Positive Benzo Taper Outcomes: Temporary or No Tinnitus Loudness Increases etc?

Discussion in 'Support' started by SB1981, Mar 24, 2020.

    1. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      I see nothing but horror stories about benzo tapering and tinnitus/hyperacusis worsening. I’ve been on 1mg Clonazepam for nearly 9 months, starting within about 3 weeks of acquiring tinnitus/hyperacusis (and now TTTS). I hate taking meds in general and would like to taper off. This is the only medication I’m on period, though since becoming a member here I take a plethora of supplements lol.

      I have three young children, two of which have a degree of special needs. Providing their care has really been a struggle since acquiring tinnitus, but I’m back to a point where things don’t feel completely overwhelming because of the noise in my head. So a worsening is the last thing I need (obviously the last thing anyone needs regardless of situation).

      Anyway, with the constant horror stories I’ve been scared to taper and feel stuck on the medication. I know normally people only come to support forums seeking help for this stuff when having bad outcomes so it skews things.

      Please, anyone with little to no permanent change or only temporary changes chime in. I need to feel like this is possible.
       
    2. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I did a very slow water taper of Oxazepam, and my tinnitus wasn't affected at all. Neither temporarily nor permanently.
       
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    3. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      Read Don's story

      http://www.benzosupport.org/don.htm

      He made it after decades at 6mg. Most people do not suffer too much and most of the times tinnitus improves greatly a few months after the taper. @linearb had asked people in benzobuddies and had positive feedback

       
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    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Off benzos, my tinnitus is no worse than it was pre-benzo, at least as of my last full taper followed by sustained abstinence (2011-2015).

      Back on benzos, they seem to "work" as well at the same dose as they ever did when I was on them 1999-2005.

      My tinnitus predates my benzo taper and my worsening was entirely down to an acoustic trauma; if there is any connection between my long term use and my tinnitus, I have never been able to prove that one way or another. Klonopin makes my life better, at the moment, but when the time comes for another taper, we'll do it... me, my support network, and the ghosts in my head :)
       
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    5. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Started with a cold, possibly worsened by medication/noise
      In my case tapering pregabalin took a long time and my tinnitus went through the roof. The tinnitus was originated by a ear infection but was supermild. As I tapered pregabalin it went through the roof, but I don't know whether it worsened on its own or due to the medication. I have been off for 5 weeks now and I am waiting to see if it settles, it may take a long time. I am also tapering a benzo after 1 month of usage, I used it to cover the jump to zero with pregabalin. I'm tapering faster than Ashton given I took the benzo for a short time, I'll see if I manage because the tinnitus is horrid and without benzo sleeping is very hard or impossible.
      I talked to a harm reduction specialist who has seen hundreds of patients struggling with drugs and substances and he told me he has never found anything as toxic as pregabalin. It's a nerve drug so I am not sure I can recover as much as benzo people but I do hope this horrid tinnitus eases in the next 6-12 months. There is no literature for pregabalin, only anecdotal reports, for some people it resolves and for others it sticks, but anecdotes seem worse than for benzos. Fingers crossed.

      @SB1981 , this specialist told me that if you taper slowly Ashton style and slow down in case of worsening, it is quite feasible and most people don't have problems. Actually a lot of people can taper quite fast without consequences, but I would take it slowly.
       
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    6. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      If Klonopin reduces your tinnitus and "makes your life better," why not take it forever? :dunno:
       
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    7. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      @SB1981 hello I have completed probably 2 or 3 Benzo tapers and I’ve never had any issues. I can’t remeber all of them but my longest period of time I was on Xanax was probably over a year. Where I was taking between 3-4 mgs daily.

      Also I’ve stopped using Benzos which I understand is not a good idea. From maybe like 2 mg I used for a month or two with no issue

      Take your time listen to your doctor as I’m sure you’ll be fine.

      Please also remember it’s usually only people who have a bad experience tapering that feel the need to share. Many who tapper fine never think to post about it as they just go on with their lives.

      Good luck to you !!
       
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    8. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      A good question. Fears of eventual adverse effects, plus being bullish on bimodal stuff.

      Which is to say, I'll taper again once I have a more effective tinnitus treatment...
       
    9. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      For one thing, over time it begins to lose it's effectiveness for many, and larger doses are required. It was not meant to be used for anxiety, or tinnitus, it was developed as an anti-seizure medication, and has a very powerful effect on the brain. I think that it's best used in extreme moderation for tinnitus, not daily or even weekly.

      I was on it a couple of years ago, relatively small doses a few times a week for a few months, and did not experience a worsening of Tinnitus, as a result of quitting, but did endure many other very unpleasant post-acute withdrawal symptoms, for a long time, which happens to a minority of former users.
       
