Tinnitus at New Heights: Clonazepam Withdrawal Combined with Slap on the Ear

Discussion in 'Support' started by Liam_Cairns, Dec 7, 2020.

    1. Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Hey guys,

      I was taking Clonazepam 2-4 mg once every three to four days for about six weeks.

      I stopped taking it and then immediately experienced pretty pronounced withdrawal on the 3rd day, thus I reinstated on 2 mg and tapered over about two weeks with the last four doses being Valium.

      I felt kind of crappy for the first four days off but could feel myself getting better.

      However, just as luck would have it, I got slapped on the ear while wearing custom molded ear plugs and 24 hours later my tinnitus skyrocketed in that ear to levels I had never experienced.

      I truly have no idea what to do, I told my GP who is really lovely and understanding and he said I tapered too fast. He put me on Keppra 500 mg x2 a day and 15 mg of Valium and has me on a benzo withdrawal plan of around 3 months.

      I have no idea if I should take a higher dose of benzos and if this bad tinnitus is caused by withdrawing too fast or if it was caused from the slap on the ear.

      Should I try and take a higher dose of Clonazepam for a bit or is it too late now?

      I just feel so shit and stupid right now and have no idea what to do.

      On the plus side the Keppra has been amazing for my hyperacusis. And the doctors are talking about starting me on LDN as I have had enough steroids for a lifetime.

      Should I switch back to Clonazepam at 2 mg and see if the tinnitus goes away?

      It's been like 4 weeks now since all this happened and I'm down to 10 mg of Valium daily.
       
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    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      Could be either. Both can cause worse tinnitus.
      What does your doctor think? I don't think you should, but I'd listen to your doctor.

      I think things will improve for you when you get rid of all these nasty benzos out of your system.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Pretty sure my doctor wants me off the benzos so I think I might just learn to live with this new noise instead of going further down the benzo hole.
       
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    4. Marin
      Happy

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL (probably previous noise exposure, too)
      I feel your pain because I have hyperacusis and have also been taking Klonopin about as frequently as you were. If it were me, I’d follow the doctors orders and use the Valium to taper since it’s a longer lasting benzo.

      Can I ask you more about the Keppra and how it is helping your hyperacusis? How severe is your hyperacusis and do you have ear pain? Is the Keppra helping with both pain and sound sensitivity?

      Sorry for so many questions. I have severe pain hyperacusis with very low sound tolerances, and I’m very interested in trying Keppra for myself.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Yeah Keppra helped with just how I react to noise, it just straight up doesn't hurt as much, also only side effect I experience is sleepiness which has improved over time. I have both pain and sound sensitivity and my LDLs were pretty low last time I got them checked.
       
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    6. Marin
      Happy

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL (probably previous noise exposure, too)
      Wow, @Liam_Cairns, that’s fantastic. I’ve been wondering about Keppra for a while, but I haven’t been able to find much about it besides the one old thread here on Tinnitus Talk. Thanks for sharing! I’m happy that you’ve find something to give you some relief.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Yeah I honestly just thought I would try it for the sake of it. I wasn't super hopeful but it seems to have done something, from my understanding it can't make tinnitus worse as it's not a side effect so it seems like you might as well.
       
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    8. Marin
      Happy

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL (probably previous noise exposure, too)
      Hi @Liam_Cairns, I hope you don’t mind me asking a couple more questions about Keppra. Did you start right away at 500mg x 2 or did you work up to that dosage? Also, how long did it take for you to notice that it was helping with your hyperacusis?
       
    9. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      @linearb has a good knowledge of benzos, so maybe he could give an opinion?
       
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    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      Sorry, I really don't.

      This is a complicated situation; multiple drugs plus a physiological and auditory trauma, and it's already in the hands of what sounds to me like a doctor who has a grasp on benzos.

      The duration of use and cessation plans for the benzos seem fine to me. I'd expect mild to moderate discomfort which could include temporarily spiking tinnitus.
       
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    11. 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 it help at all with reactivity, if you have that? E.g. tinnitus competing with noise or spiking in response to noise.
       
