Severe Acute Noise-Induced Tinnitus: Xanax Reduces the Intensity — Looking for Safer Alternatives

Discussion in 'Support' started by Marcuso22, Dec 10, 2020.

    1. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      I would like to 'hear' back from people with severe tinnitus and know what medications they take or other therapies they have used which worked well enough to bring the intensity level of tonal sounds down to a level that was bearable.

      My experience was from acoustic trauma a month ago and without taking Xanax I wouldn't be alive. I have been suicidal since this occurrence. The Xanax works to reduce the level of intensity but I hate the way it makes me feel so doped up.

      I'm looking for an alternative drug but not sure which is as effective and doesn't have the same dangers as benzodiazepines have.

      From my internet 'research' there is a lot of contradictory information even from clinical studies of the same medication. That in of itself is enough to create anxiety in someone who is suffering.
       
    2. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      Hey I have the same exact thing re Xanax. Try Kava root supplements - it's a benzo like effect that shouldn't downregulate GABA. Downside is it can be hard on your liver, but for me it's a godsend - reduces volume and smooths sound.
       
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Sorry to hear of your discomfort with tinnitus. If possible try to see an Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      I have an upcoming appt next week but not the PhD --- the technician of the clinic. Had spoken with a PhD audiologist in my city who at first was all willing to help me even though his clinic was closed due to COVID-19. He even said he would follow up with me every 3 months if he had to for next 6 months to 2 years. But after he received my ENT's report which stated I didn't require a hearing aid since my hearing wasn't bad enough in the ENT"s estimation & that I was unemployed for long time he then just emailed me and sent me links to AudioNotch and other similar type of tinnitus sound apps & said that I could treat myself.

      One other audiologist I had contacted did say I might also have hyperacusis because when I make TV louder the tonal high frequency sound gets louder as well.

      I also noticed when motor of my fridge goes on it creates stronger different sound in my right ear.

      Thanks Michael for your concern and reply.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Are you still taking Xanax? If so, how much? Kava was prohibited for years here in Canada and some products containing a list of Kava's ingredients are still banned. It can interact with Xanax or any anxiolytics & shouldn't be taken for longer than 3 months according to what I just read about it. Thanks for your response.
       
    6. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      I haven’t used my Xanax for about a month. I was taking .5 mg on days when I wanted a vacation. I never exceeded 1x per week. This in contrast to my psychiatrist’s recommendation of 3x per day.
       
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    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are in the very early stages of tinnitus. The advice some of your doctors have given I agree with. I also think you have hyperacusis or experiencing some over sensitivity to sound which often accompanies exposure to loud noise. In your case caused by the loud alarm system.

      Noise induced tinnitus which is what you have is one of the most causes of tinnitus. It often improves with time and understand the stress and anxiety it can cause but it's important, that you don't do anything that could make your symptoms worse and this includes treatment. I suggest that you leave your ears alone for now. The only treatment I recommend is something to help with stress and anxiety, so speak with your family doctor.

      The posts I have written especially for people with noise induced tinnitus and those new to the condition. Please take your time and read them without skimming, as you will overlook important information that think will be helpful. Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings particularly at night by using sound enrichment. Sound enrichment is explained in more detail in my posts and strongly advise that you use it whenever possible, as it will help you through the habituation process.

      My advice is not to use any type of headphones, earbuds or headset even at low volumes.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Some call it reactive tinnitus.
      There is no way I can just leave my ears alone for now because without the medication I would not be able to survive the extreme loudness which leads to suicidal thoughts very quickly which already once created a very serious situation sending me to emergency hospital although by calling 911 I held out from harming myself severely. I had tested myself that day by holding out for 34 hours of not taking the Xanax & when I had woken up the loudness running through my head was so intense I wanted to end my life, that was my instinctive response.

      I have been dealing or managing with stress & anxiety since this happened. I feel I am making vast improvements with that & have experience from past chronic pain & injuries going back to when I was older teenager. I am not new to understanding the relationship between pain, stress & anxiety. But the extreme dangerous thoughts come quickly (a critical stage) when I test myself by delaying the time period of dosage of the Xanax. There's a limit to what my brain/body can handle. If there were a way to get off medication I would. I don't like being on medications but sometimes there is no choice. Whether my tinnitus will get better is to be seen, but I have great doubts since I was exposed to loud alarm sound for around 15 minutes which probably destroyed numerous sensory hair cells within the cochlea of both my ears.

