Tinnitus and Prozac

Discussion in 'Support' started by Dr. Nagler, Feb 14, 2015.

    1. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Do any of you directly attribute an increase in your tinnitus volume to starting Prozac or any other SSRI anti-depressants? If so, did your tinnitus return to baseline upon cessation of the drug?

      Thank you.

      stephen nagler
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Hi Dr. Nagler,

      My situation is more complex, so I don't know how useful this is, but I'll chime in anyway.

      I developed tinnitus and "tinnitus like visual problems" at the same time in my late teens. At the time, I completely attributed to having messed with a hallucinogenic drugs a few times - but I'd been on and off SSRIs for most of my adolescence, and I've had a couple different doctors over the years finger that as a likely culprit simply because I was on SSRIs for a much longer total length of time, than the less legal and more problematic (not to mention more fun) drugs.

      The other complicating factor is that I got (oral, type 1) HSV also a couple months before all these problems started, and I do wonder about that since there's a lot of data indicating it can live in the inner ear.
       
    3. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication
      Hello Dr. Nagler,

      to reply to your question: My tinnitus started 2 years ago after 5 days of taking a low dose (5mg) of an SSRI (citalopram). Even after immediate cessation I am still struggling with constant severe bilateral tinnitus today. Who knows, maybe it was just a coincidence. Hard to swallow this version of the story though...
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Thanks for your input, @linearb. I appreciate it.

      I'm actually looking for individuals who first noticed onset of tinnitus within 7-10 days of starting Prozac (or another SSRII) or who noticed a distinct increase in tinnitus volume within the same time frame. Anybody?

      stephen nagler
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Thanks, Mario.

      Any others who might have input?

      stephen nagler
       
    6. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication
      @Dr. Nagler
      May I ask about your motivation behind this inquiry?

      Best regards,

      m
       
    7. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      My left ear started hissing about 8 weeks into takIng Zoloft.
      Soon after the faint ringing joined!

      Original t is in my right ear and I had it for over 2 years with no problems in left ear when I started Zoloft.
      I could be wrong but I can't help but think that Zoloft is responsible for the new development.
      However, it didn't make right ear t any better or worse.
       
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    8. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication
      @Dr. Nagler
      Although this is no more than older anecdotal evidence about a link between SSRI and tinnitus you might want to take a look at these sources (the "dark side of the net" is full of such reports which makes even the more scepticists wonder):

      https://www.lareb.nl/LarebCorporateWebsite/media/publicaties/kwb_2005_4_ssri.pdf

      http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012...ram-lexapro-tinnitus/comment-page-1/#comments

      http://www.anausa.org/smf/index.php?topic=12161.5;wap2

      To get back to my previous question: What is your opinion on that matter? Do you have reason to believe that there is indeed a link between SSRI and T or do you think those reports are mostly coincidential? Do you know about any serious, independent, official publications concerning that matter?

      Best regards

      Mario
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      First of all, my thanks to each of you for your responses.

      Now, as far as my motivation behind the inquiry goes, the question of the association between Prozac and tinnitus comes up rather frequently in clinical practice. The problem is that the SSRIs are among the most commonly used drugs in the population, and tinnitus is one of the most common conditions in the population - so it is hard to get a handle on any correlation. My thinking is that if one were to first develop tinnitus (or a clear exacerbation of previously-established tinnitus) within 7-10 days of starting Prozac (or another SSRI), while that would still be anecdotal evidence of a connection, it would at least be a bit more compelling anecdotal evidence than their mere co-existence. especially if the tinnitus (or its exacerbation) resolved within 7-10 days of cessation of the drug.

      I hope this clarifies more than confuses.

      stephen nagler
       
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    10. MarioT
      No Mood

      MarioT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + SSRI medication
      Hello Dr. Nagler,

      I understand that you are still sceptical on that matter. So if I may, I would like to add a hypothetical
      question:

      Although I understand that you are not a psychiatrist... With all your knowledge and clinical experience on tinnitus, would you advise SSRI treatment to a patient who suffers from T-induced anxiety and recurrent episodes of depression despite the fact that the same patient claims onset of his condition upon starting SSRI treatment?
      (like I said, purely hypothetical. I obviously do not expect you to make a diagnosis here :) )

      thank you in advance, your input is much appreciated!

      best regards

      m
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      The first thing I'd recommend for such a patient would be TRT.

      Tinnitus-induced anxiety is a reaction to tinnitus. TRT is ideally suited to addressing that sort of thing. And the depression associated with tinnitus typically comes from loss, specifically the loss of control and the loss of silence. Once again TRT can be incredibly effective in that regard.

      In my experience, the overwhelming majority of tinnitus sufferers who are seriously considering starting SSRIs and/or benzodiazepines because of tinnitus-associated anxiety and/or tinnitus-associated depression are found to no longer be interested in starting the drugs by the time of their six-week follow-up session. So I encourage all of them to hold off.