    12. DRobi

      DRobi Member

      Location:
      Saint Petersburg, Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Presbycusis
      When my tinnitus hit on September 1, my GP prescribed Xanax 0.5 mg to 1.0 mg/day as needed. I pretty much took 1.0 mg every day for 4-5 weeks during the initial freak out phase, and then I started a long taper with .25 mg cuts every 4 weeks or so. Not the best way to do this, and I had days of horrible anxiety, depression and insomnia. He switched me over to Ativan in late November as it is the half the strength per mg as Xanax, and I have continued to taper with that. I am down to 0.25 mg/day of the Ativan and will cut this to 0.125 mg through January and hopefully be done.

      However, over the past 2-3 weeks since I switched over the Ativan and made my last dosage cut my tinnitus has been horrible!!! Louder, more shrill high frequency and continuous with relief ever throughout the day. According to the Ashton Manual for benzo withdrawal, new or worsening tinnitus is a common withdrawal symptom. Although I was totally freaked out in the first few weeks of tinnitus onset, I don't think I would have jumped so far into the benzo bandwagon if I knew then what I know now. Now, I have a benzo withdrawal issue, and my tinnitus is way worse than it was in the beginning. Nothing can be done now but to finish out my taper and hope my tinnitus subsides as my brain chemistry gets a little more normal

      Interested to hear anyone else's experience with increasing tinnitus related to benzo withdrawal.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Yeah, it does also seem to reduce reactivity.
       
    14. 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 may have to give it a try then.
       
    15. twa
      Busy

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      Hi Doug,

      I can't speak to all of your situation, but I have experienced a taper on Clonazepam. Once I read about benzodiazepines, I immediately told my doctor I wanted to stop taking them. She recommended an immediate withdrawal which I knew I was sensitive to medication so I started a micro-taper. I used a scale and tapered incrementally over 4 months. It was so subtle that the last dose came uneventfully, I did not even have problems with insomnia. Ironically, this is when my tinnitus started. It was very, very low and never changed over the next three years. I can see how a larger withdrawal or taper would cause increased tinnitus. If you would like to talk, feel free to message me.

      twa
       
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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
      Just started today on 250mg 2x per day - will report if any positive effects.
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Also don't forget to bring up any side effects you experience just so people can have a better understanding.
       
    18. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      Hello GBB, did Keppra help you?
       
    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
      Maybe marginally - it definitely was not a cure for me. Tinnitus still spikes to external sound.
       
    20. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      In the context of this thread, do you think a 10-day course of Clonazepam could prevent a possible progress after getting a spike from such an incident as a slap?

      Also could a 10-day regimen be risky for possible complications on hyperacusis?
       
    21. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      Thank you.

      Is there a standard dosage plan?
       
    22. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      I’m on 500 mg 2x per day. No idea if there is a standard.
       
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    23. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I don't have any reason to think that short-term use of benzos is neuroprotective in a way that would prevent damage from occurring after an acoustic trauma.

      "Spike" is a nonscientific word that means different things to different people. I imagine most people taking a 10-day course of Clonazepam would feel less distressed during that time period, beyond that it's sorta hard to reckon, sorry.
       
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    24. vermillion
      Whistles

      vermillion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly from Fluconazole / H + Dysacusis later on
      Any insight on steroids instead?
       
    25. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      sorry, outside of my wheelhouse. I think they're more dangerous than people give credit for.

      I do have a course of prednisone on hand for Reasons, but I don't think I'd use it unless someone fired a gun next to me or similar. I've been through a number of minor acoustic traumas and spikes and haven't even thought about it, prednisone is the third or fourth most unpleasant drug I've ever used, and that says a lot because I spent a bunch of my youth cataloging the effects of weird drugs.

      Protective potential aside, it creates strong anxiety and insomnia in me which persists for days.
       
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    26. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      How are you doing after your taper now?
       
    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Better man. Like I still struggle, but overall things are definitely looking up. I also started taking HCTZ, which is a diuretic and it seems to have helped immensely, likely meaning I have Hydrops.
       
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    28. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      What was your initial dose of Clonazepam when you started the taper?
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      Uhhh, I didn't taper Clonazepam. I was taking doses all over the place. When I tapered I just stayed with Valium, started at 20 mg and worked my way down 1 mg-0.5 mg a week.

      As far as the doses of Clonazepam are concerned, I was taking doses as high as 10 mg and as low as 0.5 mg. It was an absolute shit show. Do not mess with these drugs.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    30. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      Thanks for the info, I quoted someone else though, @twa, asking her about what she described.
       
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