      I also had a very light form of tinnitus in my right ear prior to last month's traumatic event. About 25 years ago I had couple of piano strings break which sounded like gun shots. It caused light hissing sound in right ear but I never required any treatment for it & it didn't bother me for most part. Only at night sleeping it was more noticeable but I thought of it as someone in the house running a bath & it ended up relaxing me more than bothering me.
      I personally don't like a lot of noise at times when I'm on the computer reading stuff. I would usually only keep the TV on in the background at times. It would be helpful if you can provide link to your sound enrichment postings. Question: Are you in the health profession? or is your advice based on your own experience with tinnitus & from personal research & forums off the internet?
      Why? I have a music keyboard with headphones. Is that not recommended even though I use it as a piano keyboard at low volumes? I was also told to get headphones for my smart phone to listen to tinnitus sound app's by one of the audiologists I had emailed & spoken with.
       
    9. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Besides Kava, there are other natural supplements that can call the nerves and hopefully soothe the tinnitus, things like chamomile, catnip, lemon balm, etc. Google search on natural supplements for calming nerves and you should find more items. Then you can check up the user reviews on these products on Amazon to see their effectiveness to see which one fits your needs.
       
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    10. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I have severe tinnitus and take Ativan at night before bed. I find that it lowers my tinnitus and helps me sleep soundly overnight. I've been doing this for some time and never take it at any other time for the reasons you stated.

      I would suggest talking to your treating physician before considering any changes with your medication.

      I will tell you that statistically most people's tinnitus improves in time. Chances are yours will eventually improve as well.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      How long have you been on Ativan and what dosage? The problem with Alprazolam (Xanax) is that it's short acting at least the one available here in Canada. I know there is an extended release form of it available in the U.S. but not here.

      I have a printed out list of a bunch of medications for tinnitus that I will be showing my ENT next week. She's very young though and she had told me at my initial consult that she usually prescribes Amitriptyline for tinnitus. Doctors here in Canada recently received a letter of warning from their College of P & S about prescribing Benzodiazepine medications so they are very apprehensive to prescribe them long term.

      As far as improvement... I'm now in my second month and it's definitely not getting better. My understanding is that if improvement is going to happen it is going to happen usually within days or a week. The other concern is that people on here & other sites are saying habituation doesn't happen if you're on medication for tinnitus on daily basis like I have been. So then why would I try any CBT or TRT type of therapy if I'm still on medication which I know I cannot get off because there is no way I can withstand the extreme loudness level it reaches?
       
    12. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      In my opinion sleep is a major factor when it comes to tinnitus. I've been taking .5mg at night for some time but admittedly it stopped being of use as I knew it would without increasing the dosage. The choice was to either increase the dosage or decrease it with the goal of weaning of it completely. I chose the latter knowing that was the right thing to do. It served its purpose of helping me sleep. I now use it as a PRN.

      Distraction is important as well and that's what I'm able to do during the day. As someone with severe tinnitus, I look at it one day at a time. If I can take my mind off it for a few hours, that's a good thing.

      My ENT was nice enough to prescribe me a hearing aid and while I don't have any noticeable hearing loss, I use the hearing aid's Bluetooth function to mask the tinnitus when needed. When I start masking my tinnitus, I can feel the tension release from me within minutes.

      I've never participated in therapy but read of people who have and they believed it worked for them. I have little doubt of its use and effectiveness.

      I want to finish by saying that it can take time for tinnitus to subside, particularly for those with severe tinnitus. And for a few (myself included) it doesn't subside although I do have my better days. I've always say what gets me through the bad days is the hope for a better day tomorrow.
       
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    13. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Podcast Patron Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Resolved since 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      See information page
      Perhaps look into supplements like Magnesium, NAC, Pycnogenol, and Zinc. Do an Internet search of the various terms in combination with "pubmed" to become educated on the topic.

      Perhaps do some brain training.

      Remember to use earplugs and continue to do so. And be disciplined about it: small (and big!) relapses will continue to occur if you are laissez-faire about earplugs.

      Equally important: flush the advice of @Michael Leigh down the toilet – his only raison d'être on TinnitusTalk is to spread propaganda about habituation (a term he has yet to understand even after +20 years of dealing with tinnitus). I am conflicted as to what I should pity him most for: his ringing ears or his self-deceit...? Of course, either condition is somewhat refractory in nature.

      Over time, your tinnitus may begin to improve.

      One last thing that I found helpful: become an advocate and help drive tinnitus research forward. "Getting involved" is an excellent way to distract yourself from the condition.
       
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    14. Tanni
      Volatile

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      Hi Marcus,

      I'm so sorry to hear that you are struggling right now. Many of us on this forum have been where you are, particularly in the early stages of Tinnitus when it's common to be very distressed.