      The realization that there is legitimate hope for meaningful lasting relief along with the initiation of a predictably effective strategy for achieving that relief can very often do wonders for anxiety and depression.

      If your hypothetical patient still felt the need to start an SSRI after six weeks of TRT, then I would recommend an SSRI other than the one that he or she believes is the culprit. SSRIs very often differ from one another in side-effects even though they belong to the same family.

      stephen nagler
       
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    12. FuzzyFrey
      Dreaming

      FuzzyFrey Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sustained loud noise through headphones
      Sorry I am a bit late to the party Dr Nagler, but if it is of any help to you I was on Prozac for three years (2011-2014) on doses between 20mg and 60mg but I didn't notice it having any effect on my tinnitus whatsoever.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Thanks for your input. Appreciate it.
       
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    14. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      Any thoughts on taking Prozac?

      Will it make tinnitus worse?

      I'm depressed because I have tinnitus so I don't want to make it louder.

      Thanks!
       
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    15. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      @jeannie I have tried Prozac it didn't affect my tinnitus. But I could not get on well with this antidepressant it made me feel like a zombie. So the doctor prescribed me with Amitriptyline which I'm happy to be on now. Antidepressants don't suit everyone having said that you might be fine on Prozac.
       
    16. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      What mg was you on Richard?
       
    17. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      @jeannie 50 mg a day. Amitriptyline is not just a depressant, it's also a drug for nerve pain, it's also used widely by doctors to help tinnitus. It certainly brings my tinnitus down so l can get to sleep more easily.
       
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    18. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      Ok thank you!
       
    19. Natalie Roberts
      Haunting

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Hi all! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted here but I’ve been having a rough time with my anxiety and OCD disorder. As some of you know, I have had tinnitus for over 3 years now and go through bouts where it improves and doesn’t bother much to it being severe.

      Well things with my tinnitus were going really well and it hadn’t been interfering with my life much for the last 3 months because I was dealing with other OCD/anxiety issues. I recently started Prozac (mid January) at 10 MG for 3 weeks, jumped to 20 MG for 3 weeks and am now on 40 MG for a little over 1 week. I noticed an increase in my tinnitus from 10 to 20 MG but then it subsided. I again, have noticed and increase in my tinnitus from 20 to 40 MG as well as more fleeting tinnitus. I don’t know if it’s the medication increasing my tinnitus or the fact that I’m focusing on my tinnitus more but it’s scaring me.

      I am currently backing off the Prozac and looking to switch to a different SSRI because I don’t want to risk an increase due to the meds. Wondering if any of you had an experience with any SSRI that didn’t increase your tinnitus, or with Prozac induced increase that went away after medication was stopped? I’m not sure what to try next. I have used an occasional Xanax or Valium since December for severe panic attacks as well but do not notice those increasing my tinnitus.

      My anxiety is severe and was causing palpitations and other health issues so the antidepressant is a must for me right now.

      Could use some support that this is going to get better or words of encouragement.
       
    20. spedgas
      Gloomy

      spedgas Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
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    21. Ctw

      Ctw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Has anyone had any success with Prozac? On day 5 and feel like my tinnitus is louder but hoping it will help anxiety and depression... Any thoughts??
       
    22. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @Ctw -- Prozac is known to be ototoxic, so it seems likely it's causing your tinnitus to spike. It's done so with many others on this forum. Personally, I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole. You may want to reconsider taking it. You may also want to check out a post on some of the history of the approval process regarding Prozac, which I found to be pretty sobering. -- False Hope and Reality

      Take care...
       
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    23. SergioN

      SergioN Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      25/07/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma + ototoxicity
      Paxil (Paroxetine) increased my tinnitus loudness after few days of taking it in low dose. I would stay away from ALL psychiatric drugs if it is not a life or death matter.

      I hope your tinnitus improves with time.
      Regards.
       
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    24. Harley

      Harley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      That truly is a sobering and frightening read indeed.
      It only confirms, what I suspected all along.

      Those things should only be taken when the other alternative is death, at which point one has nothing to lose anymore.
       
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    25. TomBradyGOAT

      TomBradyGOAT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      I was on Prozac when I got tinnitus. I was taking for OCD. Wish there was something better for OCD then SSRIs in the medication realm. Had good luck with Ketamine but too expansive.
       
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    26. Andy9214

      Andy9214 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/16/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing test
      My doctor prescribed Paxil for me to decrease the tinnitus and I’m not diagnosed with depression. Just have anxiety from the ringing in my ears. Very nervous to try it because of everything I’ve been reading
       
    27. Ctw

      Ctw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Every SSRI I’ve tried has made my at worse...
       
    28. spedgas
      Gloomy

      spedgas Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
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