Lexapro (Escitalopram)? Please Share Your Experience

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lynnette, Nov 25, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Hello all. I've had tinnitus for 4 months now either due to an antibiotic or anxiety (traumatic event happened). I've become very depressed and anxious over the past few months and now notice i get stuffy ears when anxious too. I started lexapro 3 weeks ago since the depression is severe - however my tinnitus has increased (ear stuffiness too). Anyone have any luck on an antidepressant with tinnitus or their ability to cope with it?
       
    2. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Hello and 'welcome' :)
      Others have linked to this site as for ototoxic medicine http://www.ata.org/sites/ata.org/fi...by_League_for_Hard_of_Hearing_2012_Jul_12.pdf
      Personally I have yet to eat antidepressants, though when I went to the doctor after my first days of t, he recommended ibuprofen against the stuffiness. It fixed that momentarily and possibly aggrevated the tinnitus -.-'
      But search around on this forum, there are great tips and tricks, and as well as advice of the antidepressants-experience :)
       
    3. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I won't get into my life, as I've posted way too much about it already. All I can say is I am an anxious and depressive mess, and tinnitus decided to show up recently which makes me even worse off...

      I need to start an antidepressant, and have this bottle of Lexapro in front of me. I am terrified to death of the symptoms it could cause, but especially of the possible ototoxicity of this drug. My quality of life has decreased to a point where I no longer wish to live, so honestly I see two options.

      A: I don't take the drug, and I end my miserable life as I have absolutely no desire to live anymore. None.
      B: I take the drug and put up with the side effects, and pray to god that it doesn't worsen my Tinnitus...

      I could really use some advice or motivational words right now... I don't know what I would do if this Tinnitus got worse... but can't fathom living one more day like this.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    4. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Am so sorry you're feeling this way Storch....I have no experience with anti depressants as I never took any... I can't advice you on that, but I understand how hard it is to deal with t..... What can I say but hang in there buddy.....we are all suffering :(
       
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    5. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      You don't have to get into the details about your life; one thing at a time is the way to unkink this tough knot.

      I'm Dan...I've had Tinnitus for 13+ years.
      I've been at that place before....you have to trust that many others have been through this process.

      However, that process of anxiety and despondency is usually within the first few months to a year...so the ups & downs with depression and anxiety are hopefully only a few months long.

      You really and truly should call your suicide prevention group in Utah or the National Hotline:

      1-800-273-TALK (8255)

      There is a website...but, I think you could probably use a voice to yak things over. People do call Suicide Prevention a lot with tinnitus issues because it's a rude awakening...an alarming and anxiety laden situation.

      Talk to these folks....as soon as you get a free line to call. They're not going to chase you down by phone trace...they're only going to give you some assurances, suggestions and a lot of time to hear your situation.

      Monday, please call your MD to talk over your concerns with your medication and possible Tinnitus side effects.

      Since you're a month in and taking Lexapro....if the indication is to find another comparable med without the Tinnitus side effects.

      Again....I'm not the old, old, old, old, olllld timer here...but 13 years of experience; I may not have seen it all...but I've seen plenty of ups and downs with this malady.

      Again....1-800-273-TALK (8255) first. We can try to work out the next step tomorrow after a good night's rest. That's what this group is all about.

      Dan Turner
      Conyers, G
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    6. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I'm still despondent after 2.5 years.
       
    7. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma


      I haven't started the Lexapro yet, the Tinnitus was caused by a loud noise exposure (concert). The depression & anxiety were caused by other life occurrences, the Tinnitus was just the cherry on top.

      I've called suicide hotlines, multiple times, I really do appreciate your effort to help though. I am not myself anymore, and am ready to give up. I was hoping to get some information as to if Lexapro would worsen the tinnitus or not.

      It's a never ending downward spiral, and is not letting up. The poster above me feels despondent after 2.5 years, I really have no hope, and I'm ready to go. The world is an ugly, sick place and I want out. I don't want to die, I really, really don't... But I would rather die than suffer any more. That's why I wanted to try the Lexapro, but if it will only make things worse... why even put the poison in my mouth.
       
    8. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      @dan, it's people like you who made me avoid these forums for so long. We're supposed to be a community of *support*.

      @st0rch, Were you prescribed Lexapro recently? If they were will to prescribe you that, chances are they're willing to prescribe you an alternative antidepressant that's definitely not ototoxic. Plus, ototoxic medications do not necessarily create long-term tinnitus. Also do remember with drugs like that, your body can often react strangely at first, or seem to have no reaction at all at first. Hang in there!

