least I stressed out less. I'm hoping the same with T if I start the Klonopin. Of course I don't want to add another drug to my regime but I'm just coming out of my skin.

      I've been trying some of the behavioral things that people have said worked for them. I'm being as diligent as possible but so far no change at all.

      Thanks
       
    9. LifesABeach
      Depressed

      LifesABeach Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      Yeah, right!? That prescription pad would be getting a real workout!
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      My H went away after a couple months of being on klonopin. For me the H was a result of 6 months of stress. The H and T were unbearable. For me the H added a whole new level of T loudness. When the H went away the T was much more manageable. If you can get the stress and anxiety under control the H might go away. If you cant then it wont go away for sure. Everyone is different.
      Yeah, its so easy to say live with it when you have no clue of what it feels like. You should have told her to go home and play an 8khz tone on her computer on her day off and ask her how she felt about it on your next visit.
       
    11. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Were you able to withdraw from the Kpin after that? Did your H stay improved?
       
    12. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I made this argument to one of his friends and he pointed out that his laptop does in fact emit a constant 13khz tone from one of the fans, so he hears it about 15 hours a day and ignores it :D

      If it were me I think I'd replace the fan...
       
    13. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      Yeah I'm off kpin right now, but I did a really really really really slow withdrawl. Taking kpin for 3 months didn't help me figure out all my issues though and I had to start an SSRI. Coming off kpin I started having trouble sleeping, but I cant blame the medicine for that as I wasn't sleeping before I took it. It did help me find sleep and it calmed down my panic attacks at the time though. For me it was other family/health issues that kept me from getting better though. If I just had to deal with stress/T/H I would have bounced back by now.
      When I started taking Kpin, my H was dramatically improved that day and up to 3 weeks later. I think I had it in total for 2 months, its just kept getting less sensitive as time went on. Without the kpin I think the H would have stayed with me for a lot longer as I'm pretty sure the stress was the trigger for my H and loud T. My H is completely gone right now.
      After 3 months of kpin, my T is no better or worst than before the medicine. The SSRI is calming me down though and letting me get more sleep so I'm having more better T days than not.
       
    14. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      Its probably a very very soft 13khz tone. I'm sure we all have good days and bad, but when its 8khz and its as loud as a jet engine, that's a totally different story. Right now, as I type my T is probably a 2 right now and I can ignore it and in 5 minutes I will forget its there. Saturday, I got to listen to an 8 or 9 all day and I couldn't get it out of my head the whole day.
       
    15. LifesABeach
      Depressed

      LifesABeach Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wish I knew
      It's just one of those problems that's really hard to describe adequately in words, that's for sure. I wouldn't wish permanent T on my worst enemy, but it wouldn't hurt for us to be able to tap someone on the shoulder (a doctor, family member, friend or what have you) and give them a duplicate of your T for a day just so they could get the message. Kind of the T equivalent of "a picture's worth a thousand words."
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. physics13
      In pain

      physics13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      antibiotics
      klonopin is terrible as it raises Alzheimer's risk by 84% according to a large Canadian study and Harvard University, even a 0.5% increase in risk is terrible and significant but 84% is outrageous
      www.bmj.com

      does klonopin also damage hearing? I'm just taking a wild guess as a patient, it is supposed to permanently slow thinking speed by somehow altering GABA (I am not a doctor and this isn't medical advice) and putting too much GABA into the brain?

      I've regained some of my speech comprehension but I still have congested ears and my head feels numb
       

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