Xanax: Uses and Risks

Discussion in 'Support' started by Eric N, Jan 31, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Eric N

      Eric N Member

      Location:
      Montreal QC
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      I decided to get a prescription of Xanax to try and relax and see if has any affect on T.
      I don't intend to use this for long,- maybe a week or so - so see how it feels.
      The pharmacist said take 0.25 mg before your sleep as needed as it can be addictive.
      Is it ok to go - off and on - on Xanax e.g take 0.25 mg whenever I can't sleep?

      Is Xanax at this dose considered ototoxic? My dad has been take Xanax for a long time does not seem it affected his hearing as far as I know.

      Has Xanax helped anyone ? Does it make a slight T reduction or just changes your perception of it?
       
    2. J. Wing

      J. Wing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1999
      Deja Vu. Just read the same question somewhere else. This is a small dose for Xanax. I have tried it a few times in the past 13 years and got no benefit from it. No benefit from Lorazepam or Clonazepam. But have read where it's been a big help to some people. It's certainly worth a try.
       
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    3. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      I asked Louise (from another thread), who also just started Xanax, to let me know if she get's any results. I've heard it can help, but not sure if that's only short term. Good luck.
      Paul D
       
    4. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Xanax didn't really do much for me either but I was only on 1/2 the lowest dose so it might have been too little. I have taken Lorazepam (ativan) at times and it does seem to help especially if you have high anxiety.
       
    5. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      Reading another thread, I was just reminded of the dangers of Xanax addiction. I've actually know a couple people whose lives were severely affected by such. And I myself was put on ativan a few years back - totally lala land...talk about flying blind and stupid! Whatever works, I guess...
       
    6. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Xanax will reduce the sound. It's a pretty strong benzo, though. Some people get addicted to Xanax (like Florida Governor Jeb Bush's daughter, niece of our ex-President "W".)

      Clonezepam, anothe benzo, is not too addictive. It's commonly prescribed for people with sleeping problems. It's been proven to significantly reduce tinnitus, about 75% of the time. Both Xanax and clonezepam are used for anxiety, for short term use.

      The problem is this: Tinnitus is really due to only a few nerves. When you take drugs like these, they act on your entire brain. Yeah, your tinnitus goes down, but the whole brain goes down. The reason benzos work: Benzos activate gaba receptor sights in the neurons. Gaba suppresses nerve activity, which is why tinnitus is suppressed.

      If you read Jastreboff and Hazell's book, "Tinnitus Retraining Therapy", I am sorry to say that they are against these drugs. They argue that, if you are going through TRT, you can't be doped up and trying to understand tinnitus and how to cope with it. Habituation requires a learning process, which drugs will interfere with.

      But I've tried this stuff myself. Good to know what it's all about.
       
    7. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I think its Dr. Jack Vernon who advocates a Xanax protocol, you could google this. Also Kevin Hogan said it was what got him through, the most important part of his getting through in fact.

      I can personally attest that Clonazepam for me reduces the noise, by about 70% on Wednesday night. I take it once or twice a week but Im not sure that this is good. Maybe its like coming off a Benzo every week? Coming OFF Benzos can induce T I have read in 'Ototoxic Drugs Exposed'. Anyway, one 0.5mg tab gives me some relief for that night and the rest of the following day.

      I find I am more able to concentrate when Ive taken one as the noise is down and I feel better, no panic. It doesnt mong me out, even though it does affect the entire brain.
       
    8. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Erik, cant you try HBO, you're just right at the end of the window but.....
       
    9. Eric N

      Eric N Member

      Location:
      Montreal QC
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Louise,
      I asked two ENTs and the audiologist about HBO and they said its not proven and it wont help, also it could have side effects including inner ear damage from the pressures which may in turn cause sudden hearing loss.

      This treatment is more recommend for sudden hearing loss where you loss at least 30db in at least 3 contiguous frequencies.

      Also I read a few studies where they say the improvements from HBO seems to be a placebo effect.

      I would have been more encouraged if I found more stories of people where it helped, I at most found a story or two where people say it helped including Joe's but the 25% improvement could have very well happened on on its own or maybe his perception of it.

      Do you have any post of others saying it help? On another tinnitus board people advised me against it.
       
