Safe Benzos

Discussion in 'Support' started by valeri, Nov 16, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Not sure if it's the right word to use but what are the safe benzos in terms of tinnitus?
      I used to be able to get Xanax but now the rules changed here is Australia and it's next to impossible to get a script.
       
    2. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I don't know specifically...

      ...but you can always ask Dr. Nagler or you can ask Dr. Google.

      For what it is worth, I would be slightly surprised if anxiety medication is being limited. Usually it is sleep medication which is limited (first)...
       
    3. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      The rules changed from doctor calling and getting over the phone approval from Medicare, to doctor writing a letter plus another one proving his/her credentials to be able to prescribe Xanax.
      Pure stupid!

      They are either too busy or not interested in going through this bureaucracy BS!
       
    4. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Dr. Nagler

      Instead of posting another thread in you corner are you able to give me some answers to my concern?
      Thanks!
       
    5. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Val in Hsp here ,they run a clinic/ surgery ,you just phone them up and you can get to see dr whose on at weekends ,he/she is a GP ,your records would be on Hsp system if the same as here ,they access it through your own Drs comp . You just pop along and see the dr on duty ,they can issue meds your asking about . Monday can seem a long way off till you can get an emergency appointment with your own GP ,so give them a call at local Hsp explain things ,sure they'd get on call dr to see you.Youve been on them before can't see a problem in you getting them again .Tell them your in a bad way .xx
       
    6. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Marlene

      I saw my gp few days ago and he told me the new rule but nevertheless he rang Medicare to see if they would still approve over the phone, no way!
      It's absolutely ridiculous!
       
    7. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I do not know anything about the Medicare laws in Australia - so I can't address your concerns in that regard.

      And as far as "safe benzodiazepines" go, in the US all benzodiazepines are Schedule IV controlled substances. You can do a search to find out exactly what that means. I do not see any one as being particularly "safer" than any other.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    8. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Dr. Nagler

      Thank you!

      Gp wanted to give me Valium but I declined because all I ever used was Xanax. The last thing I want now is to make things worse than they are.
      Would you be able to recommend any other benzo that doesn't make t worse, Ativan, rivotril or something else.
       
    9. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I can give you some advice. I'm not a doctor but I'm very familiar with T sufferer's experiences.
      What your doctor prescribed, Valium (Diazepam), is a very good drug, much better than Xanax. If you see the benzo half life chart, Xanax is one of the shortest, which means it gives you a spike and then dissipates, whereas Valium will not give you the up and down effect.
      There is a reason they tightly control Xanax in the UK and Australia, because it has a very high abuse potential.
      I would say listen to your doctor. Countless tinnitus sufferers are on Valium (Christian78 among others)and it does not worsen their tinnitus. In fact, Valium is used as a tapering drug off other benzos because its more mellow and longer lasting.
      I hope this helps you out.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    10. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      This.

      Diazepam (Valium) is a much better alternative to Alprazolam (Xanax) due to it's crazy long half-life. Much safer to use long term and it's the easiest to taper off of. Xanax has potent anixolytic effects, but the abuse potential is insane.

      There is no real "safe" benzodiazpeine drug though. Each one is going to cause GABA downregulation if used over a long period of time. The downregulation of GABA is what leads to dependency and subsequent withdrawal symptoms, which include tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      So you basically want to use the lowest effective dose that treats your anxiety, and you only ever really want to use them when you truly need to. That's your best bet in avoiding any further complications.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      If by "worse," you mean louder, it is relatively rare that any benzodiazepine would make tinnitus louder. Sudden cessation of benzodiazepines after taking them regularly for a while will do it, but that's a different story.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    12. DutchGuy

      DutchGuy Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing, headphones
    13. avocat

      avocat Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss
      People spend a lot of time here talking about medication potentially making T worse. You need help with your anxiety. Worrying about what benzos will and will not make your T worse will inhibit you from getting help if you won't try anything simply because someone on the internet said it may their T worse. You are always going to get ten different answers because everyone's experience is different.

      I just see a lot of people here not getting the help they need and could potentially get from medication because they're so afraid to try anything because a couple of people convinced them it would make their T worse. The T is already unbearable and most people are here because they are having trouble coping. I'm not saying it's not a genuine concern, I'm just saying not to let a few people's personal experiences color your own choices.
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    14. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      So weird to see the title "Safe Benzos". Not too sure those two words go together.
      Xanax and Ativan are two benzos that can decrease the sounds in some, and help occasionally with sleep also. They have relatively short half lives. Klonopin (longer half life) has also been studied to help.
      For some, these can work well for the beginning stages of t.
      But a script for any more than 3 months with daily usage can then have reverse effects. Tolerance can kick in and often make t worse with that tolerance or subsequent withdrawal.
      I found that happened to me. And t grew worse in my first critical year or so of t. If I could have gone back, for me, I would have taken the dosage for 3 months max (including the slow taper).
      Be very careful. Everyone is different. Talk it through extensively with a caring and knowledgeable doctor/ENT.
       
