Is Sertraline (Zoloft) Induced Tinnitus Reversible?

Discussion in 'Support' started by juliob, Oct 22, 2018.

    1. juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Hey all,

      I am at my 18th day at 100mg of Zoloft, after staying 5 weeks on 50mg of it.

      I have the impression that my tinnitus is louder now, but I am not sure because I can't compare. But I feel depressed with my current perception. All the horror stories also makes me scared.

      The problem is: I really need OCD meds and now I am paranoid on taking any antidepressant.

      So tough to know if I should insist a little longer on the med or abandon antidepressants for life. The problem with the second option is my obsession skyrocketing consuming tons of time and energy, not to say that recovery to the baseline tinnitus levels is not sure. Maybe it's better to stick to the med now that the damage is done.

      So, what would give me some hope or an idea of a plan is to know if my tinnitus will go to the base level after stopping the med.

      Can Zoloft users or ex-users share experiences about reducing the volume after ceasing to take the medication?
       
    2. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Have you talked to your doctor about Mirtazapine? It is supposedly to be "safe" for tinnitus.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      He mentioned Luvox as an alternative, but never mentioned Mirtazapine. Maybe because I don't have sleep problems and Mirtazapine is an unusual option for OCD. Also, I saw anecdotal reports of T onset or increasing using this medicine. It is listed here as ototoxic too: http://www.ata.org/sites/default/files/Drugs Associated with Tinnitus 2013_Updated2017.pdf

      I am with a high level of paranoia regarding any AD to be honest: any brute force-y change on the brain blocking receptors of any neurotransmitter, daily, for a long time doesn't sound healthy. I read an article mentioning the association between T and serotonin which makes me very biased to abandon all these pills.

      Minutes ago, I was reading a lot of stories on Reddit about overcoming OCD without meds, trying to inspire myself, helping with coming to a decision. I hope I have a smooth/easy taper and withdrawal if I decide to quit.
       
    4. DebInAustralia
      Fine

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Hi there,

      I am sorry you suffer with OCD.

      I developed OCD around the time of my onset of tinnitus. I have become obsessed with checking EVERYTHING from the house, to my car, to my work practices.

      My anxiety has been escalating over the years with various life stressors, so I get what a monster this thing is.

      Like you, I don't want to take ADs either. Have read the 'horror Zoloft stories' too. I can't comment on whether I think your tinnitus will return to baseline, as it would only be a guess.

      Here are some alternatives to mainstream.

      Inositol and high dose fish oil

      and

      James Calner's YouTube videos on OCD and anxiety

      (These videos in particular have been very helpful to me. My psych has started recommending them to her clients)

      I hope this helps.
       
    5. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      A once only higher dosage than my usual setraline led to much louder T. The tinnitus has remained the same level even though the dosage has lowered again.
      Setraline is Zoloft in the UK
      @juliob
       
    6. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Thanks for the link to those videos, the man knows of what he speaks, through his own experience, and I plan on using them.
       
    7. DebInAustralia
      Fine

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Glad I could help...
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. OCD is a horrible condition that consumes tons of time and energy, I am sorry you are in this boat.

      I consider trying the Inositol + Fish Oil strategy, but the major problem is that Inositol powder is not sold where I live, just pots of capsules with low dosages far from the 18g recommended daily. I will have to import, what a bummer.

      I will check the videos, I have Pure O-OCD, meaning that my rituals are on my mind, so it's tricky to deal with.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      I am sorry for your situation. And argh, what a bummer... this stuff is criminal. When did you stop taking sertraline? Have you tried supplements or any methods to reduce T? I am still using the zoloft pills, 100mg, but I can't say for sure if my T got worsened. But I am not comfortable with the idea of taking this medicine or any AD in particular anymore, so I am almost taking the leap of faith to abandon all this for life. @Nanny chocolate, do you take any AD nowadays?
       
    10. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Any drug will "cause tinnitus" if you look hard enough on the internet. Mirtazapine is considered the most safe and many people have taken it on here without issue. Looking it up, it also seems to treat OCD as well. @glynis has some experience with this medication and I am sure she would weigh in with you.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Fair enough.