    10. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      Location:
      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      Eric N

      yeah some of the people at T S yuku are dead set against meds period

      i used clonazepam 20 years ago (for about 2 years ? (memory !) or a little more).... and it really helped me to get past the crisis stages...and 5, 10, 15 years later i was doing really good

      then a little over a year ago i got hit with the big T once again , had taken several Rx, bad medical condition...and one or more of the drugs may have done damaged so im back at square one

      once again clonazepam helped significantly

      for me it worked better to maintain a steady dose, as low as i can, rather than get on an off, because clonazepam has a slow onset of action and a long half life..i took a half a pill (half of .5mg) in the morning and half at night

      im currently off, and it hurts, but my experience is that very 6 months or so i need to suffer for a few weeks to "wash out" and then the meds work like new again

      i found lorazepam helped, but clonazepam (klonopin) was better...never tried xanax

      best wishes
      mock turtle

      ps, my doc warned...never quit benzos in one abrupt step...risk of seizures...must taper down

      you must talk to your doctor
       
    11. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      There's a clinic in Finland who does HBO, it's very expensive, but they have had some* good results. Especially if it's noise induced tinnitus and the treatment is started like within 48 hours.

      That's what I've heard. Time is of the essence.

      *It's of course very anecdotal and hearsay, as I think the clinic in question hasn't published any kind of studies. And by some good results I mean I've read about a few people getting better by it, but then again not many go get that treatment as it's kind of costly, and is extremely rarely suggested by any GPs.


      Clonazepam doesn't do much for my tinnitus, but it's a good benzo nonetheless, I like it better than valium for example. Much smoother.
       
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    12. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Eric, what do ENTs and audiologists know of the more 'Alternative' treatments? Also, if its not the done thing in your country they arent going to know about it anyways. The medical profession are always quick to poo poo anything that's not part of accepted medicine and put any results down to placebo.

      I did a lot of research into it (dont have the links, sorry) and I remember that its the top treatment for T in Germany and if started within the 3 months it had a reasonably good chance of success. I also read that in germany 80% os the usages of it are for inner ear problems.

      In the UK the main use is for MS and it is an accepted treatment for this condition.

      I think only a few people get barotrauma to the ear from it and when you are 'diving' you can stop it at any time if you feel pain.

      The problem with it is that you have to go every day for at least 15 sessions. Its a commitment.

      I always mention it to people with early onset as in all my research the only things that seem to have been proven to permanently help are HBO and steroid injections.
       
    13. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      MT, you've just made me wonder something..... If quitting Benzos can result in seizures then that must be because of a sudden increase in brain activity/excitation. That would also result in increased T. Maybe this is why its reported in the Ototoxic Drugs Exposed book that people get T when coming off Benzos. In my case, I wonder if by taking one and then stopping twice a week I am getting the increase in brain activity effect?
       
    14. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Since my tinnitus started with Xanax, I have often wondered the same thing as Louise.

      To recount my story, I took a dose of Xanax after experiencing anxiety caused by another medical problem. I woke up an hour after taking it with my ears ringing like crazy and they have been ringing ever since. I was unable to sleep the first two nights after the T started, so I called my doctor and asked for something to help. She said "more Xanax". I had already read that Xanax was possibly ototoxic and brought that up, and reiterated that the tinnitus started after taking a dose of Xanax. She said there was no firm evidence it was ototoxic. She said it was listed as a symptom of withdrawal but that I had not taken enough to experience withdrawal. So I began taking 0.25 mg at night. It helped me go to sleep, but I would wake up a few hours later with my ears ringing just as bad as ever if not worse sometimes.

      To make a long story short, I later began seeing a shrink for the anxiety and depression caused by this horrible ailment. He too said Xanax was not ototoxic and pointed to Kevin Hogan's good experience with it. He encouraged me to take 0.5 mg 3 times a day until the antidepressant he prescribed kicked in. I protested, but eventually gave in. He said I would not get addicted at that dose. There is no question that taking it helps for about 2-3 hours, but then the ringing returns full strength after than. 1.5 mg per day was too much for me, however. It made me a drowsy zombie. I fell asleep several times driving home from work. Not knowing better, and having been assured I would not get addicted, I decided to cut back to 0.25 mg twice a day. Big mistake. I found out I was addicted and that Xanax withdrawal is a horrible, horrible experience. The shrink had me go back up to 3 x 0.5 mg per day. I've been weaning myself off of it since then (against his objections).

      I can tell you that so far taking less has not made my tinnitus any better or worse overall. (I am now down to 0.25 mg 3 time/day). The T is still better for the first 2-3 hours after taking a dose, and then returns as bad as ever after that. Sometimes I think I'm just continually putting myself through Xanax withdrawal as Louis suggested, and maybe that is the root cause of the ringing. I'm hoping when I get off it completely that the ringing will be gone, but in truth I doubt that will be the case. I'm going to get off the stuff no matter what though.

      All I can say to those thinking about trying Xanax it is, "Caveat emptor". Clearly some people get great results with it. I, however, would rather live without it.

