Tinnitus and Benzo Withdrawal?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lisa88, Jul 11, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I have been on lorazepam (ativan) .5mg per night for the last 4 months.
      I am thinking of tapering off very slowly, possibly with the added use of diazepam (valium).
      I know there are plenty of forums for benzos and withdrawals (with side effect of t from the withdrawal).
      But I need to hear from those already with t, how withdrawal from benzos then effected your t?
      Very worried.
      Thanks.
       
    2. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      I've had noise induced T for the better part of twenty years. It was very faint and was never an issue. Then came my idiot MD's suggested one month taper from 4mgs of Xanax daily for 3.5 years to 0mg. The intense protracted 18 month horror show that followed included T of biblical proportion.
      At 24 months out, nearly everything has somewhat normalized EXCEPT the T. Although it no longer tortures me every day, it still interupts my life about 50% of the time. That percentage is SLOWLY diminishing so I'm fairly confident that it'll eventually subside but in the meantime...Dam!
      Taper SLOWLY and properly.
       
    3. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks. I am very med sensitive. But the drug company that makes my drug have changed their tablet formation, which does not work for me. I have six more months of the stuff. So need to think carefully on how to taper. There seem to be no specific recommendations out there on how to do it. Possibly a mix with diazepam, but that is metabolized differently by the liver and kidneys. Such a dangerous path. The lorazepam has cut the volume of my t by half. So, hoping it is not going to go back to where it was, or worse. Yikes!
       
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    4. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      Google the Ashton Method as it is what I NOW know, based upon all the research I had done, to be the most accepted method of tapering.
       
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    5. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      I was taking as high as 6 mg daily of benzos before coming to the realization they were doing nothing in regard to my tinnitus. I tapered off over a period of about a year. I saw no difference in my tinnitus before or after the benzo usage. However withdrawing was hell.
       
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    6. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I quit cold turkey after a year of Benzo's , second worst mistake of my life.

      Worst mistake was starting on Benzo's.
       
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    7. Johno
      Dreaming

      Johno Member

      Location:
      Slovakia
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      i have been on xanax 1,5 year. 3x0,5mg. But 2 months ago i said myself, xanax done its job and i dont need it more. I reduced the dose to 3x0,25mg per day. And month ago i stop taking it. Withdraval effects: T is little bit louder and first week i was little bit nervous, + i had mild headache - same like after drinking a LOT of cofee. But after week it dissapears, except little bit louder T.
       
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    8. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @Lisa88:

      This definitely is a question for your doctor. Your nightly dose of Ativan is low and you only have been on it for four months. It should not be difficult, but everyone is different. But I wouldn't do a taper based on something you picked up off the Internet. Get a medical opinion from someone you trust, preferably the person who gave you the Ativan.

      FYI: I was on a higher dose of alprazolam than what you are taking now, and had no trouble tapering off to "as needed," meaning I no longer take it daily. The benzo forums can really scare you. Dont worry. You should be fine.
       
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    9. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      Lisa 88,
      I wanted to make sure you understand that my experience was exactly that....My experience.
      Everyone is different and some folks can stop taking benzos after high dose, long term use with little or no ill effects. But I was not. We're all different. I had no idea what I was in for and, until I started experiencing the truly hellish withdrawal symptoms, had no idea what "benzo cessation syndrome" was and, quite frankly, my MD was of little help.
      I'm not a physician and would never suggest that anyone not consult with their own MD.
       
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    10. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      As somebody recommended to me on a Benzo withdrawal group on Facebook, I withdraw by diluting a 0.5mg tablet of Clonazepam in 100ml of water and cut down 5ml of water every few days. I feel fine so far but have the creeping feeling that I should be tapering much slower. At the rate I'm going I'll finish in a couple of months. Should I prolong it?
       
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    11. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @Alex Senkowski they say if you have the feeling you need to slow down the taper, do so. Listen to your body. Not sure I know what you mean re the dilution process. If you are diluting the same dose, do you mean you pour out 5ml of water before drinking it? The lorazepam tabs are so small, think that is the way I will have to go. Some schedules show staying on the same dose for 1-2 weeks each time, so slower may be good.
      @LadyDi Thank you! You have helped me so much on these boards. I really hope everything is still moving along great for you. Your advice has been invaluable for me as I progress through these various treatments. Thank you xo
       
    12. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      p.s. Every doctor I have talked to so far about it has no specific advice about tapering. Really annoying.
       
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    13. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks for your kind words, @Lisa88. Summers aren't easy for my tinnitus, as sudden weather changes are among the things that influence it most -- and it's one thunderstorm after another down here in Florida! But really, I am fine. Just masking a little more.

      So that IS really annoying that doctors can't help you on this. But I am curious: Are you talking to psychiatrists? Or physicians like ENTs and primary docs? If a psychiatrist can't tell you how to do a taper, he/she should seriously consider another profession. The reason I recommend that people get psychotropic meds like benzos from psychiatrists: docs who don't treat mental health issues may be able to dispense these drugs, but they often don't know much about them.

      But I recognize that people may have insurance, or be in a national healthcare system, that does not allow them easy or affordable access to psychiatric care. In that case, maybe there is a professionally-led anxiety support group or something of that nature where you could get qualified advice?
       