      I know that when I realized my tinnitus wasn't going away, I wanted to kill myself. When it got worse, I wanted to kill myself. And each time I sprung back. I've found effective coping mechanisms. And it's true, the longer you have it, the less you think about it. And the less it elicits negative reactions.

      If you are having issues with anxiety, keep in mind that it can make tinnitus so much worse! This is true in my case. Though anxiety and depression are often interlinked, consider attacking the problem from that side too.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Take it. It can't get worse than you not wanting to live. I'd say that's a pretty good reason to take an antidepressant! It wont make it worse, it can only help. But, you have to do the work too. You cant swallow a tablet and think you will magically feel better coz you wont. It might aid you in getting better but you still have to put the effort it. But I totally know how it feels to wake up each morning and wish you hadn't.
       
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    10. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      If you're not happy with the drug you've been prescribed, ask for another. I took Zoloft and within a few weeks the tinnitus was absolutely no problem whatsoever. I still had it but it bothered me not one bit. I made the mistake of coming off drugs too soon because like you I had a lot of anxiety and depression that needed sorting and just taking drugs without dealing with the real problem is sweeping the problem under the carpet......it will reappear when you come off the drugs. So...find the best antidepressent you can (look at Kevin Hogan's site on tinnitus and his experience of Zoloft/sertraline; all very positive) and when you feel better because of the drugs, which you will because they will lower your anxiety, then it's time to deal with the stuff from your past that has caused you to get tinnitus in the first place. Tinnitus can be 'caused' by loud music etc but the vast majority of people who have tinnitus have it because of their personality type, usually very sensitive or have issues from the past or worry a lot or are very anxious etc etc and that is what keeps it going. Hang in there, you WILL be OK in time and be a much stronger person because of it. My thoughts are with you. X
       
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    11. Carlo
      Balanced

      Carlo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      I agree with @Beth. I had escitalopram for 9 months in the past. It helped me a lot, without side effects. So if doctor prescribed it, take it! Or, at least, discuss with him/her another option. Usually, anti depressant lower the perception of T.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    12. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      stOrch.... I think most everyone you meet here has had the scenario you've described. Especially in the early weeks after it's apparent that there's a possibility of a problem that you didn't expect..nor want. Everyone here has the greatest sympathy mixed with empathy....but, the key phrase in this sentence is...."Everyone here." We got past these down moment....absolute valleys and abysses. I'm assuming almost every person here has also contemplated suicide because this was most definitely something that we did not want.

      There is an anti-depressant by the name of Nortriptyline that I took for 8 years. It served dual roles as my daily dose was relatively small and always at night. Number one....it knocked me out for a full night's sleep; more correctly, when I woke up...whether it was 8 hours or 3 hours, I was good to go for the day as if I had gotten the full night of rest. If you're not getting enough sleep, or if you don't feel rested in the morning...it's a rough way to start each day. Part of the Nortriptyline dosage as anti-depressant also aided in the fresh start with a positive outlook. It was my med of choice and I held onto it for 8 years until I ran out one night and just never got another prescription to fill.

      The Nortriptyline got me through the worse part of it all because it was a great new morning to be feeling ready to move along with life. Sleep is something that you really should be going for just because...if you're running full tilt up and down the sine wave between anxiety and depression....you can use a break.

      It's not a solution...it's simply something to help you cope with what could be a temporary condition....or a long term condition.

      Please don't make a terrible decision without weighing the large number of folks here with Tinnitus that made it through the rough early stages. Your tinnitus may or may not get better...however, you will. You mind has plenty of room to adjust....but first you need to sit back and remember the successes of many, many others in the first few months. After a while the tinnitus noise just becomes part of your "landscape" of ambient noise each day once you're not focused on it as you are today.

      Trust me. My tinnitus noise is here...but my mind has put it so far down in the mud that I don't hear it unless I tune in on it. That situation occurs naturally....or you can rush up the process with cognitive therapy to help brain train yourself.

      No one wants you to give up....again, we've all been in this same empty hole very early on. You will adapt and you never know like very many, you may simply wake up one day and any bent hairs/sensors in the cochlear chamber may stand back up from being bent by noise impact and the "short circuit" and tinnitus have disappeared.

      It does happen. It would make everyone very happy here to read a note from you one day that you're leaving this site because you just don't need to hang out here any longer....and that happens all the time, too.
       