      Just a note about my doctors - one might think I'm seeing a couple of losers, and maybe I am, but they are doctors with great creditials, are professors at the local, well recognized medical school, and are well recognized experts in their fields. But medicine is clearly a crazy world. There's a lot of guessing, and a lot partial understanding, not a whole lot of certainty about anything. They play the odds, and if you're on the low end of the bell curve, you're likely going to get hurt. What I mean is, say Xanax is ototoxic to 1% of the population. Your doctor won't hesitate one second to even worry about that. If you're in the 1% that is effected though, your screwed and just written off as one of the unlucky ones.
       
    15. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      Mick - Thanks for your detailed post. Guess I'll cross Xanax off my list of things to try. No big loss though; it sure seems that each and every treatment/diagnosis has it's downside, with the odds of helping any one individual unchanged - slim and none. Just got through a 2-day "up" period with the T almost completely in the background. Other than a little more restful sleep and really trying to de-stress over current issues (breath!), I did absolutely nothing different to bring about this brief respite (it's back today).
       
    16. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Thanks for your post Mick. I'm really surprised your doctors were so keen for you to stay on Xanax. My doctors really do not want to prescribe Benzos. I had to really ask for my Clonazepam.

      Yes, that 1% is made up of some people and it just could be you and me.

      From my readings T is listed as a withdrawl symptom of all Benzos and your doctor has also said its a symptom of withdrawl. I do now think that taking just one tablet not followed up by another one could cause this withdrawl effect.
       
    17. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      I have been taking 10mg of valium, it's also a benzo. I does not take away the tinnitus but as other benzo's mentioned here, it helps to chill you out and sleep better. It also is an addictive drug, but for me personally I do not even worry about being addicted.

      I do whatever it takes to takes the edge off. As with all meds you must of course be careful not to OD.

      As for your original question " Is it ok to go - off and on - on Xanax e.g take 0.25 mg whenever I can't sleep?"
      You really should consult your doctor regarding this matter....
       
    18. AttackingTinnitus

      AttackingTinnitus Member

      Location:
      Houston
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2012
      Eric,

      When I first got Tinnitus (T), I was prescribed 1 mg Xanax to take One to Two tablets by mouth Two to Three times a day for Anxiety. Now taking 2 tablets 2 or 3 times a day was a bit much for me. If I took that much, I would just sleep with my head on my desk everyday. ha ha. To be serious, when I FIRST got T, I HAD TO TAKE the Xanax 3 times a day. Once in the morning because when I got up early, the house is really quiet and it bothered me alot. I would take (1) 1mg Xanax and then 15 minutes later, I would forget the T was sort of there. Then around 2 pm I would take another one and then at night around 9 pm I would take my third one because it was again, quiet in the house. It doesn't affect your T by means of making it worse. For me, it made it BETTER AND TOLERABLE.

      I go to a pain management doctor because I have a big bone spur on my C1 or C2, very high on my upper spine. The dr. said that the bone spur could be pressing on the nerves and I have muscles aches in my upper neck. My pain mgmt dr. gives me injections in my spine near C1-C3. He believes my Tinnitus is coming from the nerves that run on each side of your neck. It's called the Occipital nerve. I have Occipital Neuralgia. It feels like an ice pick sometimes poking me in my head on the right side. My head feels bruised. The dr. injected (guided by ultrasound) an anesthetic into the occipital nerve. Right afterwards, like that night my T would spike and I would be like OMG!! but the day after my T would completely disappear. I had my injection on Dec. 13, 2012 and it came back about a month and a half later, but it's much much lower than before the injection.

      He said if the T comes back to where I can't tolerate it again, he's going to insert a needle and basically KILL the nerve but not completely. You see, there are two ways you can get Tinnitus. 1. through ear trauma. ex: loud sounds, loud concerts or 2. neck trauma such as whiplash, pinched nerve. The Occipital nerves run from the base of your neck up each side of your head. Sometimes you'll feel like you have a headache, migraine stemming from the back of your head. Because the occipital nerve passes behind your ears, it could cause Tinnitus. I proved that because after getting my injections, my T stopped.

      When that happened I tremendously reduced my Xanax to sometimes in the morning or at night. I usually take just 1 Xanax a day versus taking 3 a day/everyday. I didn't have withdrawals or cravings to want to take one.

      So, my advice, take it and don't worry about anything. It won't hurt you, it will help you get through this until you can learn to deal with it on your own like I have been doing.

      Julia
       
    19. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      The whole neck thing scares me - I had a guy inject me back in the early '90s when my back was pretzel'd up and crazy sharp needle pains in my neck, with the one quackopractor I trusted hundreds of miles away and the phone consults not working. I've also had neck adjustments as part of a complete rehab plan with both my main guy and a few fairly capable substitutes. I'm convinced that each and every one of them only aggrevated the condition; it's taken years of refusing to have anybody mess with my neck to not have periodic, recurring problems. Not worth the risk, at least for me.