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    10. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've been taking Rivotril for 3 years and I'm not a scientist so maybe my explanation will sound a bit childish to the scientific folks out here but:

      After a certain amount of time, which greatly varies among people, you reach tolerance, meaning you're facing withdrawal symptoms while you're on the meds, thus needing to increase dosage to reach the same effect.
      To put it another way : your T gets back (usually worse then before, because your GABA receptors got lazy) and you need to take bigger doses.

      Then you will say : what's the problem with increased dosage ?

      First, side effects, which can be quite hard to manage with BZD.

      Then, benzos make your GABA receptors lazy and not functional on their own after middle/long-term use, which basically means you're gonna deal with a sh**load of T worsenings while on the medication (cases of hearing loss due to Benzo use exist too).

      I have been facing T worsenings for a year now and ran every possible test lately to know why my T has been getting worse and worse while I didn't face any noise trauma, anxiety, stress, etc.

      Nothing would stop the T from getting worse.

      Then I came across the Ashton manual, some of you probably know. It is about BZD withdrawal, tolerance, and some paragraphs mention Tinnitus.
      It's become pretty clear that I'm actually facing T worsenings due to BZD tolerance. I never stopped the medication, I just kept the same dosage over the years.
      I was never told BZD should not be taken more then 3 weeks...
       
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    11. Ken77
      Frustrated

      Ken77 Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Possibly benzos (lorazepam) and/or stress
      My tinnitus may have been caused by taking benzos (Lorazepam) daily for about 9 months. I am not completely sure, but my tinnitus appeared about a month after I took my last dose, and I know it is a common withdrawal symptom, so I think it is at least a possible cause in my case.
       
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    12. Gabriel
      Balanced

      Gabriel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I focused on verifying if I had tinnitus
      I have been 3 weeks on bromazepam.

      It saved me from an horrible really high pitch tinnitus (which unfortunately come back some times, like now...)

      And I continue to use now alprazolam (because bromazepam make you sleepy) when I have this horrible high pitch tinnitus coming. And each time the next day is more quiet.

      In all cases, benzo should not be used more than 2 months.
       
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    13. johnsole65
      No Mood

      johnsole65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I would strongly suggest a very slow taper of Benzodiazepines at 5-10% a month.
       
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    14. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Most manuals recommend 5% a week or 10% every two weeks.
      Why longer tapering should be avoided I wouldn't be able to explain technically, but it definitely has something to do with tolerance levels and basically make your withdrawal symptoms last longer than necessary.

      You don't wanna taper too quickly, but you don't want to stay on the medication for an extended period of time because of overly slow cuts in dosage.

      But eh...every person reacts differently anyway.
       
    15. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      @SB1981 -- I can only speak from my own experience of tapering off of 12 years of 1-2 mg/day of clonazepam (before tinnitus). I found the first tapers to be relatively straightforward. I fairly easily went from 2 mg/day to 1.5 mg. Then from 1.5 to 1.0. Thinking in percentage terms, I then slowed down, and went to .75, and I think it was at this time I noticed the taper process becoming more difficult.

      So I slowed it down much further, tapering only .05 to .1 amounts at a time, and staying at those levels for longer periods of time. This took me about a year or so. By the time I got down to my last little "speck" (around .01 or so), I thought I had it made. But going down from that seemingly infinitesimal amount to zero turned out to be the most difficult phase of all. About 3-4 months later, I purchadsed a device called Alpha-Stim, which helped fairly significantly in overcoming those lingering effects. I wish I had had that device when I first started tapering, as I think it would have helped a lot.

      I do think it's possible for you to undertake a very reasoned taper, and would likely be successful. I think the more you support your body during this time can make a big difference. Do things that support your adrenal glands, and your overall stress response (as in plenty of Vit. C, and a perhaps a number of adaptogens, etc.). I'd say start out with a plan, but be prepared to adjust it as conditions warrant. Also, try to minimize overall stress in your life during this time. I would strongly encourage you to do regular stretching excercises. I outlined some of my own approaches to calming my system in THIS POST. -- Take care, and good luck if you give this a go!
       
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    16. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Did you experience any tolerance over time? I ask because my tinnitus responds REALLY well to Xanax, but I'm afraid of making this worse in the long run.
       
    17. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Based on what everyone here is saying I think I have a new plan - extend my dream job offer 12 months which they will do with medical accommodation. Endure this next year which assuming nothing abates naturally means abject suffering - but then come 12 months play the benzo + gabapentin lottery and do my dream job - I know as of now my tinnitus responds EXTREMELY well to Xanax. If the benzos buy me a year or two then that's a meaningful experience I want in my life. Maybe there is a reckoning at some point but at least I get to add some more cool accomplishments to my tombstone before then, and hey, maybe if I make it three years there will be some proper regenerative therapies for noise-induced tinnitus. I just want more time to do cool shit and maybe this is a way forward... whereas the non-benzo route is looking increasingly grim.
       