    14. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I'm sure you've probably already stumbled upon this but in case you haven't then check out the Ashton Manual: http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/

      This is the bible of benzodiazepine withdrawal and provides very detailed information on how benzodiazepines work, why withdrawal symptoms occur and how to avoid them using a slow taper.

      Many people will cross over to an equivalent dosage of diazepam (valium) and then taper from there because diazepam has a ridiculously long half life thus making tapering significantly easier.

      For example, if you've been taking 0.5mg of lorazepam you would probably be switched over to the equivalent dose of 5mg diazepam per night (according to this chart: http://www.benzo.org.uk/bzequiv.htm) and then taper from there.

      You can also ask for advice on the benzobuddies (http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php) forum. They would be able to give you some advice on how to taper, whether you want to directly taper off the lorazepam or cross over to diazepam and then taper from there.

      Best thing would be to find a doctor who would be willing to work with you on doing a slow taper according to the Ashton manual.

      I wouldn't worry too much though, 0.5mg of lorazepam is a pretty small dose and you've only been on it for 4 months. Most of the horror stories asssociated with benzodiazpeam withdrawal mostly involve long term use at higher doses.

      Good luck!
       
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    15. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks @yonkapin and @LadyDi
      I have seen that site and that weaning method re diazepam. I understand that diazepam is metabolized differently than xanax and lorazepam through the liver and kidneys. I will look into that more, and the dilution process before I start.
      Yes, I have only spoken to ENTs and GPs re weaning, with no help form them at all. I guess next stop is a psychiatrist then. Thanks for the tips :)
       
    16. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I've been withdrawing from Ativan for almost 2 years. I'm going very slow, as my doctor advised. I used to take 3mg a day, now I'm down to 0.5 a day. If you go off it too fast you get "Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome." I was cutting down too fast a while back, and I'd wake up fearful and shaking. Unfortunately the T is a little louder but as my body settles down, my few remaining ear hair cells might settle down too. Right now my body and every nerve is a little on edge and would really like some Ativan. I guess even my hair cells are dancing and begging for some.
       
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    17. Raindance74
      Yeehaw

      Raindance74 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2010
      Maybe I'm used to them, but I've been taking benzos in some form or another for over 25yrs! (since i was 14, and I'm 39 now). I was in a car accident in high school and developed agoraphobia. I then went to therapy and it got better. When I used to fly on planes, I would mix them with red wine (not recommended as it can mess with your memory). I now only take them on occasion, maybe once a month. .5 ativan is so low it wouldn't even effect me. I dont think you'll have a hard time coming off that small dosage. Benzos are like alcohol. The first time I ever drank I had six beers, started crying, than threw up in front of a girl. By the time I was in college I was pounding liquor and driving home from the bars on a motorcycle (another stupid thing I dont recommend). I still drink every now and then but I never tapered off of alcohol either, I just got married and mellowed out I guess. You'd be suprised what the human body can endure.
       
    18. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Anybody's t got worse while tapering off benzos? I have just developed a new hissy sound to my already broad t sound palette.
       
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    19. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes I did. Although I went cold turkey. Mine spike has been present ever since. Still hoping one day it will fade. It's been about 7 months since.
       
    20. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks for replying, @Telis
      How long had you had t before you started taking it? And how long were you on the benzo for? Lastly, did you develop a new sound - a hiss - or just an increase in volume in your existing t? Thanks so much. This is scary stuff. Wish I had never gone on it now.
       
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    21. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah it really is scary, wish I had never touched it either. I had had T for about 2 weeks, was kind of freaking out so the doc gave me adivan. I was one adivan for about 3 weeks (which was enough time for me to rely on it). I stopped cold turkey and kind of went into shock. My t went from a buzz to a a very high pitch hiss accompanied by other sounds-screeching, scratching etc. also I seemed to develop H, every little sound was painful. All of this is still with me now, I hope my brain can regulate and someday I will be back to where it was....although loosing hope as it has been a while. Wish I would have tapered!
       
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    22. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @Telis Wow, 3 weeks - that is a relatively short time for a benzo. I have been on ativan 5 months, stupidly. And only now just tapering 9 months into t.
      Yes, cold turkey is not the way to go.
      But there are many stories out there of it eventually fading after benzo use. May take a while. Good news is you are off it, and your brain has time to adjust in the first year of t. Hyperacusis will definitely fade, if it has not done already.
      Have lots of hope for you.
       
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    23. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
    24. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I have been tapering off for about 2 Mo now - I was on max 2 mg of Ativan daily for 4 >years!. I got the hiss too and other T sounds.:/ but they've gotten a bit better. I am down to about 1 mg a day.
       
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    25. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      On this slow taper of lorazepam. And my sounds are getting louder again. So scared. Not sure I can do this.
       
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    26. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Have you experimented? Up your dose slightly for a day? Does that make a difference?
       
    27. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi Alex, how is your taper going? I am doing the same liquid taper off of ativan. 5% from 100ml water about every week. At 20%, my t has gone bonkers. How is your t doing with this all? And how long were you on the original .5mg of benzo for? Thanks, Alex.
       
    28. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Hi Lisa. I began the year taking a tablet(0.5mg) and a half of Clonazepam three times a day for three months before beginning the slow taper. Now I'm down to taking 80% of half a tablet each day. T is normal but still irritating and exacerbated by my already impaired hearing. I hope that the taper won't have any ill-effect on my hearing.
       
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