      I just wanted to reassure you that the above quoted statement is not correct - Tinnitus can, and often does, take a very long time to improve. It definitely does not need to happen within days or a week. Often it takes months. Either way, it's very probable that Tinnitus will improve, disappear or cease to be a problem with time, so please do not give up hope or worry too much about achieving habituation this early on. Read the Success Stories section of the site to see the many varied ways that recovery can take place.

      I believe medication has actually been found to make counselling more effective, so please don't let that put you off of pursuing counselling as an option. I also cannot see how medication would hinder TRT, so please don't let it put you off of that either. It's very important to keep talking to people about your suicidal thoughts, whether that's on here, with a counsellor/TRT specialist, or with your support network IRL.

      One of the most frustrating aspects of Tinnitus is the conflicting information you receive. Tinnitus doesn't have a treatment or cure yet, so we have to use various coping methods in the meantime. Different things work for different people, and sometimes people can be very insistent that their way is the best, but that just means it was the best way for them. You have to find what works for you.

      I'm sorry that I don't have much practical advice for you, but I just wanted you to know that there is still plenty of hope for you. Give some things a try to see what helps you, and have a look at the Research section if you're science-y minded. There's some good stuff happening there. Above all, please give it time as many people see improvements after a few months.
       
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    15. weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      I did some research into liver damage. Apparently the liver damage associated with Kava was linked to companies using the stems of the Kava plant. The root has no liver-damaging properties.
       
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    16. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      Is yours reactive at all? I am a bit short of 5 months in and whenever I mask it, it spikes.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      The treatments and travels you have done must have cost you a fortune.

      Unfortunately I'm not in such a position financially and I live in Canada which is ultraconservative when it comes to experimentation, approving new treatments & drugs for unusual conditions. Canada usually wait to see what the E.U. & USA are experimenting with and approving before they even consider looking at it for approval by our Health Canada division.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      What's most concerning is that I really do need medication throughout the day to bear the high level of intensity of the tinnitus. I also have hyperacusis and reactive tinnitus in my right ear which makes everything so much more difficult. Even an hour phone conversation spikes my tinnitus at terrible painful high levels. I can't imagine ever getting off medications and I don't believe there's a real good solution of my right ear. I've tried ambient sounds at low levels and still it spikes my right ear tinnitus. It's like my right ear has not just low or decreased sound tolerance but practically zero sound tolerance.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      I also have hyperacusis and reactive tinnitus with my right ear which makes things so much more complicated. I've tried sound masking, keeping tv at low volumes, car heater on lower setting, they all still make my right ear tinnitus spike very quickly. Even a phone conversation leads to spiking of my right ear. It's like I have zero sound tolerance instead of what people refer to as low or decreased sound tolerance with my right ear. I have no clue how that can be treated & it seems from online searches either does anybody else, except companies pushing certain products like Neuromonics.
       
    20. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      Hey, just wanted to chime in - I'm a couple of months ahead of you and though certain things do still spike my tinnitus, I can speak on the phone and watch TV for hours or even a full day without too much increase. When I started for reference, even a minute of audio would spike me tremendously for the rest of the day. I hope you progress even faster than I did.
       
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    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I do not believe there is such a thing as reactive tinnitus but if you think you have that's okay. I do believe in hyperacusis and it can be treated if self help doesn't work. Please go to my started threads and read the following posts: New to tinnitus what to do. Tinnitus, A Personal View. Hyperacusis, As I see it. The habituation process. What is TRT and when should it be started?

      All the best
      Michael
       
    22. Tanni
      Volatile

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      I understand. I also needed medication when my tinnitus first emerged - for me, it was Diazepam. I took it while waiting for a long term medication (Mirtazapine) to kick in. Now I don't take any medication. Just because you need it now, doesn't mean you will need it forever.

      I also had severe hyperacusis in my right ear at one point. It hurt unbearably to hear people talking, or even eating a packet of crisps. I tried not to overprotect and to force my ear to get used to normal, everyday noises again. I don't have it anymore (or at least, it's very mild).

      Everyone is different; sometimes it just takes time. Keep trying different things to see what helps you, and take everyone's advice, including mine, with a pinch of salt. You know best what works for you.
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      I don't know why you refuse to believe in reactive tinnitus. I can tell you as a sufferer of it, it is very real.

      You should read this article about it. It explains, defines it very well & provides many examples of people who suffer from it.

      https://hearinglosshelp.com/blog/reactive-tinnitus/

      "Therefore, before we use this term, we need to precisely define what we mean by “reactive tinnitus”. Simply put, “reactive tinnitus” is tinnitus that temporarily gets louder as the sounds around us get louder. In other words, “reactive tinnitus” reacts only to sound—not food or any other stimuli."