      I will try to find glynis topics on Mirt. I am so paranoid with anything messing with my brain and my OCD does not help even with this decision: "hey, you should not try any meds or endure on them... permanent effects, remember?" vs "oh, but you need them... you might not live a normal life if you remove all them from your life".

      I wish I never entered the AD world. They all make me apathic and withdrawal is generally tough.
       
      Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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    12. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Hi
      I have been on 50mg sertraline for a long time, had tinnitus before that which is another story. One dosage of 100mg introduced new noises and to the ear that didn’t have tinnitus before. I tried to wean of AD and that led to a complete nervous breakdown from which I am still recovering. Nightmare indeed.

      Everybody is different so you may well be fortunate in having few side effects on withdrawal and with your tinnitus reducing.

      I caution not to stop cold turkey as you will have withdrawal symptoms. I have OCD also but again everyone’s is different. I can place mine to an earlier life trauma that caused chronic anxiety. As I’m sure you know OCD is anxiety based and the compulsive behaviour occurs as a way to try to manage those symptoms. You will probably be able to link your OCD to something historic that made you highly anxious. Not necessarily tinnitus though.

      @juliob
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Yes. My OCD comes from a long road, I have it since my 17 I guess. The focus of the obsessions changes, but the pattern of worrying is similar.

      I am considering tapering off very slowly from them. Only problem is that I am not working now, and I have this perfect oportunity with a work position starting on january. So hard to decide what to do.

      May I ask you for how long are you without ADs and if you cold turkey'd or if you tapered slowly?

      @Nanny chocolate
       
    14. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      I didn’t withdraw completely as my symptoms were out of control.
      Medical advice seems to be not to try to come off ADs in the winter months. If you decide to tackle withdrawal then you must seek advice from your prescriber in how to do this safely. I don’t think you are in the U.K.? but it’s really not advisable to try to do this on your own as the original symptoms may heighten.
      I think I will remain on the low 50mg dose of sertraline indefinitely as I wouldn’t want to endure again how the last year has been.
      This is supposed to be a low maintenance dose and some people are prescribed 200mg! If you find it helps your OCD then fine but therapy in addition may send it away
      @juliob
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      I am from Brazil, so weather is not a problem regarding AD withdrawal I guess.

      I am also a member of that survivingantidepressants forum and checked some slow tapering strategies based on some articles. I know that 50mg is nearly nothing for OCD treatment, but I guess I prefer to deal with my obsessions than risking any worsening on my hearing, so maybe I will follow a similar strategy as yours. And I don't intend to stop without my doctor, I think I will send a message to him asking about his support if I decide to start tapering off. The good thing is that he also is a CBT specialist.

      I started CBT some days ago (with other person), but I am not sure I have found the right therapist yet. Mindfulness meditation seems to help.

      Thank you for all the info and support!
       
    16. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      You are most welcome.

      BTW I am a Counselling Therapist and have some CBT training. I have had good results for a couple of a Clients using a mix of CBT and psychodynamic therapy. One man’s OCD just went when he realised the source of his anxiety. Happy days for him and hopefully for you. Good luck with the new job.
      Eve
      @juliob
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      I've been through freudian and jungian therapy as well. The former didn't help me too much because there is this premise that something in my past triggered my way of thinking: after 6 or 7 months I didn't encountered any trauma, but I understood better how my context shaped me. I am afraid that my genetics is blessed: I have OCD since the 17 starting with hyperawareness, I don't remember any trigger. The second helped me to notice that I was feeding things that wasn't making me happy, but only boosting my ego... also, we got these discussions about metaphysics and religion that gave me some insights.

      This is the first time I will try a CBT based approach. I really believe that my context, growing up in front of the computer in my infancy, made me systematic and perfectionist. Some bad episodes of life summed to this way of thinking made me always consider the worst case scenario, just chilling when even in this scenario things are OK. I guess this urge to control and trying to make uncertain things 100% sure is what makes me suffer most.