    15. DutchGuy

      DutchGuy Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing, headphones
      My ENT said I could use any AD. He only adviced me not to take antibiotics for T and H.

      Good post!
       
    16. dh42

      dh42 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      For anxiety, I would try to get on an anti-depressant before a benzo, but I have tried several ADs and just cannot tolerate the side effects. As a result, I have been using a low dose benzo (switch/cycle between Valium and Klonopin over time) nightly since June as they have helped me with sleep too. I have not felt any need to increase dosage and I even decrease it on occasion. The key is to stick to a routine with it – I take mine 30 min before bedtime; with shorter acting benzos (Xanax and Ativan) simply taken as needed, the chances of dependence and abuse increase depending on the person – especially if that person has had drug and alcohol problems in the past. A lot of it comes down to the person’s profile. But still, most people will not turn into a raving benzo addict as some portray. I’ve had several doctors tell me this who work with these meds. Tapering is important if/when you’re ready to come off the medication - including anti-depressants.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    17. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      I just started Valium. It reduced my anxiety and my T or at least made it not drive me crazy. I don't know if I can not take it every day. It does make me tired during daytime.
       
    18. dh42

      dh42 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Agreed, compared to Klonopin, the Valium makes me drowsier.
       
    19. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes, people need help at the beginning. But always best to educate yourself before you take a med. This is a very well known benzo site. Tinnitus is a very real protracted withdrawal symptom from long term use for many many people. Not just a couple.
      http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/
       
    20. DutchGuy

      DutchGuy Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing, headphones
      I hope not permanent, since I got worse H from ativan, but only used it for a short time.
       
    21. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I have been taking Xanax for a year and haven't had any problems. I take a low dose 2-3 times a day. I don't think I've built up a tolerance or have any problem with withdrawal between dosages because I often forget to take the afternoon dose and don't suffer any ill effects. I am habituating. I knew from posting to @Dr. Nagler that it might take me a bit longer to habituate because of the Xanax, but it was a price I was willing to pay to get relief from extreme anxiety and the terrible reaction . My doctor sees me every four months to supervise the medication. He has told me that as long as I only take it as prescribed that I won't have any problems. He took a complete history before prescribing. I am not advocating taking any medications--just sharing my experience.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    22. Marcini
      Dreaming

      Marcini Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2008
      Do they still work as they used to? I believed them to become less effective over extended use.
       
    23. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      There is no safe benzo.
      Benzos are good to use them 1 time a year when the situation in unmanagable.Is for the fucking 1 worst time the you are in suicidal situation.
      If you use them periodically then your T will become much more worse and you will develop H.
      Stay away from benzos is relief only for a week and after that there is much more worsening because the destroy
      the natural endogenous neural inhibition system.
      Perphaps antiepileptics/cambamazepine can help you to withdraw without serious side effects.
       
    24. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Any proof for this claim?
       
    25. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      It's known side effects listed in paper inside the box of drug
      and this is my personal opinion from my observations.
       
    26. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Yes , they are still as effective for my anxiety. I feel no side effects. I just feel normal--not so worried and anxious as I used to feel. I was very anxious before the onset of T and when I woke up with T it almost pushed me over the edge--I had panic attacks. These days I feel mostly like my old self except for a few loud days a week. I even deal with that better now--my reaction to my T is becoming less and less.

       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    27. Marcini
      Dreaming

      Marcini Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2008
      That's great to hear. I hope you continue to improve.
       
    28. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      My experience has been pretty much the same as @Kathi. I also have been on Xanax (alprazolam) for a little more than a year, extremely low doses. I no longer take it on a regular basis during the day (only as needed, which is usually no more than a few times a month) and take a very low dose at night (.25 mg to .50 mg) because I have severe night-time anxiety. I am monitored regularly by a psychiatrist (not a GP).

      I had no issues with withdrawal when I discontinued low-dose day time use. And at this point, I have not had to increase my night-time levels in order for it to remain effective.

      My tinnitus has not increased overall, and I have not developed hyperacusis. But while I don't agree with @1MW suggesting that everyone will have a bad experience with benzos, I do agree that they are tricky drugs, not for everyone and need to be closely supervised by a mental health professional. Everyone reacts to these medications differently and you MUST follow your doctor's recommendations. I just am concerned that absolutes ("there are no safe benzos") will keep some who could truly benefit from these medications from trying them.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    29. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      benzos symptoms come on discontinuation or when they loose effectiveness after chronic use.
      The withdrawal syndrome come when your lower the dose not when you take benzos.
      The intensity of withdrawal symptoms is strongly dose related and time related.
      0.25mg and 0.5mg are low doses if you can stay in that levels but i think that after some time
      these doses will not work.
       
    30. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Where does the damage occur from discontinuation? Is it in the ear or the brain? My T went ballistic after I quit adivan abruptly. I am wondering if this is something that can get better over time (like say years). My T is all upper frequencies with what appears to substantial loss above 9hkz. (Basically can't hear anything in that range but my T).

      I'm pretty sure things will not improve but I have read stories of protracted withdrawal (tinnitus) lasting for a long time and getting better. I wonder if this is a possibility?
       

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