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    18. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      Hi @GBB, I think the better you can space out using Xanax, the better you're odds of it not getting worse over the long run. I seldom take any valium these days, but it's always nice to know I can take some for a day or two, and not have to worry about any long-term consequences. That's (generally speaking) the advantage that low and infrequent dosages can provide.
       
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    19. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks - I'm currently not in a state where I can really work right now, but hoping by 12 months I won't need it (though planning around no improvement). If it comes to it I'll just bite the bullet and live the benzo life, but again, hoping that is avoidable.
       
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    20. BrysonKingMe

      BrysonKingMe Member

      Hi Ken,

      I was wondering how you tapered the Lorazepam (if you did), as in how long did you taper for?

      Has your tinnitus improved at all since it started?

      Thanks.
       
    21. Ken77
      Frustrated

      Ken77 Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Possibly benzos (lorazepam) and/or stress
      Hi,

      Yes, I tapered the Lorazepam for about two months when I wanted to stop the Lorazepam.

      Unfortunately my tinnitus hasn't changed at all since it started and I am pretty sure it is permanent at this point. I am getting more used to it though and it doesn't bother me as much anymore.

      I am not completely sure that my tinnitus was caused by the Lorazepam though. From what I have read online benzo related tinnitus is usually temporary and I have some other weird symptoms as well that have been going on since before I took the benzo which I suspect could have something to do with my tinnitus. I just don't know.
       
    22. BrysonKingMe

      BrysonKingMe Member

      That is a somewhat quick taper, although not really rapid.

      Does yours sound like an electrical static? Maskable?
       
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    23. Ken77
      Frustrated

      Ken77 Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Possibly benzos (lorazepam) and/or stress
      Well I just did what my doctor told me so I don't know.

      My tinnitus sounds like a high pitched hiss and is very reactive to sound. It is relatively easy to mask with high pitched masking sounds but I do hear it over moderately loud sound (like the TV on normal volume). I would say it is about a 5/10 in volume.
       
    24. BrysonKingMe

      BrysonKingMe Member

      Gotcha, thanks for responding!
       
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    25. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Did you abruptly stop? I have tapered off a couple of times but I can tell you that I’ve never had a problem with my tinnitus getting worse.

      I do know that people who end up with worse tinnitus tended to stop the medication abruptly and did not do a lengthy taper. Depending on how long you’ve been on the medication, it could take you a year to taper off of it. Even if you’re only on 1 mg a day. I also read some statistic that even if you get tinnitus upon withdrawal, it tends to resolve within a few months.

      I’ve been dreaming of tapering off my 1 mg a day of Klonopin. I successfully tapered last year around March but it didn’t last long because I had a new tinnitus sound in my left ear but not related to the taper - 100% related to the fact that I had a virus and lost some hearing in my left ear. Tinnitus related to a medication taper would affect both ears. Once the hearing improved, the tinnitus resolved. I went back on it to help me cope with the new sound.

      But this last week I’ve had the worst spike and change in my tinnitus. Brought on I think by an outdoor concert that I went to with very good ear protection. I had a fabulous plan. I was using double ear protection, which I have done for Broadway shows in the past. Ran the plan by my ENT. I went to the show and the percussion was just too loud and deep that I had to take the of the earmuffs off and just rely on my custom earplugs for fear of bone conduction hearing loss. This was a special concert for my son’s 18th birthday. I will never ever attend a concert or Broadway show again. My husband went to has tennis and had absolutely no effect on his tinnitus or his hearing. Go figure.

      So no taper for me in the future.
       
    26. Nick47

      Nick47 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @Forever hopeful, good luck with your taper when you decide to do it. How long have you been on Klonopin for?
       
    27. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      A couple of years now.
       
    28. Ken77
      Frustrated

      Ken77 Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Possibly benzos (lorazepam) and/or stress
      Like I said in my previous posts, I didn't abruptly stop. I tapered for about two months cutting down my dose by a small amount each week. Maybe this was still too fast, I don't know. My doctor told me this was ok. I took the Lorazepam for 9 months, 1 mg per day.

      But I am starting to doubt that my tinnitus was actually caused by the benzo. Maybe it was just stress induced. I will probably never know for sure.
       
    29. Nick47

      Nick47 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @Forever hopeful, not too long then. Has it still been a substantial improvement over dealing with this bullshit uneducated, as you look back to before you started and what it was like?
       
    30. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Well I needed to take Clonazepam to sleep and such. I’ve had a long road with tinnitus. Having had it resolve twice before, it always sends me into an anxious tailspin. The worsening of it in the last week (went to concert with ear protection) has just made everything worse for me. So now I’m upping it rather than going down in dosage.

      I started steroids in case I did some damage and those only make me
      more anxious. I have to complete the course and then maybe I can start backing off the Clonazepam. Praying to God this is a spike that will go down.
       
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