      Definition of Reactive Tinnitus

      "Reactive tinnitus is tinnitus that temporarily gets louder in response to sounds around us, and typically returns to baseline levels sometime after those sounds stop."

      "Reactive tinnitus reacts to noise and gets louder. However, just as with regular tinnitus or hyperacusis, each person’s experience is different to some degree.
      Audiologist Marsha Johnson explained,

      Tinnitus can be reactive and fluctuate wildly in certain people, and this is extremely distracting as you can imagine. A steady-state, tonal tinnitus or hissing tinnitus is much easier to become used to (habituate to), because it does remain constant. In contrast, reactive tinnitus, or reactive hyperacusis for that matter, is often much more difficult to treat. It is even difficult to evaluate since the testing done to assess the tinnitus or hyperacusis, including the Loudness Discomfort Level (LDL) test can set off the reaction."​
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Did your reactive tinnitus get better on its own or did you have specific treatment for it? It's very difficult to treat and doesn't normally go away on it's own. My exposure to loud sound was very long, anywhere from 15-25 minutes long.
       
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Thanks Tanni. But you don't know what caused your tinnitus & hyperacusis? So you weren't exposed to any long and loud noise induced sounds which caused damage to your inner ear? I fear my case is much more serious because of long exposure to loud sound.
       
    26. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      It just got a bit better over time. I used a laser but I think that did more harm than good for me.
       
    27. Tanni
      Volatile

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      My tinnitus could have been caused by a number of things - I've always had 'bad' ears, ever since I was a child. I listened to a lot of loud music through earbuds so could be cumulative damage.

      There are plenty of instances of people with single noise exposure recovering fully or partially. The fact is, we don't know the rules - tinnitus behaves differently for everyone, and recovery works differently for everyone too. Like me, you seem to focus more on the worst cases and convince yourself that you will be the same. It's understandable, but there is nothing to suggest that will be the case. I have my fingers crossed for you.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    28. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Reactive tinnitus is nothing more than the auditory system reacting to sound which can make the tinnitus increase often temporarily until it calms down. It is related to hyperacusis and actually a part of the condition as a result of noise trauma. The way to treat it is the same as hyperacusis with White noise generators, to desensitize the auditory system. Adding labels like Reactive tinnitus which was a term made-up in tinnitus forums many years ago makes matters worse. In addition to this people diagnose themselves with Noxacusis, and any other medical ailment they can throw into the mix which usually serves in making them feel worse and focusing on negativity, instead of reaching out and seeking help for the way they feel. The way to do this is see and ENT doctor then get a referral to an An Audiologist that specialises in treating tinnitus and hyperacusis (over active auditory system). Not seeking treatment can make these symptoms worse and other conditions can manifest themselves.

      You are in the very early stages of noise induced tinnitus and your auditory system will take time to recover. This is the reason I suggest you read the posts that I have mentioned to you. Hyperacusis, As I see it. Tinnitus, A Personal View and click on the link below and read the post: The complexities of tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Michael

      The Complexities of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    29. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunfire (Maybe) & Menieres
      I feel for you. I have severe unilateral tinnitus from Meniere's and a bad acoustic trauma involving a firearm. I have been off work for six months and my tinnitus is typically 10/10 roaring @ 500 Hz. It's so loud it drove me to attempt suicide in July of 2020. I have OCD bad too so it makes it impossible to ignore.

      My tinnitus will randomly go down in volume like now. I had a steroid injection in the ear yesterday and it was so painful. No change until today at 5pm. Went from 10/10 to 3/10. No idea why. It has been doing this after chiropractic adjustment of the cervical spine as well. It's so strange because all of the fullness is gone right now but was intense earlier.

      Nortriptyline does help regardless of all the BS on here about it being ototoxic. When you are in our state who gives a fuck about that. Ativan and Xanax will help. Stay away from THC it will make it worse. Alcohol will also make it worse.

      Supposedly your symptoms will improve. Mine have not. I keep getting worse. I guess I am the exception to the status quo. Just do what you have to live your life. At the end of the day it doesn't matter what anybody here has to say it's on you.

      Just be careful with Xanax. Don't take it for more than three or four weeks at a time or you will have withdrawals. I have heard they are living hell.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    30. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Clonazepam is probably the better benzo for daytime use. It spreads the relief out more than the short and fast acting Xanax. I can take it in the day and I don't get that heavy frontloaded doped up feeling. Also, I never exceed 1mg a day and I've never experienced withdrawls.

      I tried Amitriptyline but it didn't do much.
       

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