      And all the meds...again, not an option. Those of us with highly addictive tendencies have to rule out any sort of opiate or benzo , only taking them as a last resort. I blew out a 2nd shoulder and my wife hurt her back during our move to Colorado last spring, and pain meds obtained illicitly through friends and family was the only thing that finally got us over the hump. Even then, though, the tendency to over-medicate for the wrong reasons was ever-present. Same with marijuana; got a medical card to make acquisition and use legal, thinking it might help both the shoulder and T, particularly the resulting anxiety - big mistake...luckily I was smart enough to recognize the warning signs. It's tough to push forward sometimes without a little pharmaceutical assistance, but after getting through any particular episode, I've found that doing without normally proves to be the best course of action. Of course, this doesn't necessarily apply to those who have no history of or current issue with substance abuse.
       
    20. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Gosh, sorry but it can hurt you. Have you seen all the real life stories about Benzo withdrawl from people on the net?
      Benzos have been described as 'horror drugs' by people trying to quit them.

      Clonazepam reduces my T a lot but so far I've almost managed to stop taking it because once I start down that track there's no coming back. I'm about ready to go there but its not a decision to be taken lightly.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. J. Wing

      J. Wing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1999
      Eric N, How is the Xanax working out for you? Please pay no attention to the "other" t forum. THIS forum is how it should be. I'm sorry I just found it. Really would like to know how the Xanax is working out for you.
       
    22. Eric N

      Eric N Member

      Location:
      Montreal QC
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Hi sorry for late reply,
      I have not been taking it on a daily basis, I maybe take 0.5 mg once or twice a week, it helps you sleep and T seems a bit quieter the next day but then it's to back it's full force. I will probably stop doing this as I am worried about withdrawal symptoms. I use Melatonin now most of the time
       
    23. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I find it very interesting that your experience with Xanax is different than mine was. When I was taking it it gave me relief (reduced volume) within 30 minutes, and it lasted 2-3 hours. I found no benefit the next day unless I took it again. I found this to be the case even when I got down to taking only 1/16 mg once a day before stopping it altogether. The dosage didn't seem to make any difference. I'm guessing some people would say it was a placebo effect, but since I hated taking the stuff, I would think the likely placebo effect would be none or in the other direction (make is worse).

      Anyway, I'm off the stuff now (I hope anyway - its only been about 5 days and I understand the withdrawal symptoms can come off and on for months, maybe years), and do not plan on taking it ever again. I'll take the additional irritation of higher volume tinnitus over its side effects and withdrawal issues. But to each his own - I have a relative who takes Xanax (not for tinnitus) and thinks it is great except that it makes her depressed, but she prefers that over the anxiety she suffers. An acquaintance told me how someone they know had the same horrible withdrawal effects as me, and will never go near it again.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. AttackingTinnitus

      AttackingTinnitus Member

      Location:
      Houston
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2012
      Eric, I also saw you mentioned chiropractor, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GO TO
      ONE OF THOSE DOCTORS. GO TO A PAIN MANAGEMENT DRS. THAT IS ALSO AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST. When I get my injections they are ultrasound guided. So be careful who you go to.
       
    25. Eric N

      Eric N Member

      Location:
      Montreal QC
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      I probably wont go to a CP again, last one thought I had TMJ and start hammering my jaw and now sometimes it cracks - like cracking your fingers - and I can hear crunchy sounds in my ear when I eat but its resolves the next day. This never happened before.
       
    26. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I've started taking Pregabalin. Its an anxiolytic that Wikipedia says is as effective as a Benzo but which doesnt build up tolerance like a Benzo does and so is preferred for this reason. Its made a big difference to me although it hasnt reduced the noise like Clonazepam does. I intend now to stop the Clonazepam slowly and see what happens.
       
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    27. iAzra
      Dreaming

      iAzra Member

      Location:
      Croatia
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma, Stress, Nose hit
      Is there some safe doage of Clonazepam that I could try for a while? I'd like to see if it will help with my noise.. but am scared to read that is ototoxic..
       
    28. My T Sucks

      My T Sucks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unbearable spikes since July 2012
      Here's how I will take Xanax...
      Step one: Open bottle over an open toilet.
      Step two: Turn bottle upsidedown and shake vigoursly.
      Step three: Flush.
      That evil medication is the reason for my T issues.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      The problem is that even if it does reduce the noise, it will not continue to reduce it at the dose you start on. It didn't carry on the noise reduction effect on me, at the same dose, not even for 3 weeks. If you have to take it then it's best kept for emergencies, one every now and then when you've just had enough.
       
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    30. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @Louise!

      How are you doing these days? Are you still taking clonazepam occasionally yourself, and have you found ways to cope? It's good to hear from you again!
       
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