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    13. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Oh well... thanks Dan, i feel so much better now... (not ) maybe after 2.5 yrs you just don´t want to!! i´m struggling i really am, i´m 5 WEEKS in tomorrow, and although i´m far from recovery, i´m better than i was 5 weeks ago!!!!!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999

      That's great!!
      As memory serves, I recall just getting over amped on the occasion....just worked my brain about everything going wrong...or right. I was also having a lot of trouble sleeping at night...for all the obvious reasons....wake up, hear noise, start thinking all the worse case scenarios and then stay awake after that flurry.

      However, because I was worn out, I'd wind up dozing off a few times during the day....but that little power nap did wonders for coping because no matter how bad I felt before dozing off, when I woke up....it was like a reboot. Cache cleared...spin ups took place and I was back in action. As those "naps" got further and further apart, I was pretty much just "self adjusting" during the day.

      Everything will adapt...but you've got to rest up between "bouts" where you're ready to get a baseball bat and beat whoever or whatever gave you Tinnitus.<G Good for you Carol. It's still early, but if you have Tinnitus...you're doing great!!

      I hope it's temporary and just goes away one day when you least expect it!

      Dan Turner
      Conyers, Ga
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Dan sorry if i was a bit frustrated!! i need people who have had t for a few years to give me hope, not confirm my worst fears!!! at 2.5 yrs of this bloody strange phenomenom, i would have thought you would be breezing it by now? I´m not stupid, and i kind of get it, it´s going nowhere, but i can´t imagine living with it for the next 1 yr never mind 2.5 yrs... it can´t be that bad surely? otherwise it would be on the news every night... another t victim topped themselves?
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      i needed to take a boat load of drugs to help me get to sleep - but the drugs did tide me over for sure. 3 months ago i thought it was pine box for me as well. i kept going, the docs put me on imovane and lyrica - i am down to half an imovane tablet at the moment, so that part is good. i also started doing keeping white noise or pink noise on at night time which will definitely help you sleep, i keep some quiet Enya music on as well, and this has really helped. today i feel a whole lot better than just even one week ago. also, they put me on tegretol, but i quickly found out that tegretol can cause tinnitus, which it did for me, so i stopped it, and now i am able to function and feel pretty good. it does get better, you have to believe that, and you use the method called TRT which involves using very quiet white/pink noise at all times, gradually your brain will start to learn how to ignore the tinnitus, this does not happen over night - for me it took more than 3 months, and it can take 6 months or even up to 2 years. after rock concert noise tinnitus is pretty well guaranteed, so do not do anything like this at all any more. i also wear noise cancelling headset called Bose 15 to cut down on ALL noises, because with all the machines, road traffic noise, motorcycle and bad mufflers and back fires and sirens etc it all adds up so i wear my headset at all times. i was feeling really bad like yourself, but i just kept going day by day, and it was very rough for a long time, so do not worry about that part - it will definitely be rough, but you will definitely improve so take your meds and do all of the above.
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    17. Lulubug69
      Artistic

      Lulubug69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2013
      Storch,
      DO NOT GIVE UP! I'm sure most of us has felt as you do at one time or another and when one of our own is suffering we reach out. You just need to talk to your Doctor and talk about what your concerns are about Lexapro. There are other things out there that are not ototoxic or at least less ototoxic than lexapro. You owe it to the old you to at least try to find something that can help. There are a lot of people here who are on meds, perhaps you can find some info by asking what others are currently taking and have taken in the past. It seems to me that anxiety is taking over right now. Perhaps dealing with that first can give you better perspective. Hang in there.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    18. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999

      That's one thing I'll never get past....you go into the docs office with a complaint of Tinnitus. They know they're stumped for the answer yet with the exception of making life comfortable and tolerable during a phase of problem....so they prescribe a dosage of medication that has "may cause temp tinnitus" or worse in the contraindications.

      You've got a couple years on me for being a member of the "Quietly Noisy" club...but your description sounds familiar enough to me and most likely a great percentage of folks with Tinnitus.

      And you're right on the money...there will be good days and not so good days while we adapt....and there will be rough times where we LEARN what not to do in order to get too wrapped up in their Tinnitus and any recurring anxiety. Glad to meet you here and glad you chimed in because sometimes it takes some long term experience to assuage some of the 1st Month/Year anxiety.
       
    19. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999

      Carol is right. There are a lot of success stories out there...including all the celebrity names that I'm sure you've all already located in your search engine quests.

