Pamelor (Nortriptyline) — Does It Help or Hurt Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Library Girl, Apr 29, 2015.

    1. Library Girl

      Library Girl Member

      Location:
      Michigan, US
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      either virus or medication
      So I went for a follow-up visit with a doctor at an ear clinic yesterday. I saw him three months ago, and he was convinced that starting Wellbutrin was what caused my tinnitus; he said that after I stopped taking it, it would go away. Well, it's been three months since I quit, and the buzzing is as loud as ever.

      He seemed genuinely confused by this, and decided to order an MRI scan (I've already had a CT scan, which found nothing besides an enlarged thyroid, but he wants to check for tumors on auditory nerves). He's also prescribed nortriptyline, as well.

      Does anyone here have experience with nortriptyline/Pamelor? (I searched the threads and couldn't really understand the responses that came up.) It's an antidepressant, and honestly I'm rather afraid to try it, since taking an antidepressant was probably what started this whole mess. I don't want to make it any worse than it already is. :(
       
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    2. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I've got nortriptyline but haven't tried it as got other drugs...But it can lower tinnitus by 10db.

      Abstract
      Patients disabled by tinnitus show a high prevalence of major depression. Furthermore, tinnitus produces patterns of disability similar to those produced by major depression. To explore further this link between tinnitus and depression, and to investigate the efficacy of treating depression in the treatment of tinnitus, a single-blind, placebo-washout, nonrandomized pilot study of the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline (hydrochloride) was undertaken in disabled tinnitus patients who also met diagnostic criteria for major depression. Nineteen patients began the study, two responded to placebo, and two dropped out prior to completion. Fourteen considered their tinnitus improved, and 12 chose to continue taking nortriptyline after the study. Depression severity decreased, on the average, by 65% (p less than .0001). Tinnitus loudness measured by audiometric matching decreased by a mean of 10 dB or 50% (p less than .02). Self-reports of tinnitus loudness and severity, somatic and psychologic symptoms, and psychosocial dysfunction all showed significant improvement with treatment. These results suggest that what initially appears to be an irreversible otologic disability in these patients may be in large part a reversible psychiatric disability.
       
    3. Johnster
      Fine

      Johnster Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2015
      I've been on Nortriptyline for about 3 months. It has helped reduce the ringing for me. Started at 25m6 and went to 50 mg. I am also on 20 mg of Celexa, and some atavan. Those three got me back to a functional state, of which is such a blessing!
       
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    4. Sleepy Scribbler

      Sleepy Scribbler Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Welbrutrin, possibly Optifast, or maybe just aging
      I take Nortriptyline for my tinnitus. It has been a Godsend!!! The tinnitus is much quieter with the Nortriptyline and I can live with it. I occasionally notice it through the day, but it's just a momentary recognition that it's still there, nothing more. The noise used to set my teeth on edge and I prayed that I would not live too long a life, so yes it has helped tremendously.

      Having said that, my brother then tried it, and it did not help him. I guess it only helps some people.

      I first noticed mine when taking Wellbutrin, too. I don't know whether it truly began then, or whether I just had not noticed it until then. I've tried Wellbutrin a few times since then, when I forget that's what started it. And the noise is louder the very day I start. Then I remember! I hope this helps some of you out there.

      I also want to tell you that people with tinnitus told me, when it was new to me, that you get used to it. Some have even told me it is comforting to them. I couldn't believe it, but now after suffering with it for a bit more than a year, I do know that the first year is the worst, and PLEASE KNOW THINGS WILL IMPROVE FOR YOU, either because you will find help, or because you will get used to the sound. Or both.
       
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    5. DonaR

      DonaR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello, new here.

      Severe tinnitus since may of this year. Multitude of sounds, in both ears, but one ear is worse. Sound amplifies like microphone feedback if i move my head or try to talk. Been to two ENTs, a neurologist, dentist and spine doc. Had 4 MRIs. Zero help, mostly every doc's attitudes or ideas have made it worse. My primary doc just prescribed Pamelor, pretty much at my request. (I asked her opinion of tricyclic antidepressants).

      Long story short, I welcome any feedback of how Pamelor has worked for fellow sufferers, many thanks.
       
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    6. ChrisBoyMonkey

      ChrisBoyMonkey Member Podcast Patron

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I used it very shortly and it didn't do anything for the tinnitus. The dose wasn't really for depression purposes, so I wouldn't know about that, probably would help in that sense.
       
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    7. LostOutWest
      Not amused

      LostOutWest Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I started Nortriptyline mid October, titrating up from 10mg to my current dailly dose of 50mg over the last 4 weeks. I too asked for it, as there is a body of research from the early 90s that demonstrated its significant ability to decrease loudness, especially those that are severely depressed.

      I have not experienced any reduction in loudness yet, however considering these drugs take time to work, I am going to give it a few more weeks before I formulate my opinion.

      @glynis has reported success with this medication in terms of reducing her head tinnitus substantially. Others, have not had the same success. I do believe it is contributing to my improved sleep.
       
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    8. DonaR

      DonaR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you both. As long as it doesn't actually worsen my tinnitus, I'll give it a try. I don't have severe depression, just really bad anxiety. Don't know what effect it will have on that either.
       
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