      I will try to search for someone who has, as you have, a blend of different paradigms, because I have the impression that CBT is kinda shallow and doesn't help with the foundations... but then again, maybe the foundations are my own habits?

      May I ask you, volumewise, what your tinnitus is like? I can mask mine with crickets or with faucets, but I can hear in every silent ambient and it's a bummer to notice it between dialogues in movies/tv series, so I have to put the TV sound very loud to have a good experience lol.

      Thank you for the votes of happiness and the luck with the job. I wish the best for you.
       
    18. Nanny chocolate

      Nanny chocolate Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Devon
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unbelievable caused by audiologist!
      Hi again
      My T, that I’ve had for a long time, can be heard over everything usually. It mostly 7/8 and sometimes 10 or more and that’s awful. I had habituated well and then!! Well.....
      Your relationship with your therapist IS the therapy. CBT is great but it’s prescriptive and not for everybody.
      By seeking perfection as a way of controlling your world you will be constantly setting yourself up to feel failure. Perfection is not possible, we can’t be. By exploring that you might find some relief from your OCD.
      If bad things have happened then there can be an unconscious fear of these recurring. Cue anxiety and rituals to manage the fears.
      It’s sort of the false friend to you, the anxiety that tells you that something really bad might happen again. The friend that constantly tells you that you have a reason to be scared. Fascinating stuff if it wasn’t happening to us.
      Eve
      @juliob
       
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    19. sky_high

      sky_high Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Berlin / Bucharest
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      lexapro / stress / unknown
      @juliob Is Sertraline (Zoloft) Induced Tinnitus Reversible?

      According to this report, yes: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crips/2016/1790692/

      "A 50-year-old woman developed bilateral tinnitus after several weeks of being treated with sertraline 50 mg. She had been on a long-standing daily dose of aspirin 325 mg which had been discontinued shortly before starting sertraline. Medical work-up was negative for her symptom. Shortly after discontinuation of the medication, her tinnitus subsided completely."
       
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    20. DebInAustralia
      Fine

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      You do what you have to (order internationally) if it means buying a product that isn't going to mess with your tinnitus.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Thank you for all this. I booked a session with a new therapist here. Maybe this is the right one!

      Cheers!
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Thanks! I saw this study, but it is indeed pretty good to remember. What bugs me is that I spent 5 weeks on 50mg and now I am more than 2 weeks on 100mg. I hope recovery isn't time/dosage dependant. Also, there are these anecdotal reports, lots of them, blaming Zoloft for persistent T (like Nanny chocolate told about herself). Decisions, decisions...
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      I agree... In fact, I ordered 2 pots of Inositol powder from iHerb couple hours ago lol. It will take some time to arrive, but meanwhile I will study myself on Zoloft and try to decide what to do.

      It's incredible how almost everything can mess with the hearing, I mean, this list is huge and contains all meds I used in life and almost all that I considered using: http://www.ata.org/sites/default/files/Drugs Associated with Tinnitus 2013_Updated2017.pdf
       
    24. sky_high

      sky_high Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Berlin / Bucharest
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      lexapro / stress / unknown
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      juliob
      Confused

      juliob Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antidepressants / Loud Sound Exposure
      Hey, thank you for this. I know this paper and I do consider the Mirtazapine road some times... But, tbh? I am now a scary kitty regarding any med, fearing side effects due to the non-organical way of treatment. Even this forum has these reports of T onset with Remeron, it's so hard to trust in anything...

      Mirtazapine is even listed here:
      http://www.ata.org/sites/default/files/Drugs Associated with Tinnitus 2013_Updated2017.pdf

      Maybe it's more unlikely compared to the rest of the ADs, but still...

      I have kinda plan in mind: to keep sertraline (my T is stable in the same level as it was on a lower dosage) until I tame OCD with CBT, mindfulness and other stuff. Then, I will try I withdrawal. I will then wait months to analyze changes in my hearing... if somehow things get worst (it's in a ok level now I would say), then I will try Mirtazapine as a last resource. It's a long-term strategy but I guess it puts my mind to rest regarding this.
       

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