      Sooner or later in the early stages there's a search for parallels to see what others with similar, worse or incredibly unfortunate maladies have accomplished. I'm a life long pianist...a jazz piano player for many years; so I happened across a video of a piano player of classical training that had to adapt to serious deformities....and still ranked in the upper atmospheres of jazz piano players until his passing. He had a relatively short life to defeat the physical problems....however was fortunate enough (if you can call it that) to grow up with his maladies...so giving up was never an option; but defeating the angularities of the arms, wrists, shoulders, elbows and fingers due to his handicap...which he obviously never considered a handicap...not only looks painful to any other piano player but pretty much made me forget about my complaints of a dentist drill in one ear while trying to hear the other members of the quartet or orchestra.

      If you like Jazz piano (it's an acquired taste)...this is Michel Pettruciani:

      M.Petrucciani - Take the A train


      You've got an exceptionally good attitude Carol. You'll be fine. You've also got a good heart to share even at this stage of the game for yourself.

      Dan Turner
      Conyers, Ga
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    20. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Dan, i´m loving you right now... if music be the fruit of life, play on... albeit quietly... hahaha!!!
       
    21. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      OOPS!!! if music be the GIFT of life... play on...
       
    22. Dan Turner
      Transparent

      Dan Turner Member

      Location:
      Conyers, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      I'm just very happy to lend a hand again. I used to moderate a few forums some time ago when I was involved early, but have to give it up every so often. One starts to focus on the very thing we're trying to ignore because you do get wrapped up with good people in crisis. I'm hoping for the best for sc0rch and others...that would be YOU too since you're a month in. And I do remember my first month...so I'm all yours.

      dlturner@bellsouth.net

      Dan
       
      • Like Like x 1
    23. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you xx
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      Start off on a low dose and see if that's enough to improve your mood. That way you can feel better and come up with coping strategies and then get off them if you want. Don't give up hope, there are treatments available.
       
    25. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      It`s ok, I have rare form of tinnitus, so Im not an example.
       
    26. Lynnette
      Blah

      Lynnette Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 2013
      Storch I started lexapro 6 weeks ago for severe depression / anxiety - my tinnitus in both ears started in August 1013. I have to say that since starting lexapro the tinnitus has increased only when upping the dose from 5mg to 10mg and then dropping down to 7.5mg. After a few days it lessons and it starts to become manageable to a certain extent. I have my good days and bad days with the t. Sleeping plays a huge part for me on how loud the t will be the following day. I can only hope t lessons even more in time or I learn to cope with the ringing and am able to tune it out more effectively without obsessing about it all day when it's bad. I didn't want to go on lexapro but unfortunately it was either start a med for the sake of my sanity or check myself into the nearest psych hospital and be forced to take them. This is where I'm at now....feeling much better mentally but still dealing with t - probably in a better light though. Hang in there.
       
    27. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      I just got a prescription at my checkup for some Lexapro, not because of my new tinnitus, but due to the overall increased stress from the tinnitus and dealing with a different, totally unrelated medical condition.

      I don't think I'm going to take it. I suppose the odds are low that one's tinnitus would get worse, but if it's considered ototoxic, I think I'll have to manage without it.

      Just wondering what the board thinks. I normally don't take any meds of any kind and really never have. It's just that it's gotten to be a little bit extra stressful of late. Thanks.
       
    28. kevin b
      Fine

      kevin b Member

      Location:
      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      You can read a million things good and bad about lex. I have been on every SSRI over the last twenty years and lexapro was by far the best for me. It has the least side effect profile and is the cleanest of the SSRI. I wish I never went off it in November because I believe I got T from Cymbalta. I do not know whether it is oxotoic or if it will increase the T. I am back on it and did not notice a difference. I can only say I was on it for 10 years and it was a very safe and reliable med. only you will know if you really need it. My only advice if you do go on is to give it at least 6 weeks to work and make sure you are on the right dose. Good luck
       
    29. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      I can tell you i have been on lexapro for two years now and nothing but good things have happened to me bein on it. Its amazing for anxiety.. My overall anxiety has improved soooo much cause of this drug. Now i got on this pre T so i wouldnt know whether it increases T but if it does its most likely only temporary like everyone else has experienced in here with different anti depressants. And also my doctor prescribed this to me cause she said out of all the antidepressants on the market this is one that has the least side effects. My only side effect was decrease in sexual things but after few months being on it that subsided. I think you will be okay on this. I also take klonopin with it sometimes and its great.
       
    30. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Oh and like kevin said it does take a month and a half to work.
       

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