I started taking Klonopin back in '95' and a few years later developed an inner ear problem, tinnitus, vertigo and some hearing loss (now @ about 25%). Tinnitus as loud as 8000hz (worse case). Also seems as if shortly after taking Xanax my ears to ring, or the ringing gets worse.
Anyone know of any studies or possibilities of the drug use being related to inner ear problems? My grandmother also had inner ear problems, some said Menniers.
Vestibular Suppressants - These can cause temporary worsening of dizziness or hearing symptoms. Medications in this group are commonly taken to make vertigo better, but will likely make the symptoms of bilateral loss worse.
Aspirin or NSAIDS: medications like ibuprofen and naproxen when taken in large doses
Antihistamines: meclizine (antivert), dramamine and phenergan
Antidepressants: amitriptyline, especially tricyclic type antidepressants
Benzodiazepines: diazepam (valium), alprazolam (xanax), lorazepam (ativan), klonazepam (klonopin)
Verapamil and other calcium channel blockers
There is no known cure for tinnitus, if there was, you should quickly patent it.
Valium is also used to treat dizzy patients, trouble is, dizziness is also listed as a side effect of valium. There are many, many ototoxic drugs out there. But most are not even known to us or yet is poorly understood or covered by the medical community.
Just recently Viagra was listed as ototoxic. Vicodin was never really linked to high frequency hearing loss until Rush Limbaugh lost his hearing.
A good book is "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed:" It is a big book that lists a lot of seemingly benign drugs that have been linked to otoxic effects.
Back in the day when I had to do ENG studies, I was always amazed at how many patients would be on ototoxic drugs, and really have no idea that they were taking such drugs.... & their doctors did not know either.
So I would do the ENG studies, and then within the report, list and site each and every ototoxic drug they were on. Many times they were on, a drug used to treat anxiety, (which was otoxic & caused sleeplessnes ) then another drug to allow the patient to go to sleep (which was ototoxic & allowed the person to sleep, but also caused anxiety) It was a crazy circle. (This is just a sample scenerio)
" Valium is also used to treat dizzy patients, trouble is, dizziness is also listed as a side effect of valium "
I can attest to that! I took a nice big Valium pill before one of my MRIs and boy! did it make me woozy.
My neurotologist had me try Xanax for dizziness (did nothing for me) and years later when I went back he had me try Ativan (lorazepam). Ativan makes me DIZZIER after a few hours.
On the other hand, MANY dizzy people get huge relief from small doses of these drugs, including Klonopin. I've never heard they can make tinnitus worse, although many drugs certainly can.
Once when my otoneurologist was discussing starting some medication, he said that dizziness was listed as one of the side effects, and then he laughingly pulled out what I think must have been the PDR (which lists all drugs) and said, "I could open this to any page and point to any drug..." the implication being that pretty much all drugs have dizziness listed as a possible side effect.
However, I can't believe that these drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, etc.) cause vestibular disease itself or tinnitus to worsen.
I just spent some time consulting the text "Ototoxi Drugs Exposed." The book lists over 900 ototoxic substances, rates them as far as thier negative impact, severity, tinnitus, vertigo or hearing loss.
It is actually a very, very good book. For example, some meds make a person more sensitive to hearing loss due to noise exposure! I didn't know that until I had to go over that book while working on my AuD.
Any how, like I said spent some time with the book, and I did not find Xanax of Klonpin listed. So like I said, to the best of my knowledge it is not listed in his book.
I haven't seen that book, and therefore I'm definitely not questioning anything specific in it (nor the fact that there are a lot of ototoxic substances out there), but I wonder--are there really 900 PROVEN ototoxic substances? How do they prove this? The notorious -mycin antibiotics are unquestionable, and some other substances, I'm sure, but I am surprised to hear there are 900 substances that are truly KNOWN to be ototoxic. As I said, I havent' seen the book and certainly am no expert anyway.
I remember corresponding a bit with the author (Neil Bauman, whose PhD by the way isn't in audiology, which of course doesn't mean he's not an expert in hearing even though he's apparently a self-taught one) long ago when I was briefly on a late-deafened-adult mailing list. He seems to be quite dedicated to spreading the word about issues that can threaten hearing. I was surprised, though not unhappy, to find on his site years later MY story of sudden hearing loss after sneezing, where I'd been renamed "Lisa." I thought wow, how amazing, ANOTHER person who lost their hearing in their left ear on a Friday night at 11:00 when they sneezed!! and then I realized that was from one of my e-mails to him!
Kudos to him for spreading the word about hearing loss. There seems to be very little or no awareness of sudden hearing loss among general doctors. You can read gigantic Web pages for family practitioners on hearing loss, without a single mention of sudden hearing loss and little to nothing about tinnitus, ototoxicity, etc. Why is that!? That stuff is not THAT rare.
That is wierd about the sneezing case, Lisa/Nancy. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about that case!
No, Dr. Bauman is not an Audiologist, and niether is a lot of the self made experts in balance. That is the beauty of balance, essentially all the experts, are self made.
Something is going to snap soon, because of the vast numbers of baby boomers getting up in the years. I bet there will be a dramatic increase in dizzy patients in the next few years. As you said before, it is not an area that many physicians want to address.
Lately, balance has become the new "alternative fuel" (if I may) in the health care industy. It has become un-harvested financial territory, and you see more and more people comming out of the woods that seemingly have little back ground in the area, becomming experts. Chiroprators, Kineasiologists (sp) masssage therapists, aroma therapists, Ocupational Therapists, and the list can go on and on, of people getting into the balance area. I don't even think there are many insurance codes dedicated to balance, so it must be a cash heavy endeavor.
Dr. Choi would know more about the codes than I do.
and xanax makes me spin... I am very sensitive to meds though.
" That is wierd about the sneezing case, Lisa/Nancy. Now that you mention it, I do remember reading about that case! "
Hey, I'm famous! :) Yeah, it was weird. Would you believe at the time that it happened, I knew NOTHING about the ear, only had some vague idea that there were some kind of canals and tubes in there and something had gotten "plugged up" when I sneezed. Having doctors repeatedly be unable to say exactly why you're deaf-n-dizzy is quite a puzzle, so then I learned something trying to find the cure for my dizziness.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right that balance is becoming big business, as people's balance often deteriorates with age for various reasons. You wouldn't think of chiropractors and optometrists, but when I was working a while back for a nonprofit that keeps lists of dizziness/balance specialists, there were several chiropractic neurologists and neuro-optometrists (sic) who wanted to be listed.
There are not many payable codes in the area of ballance. For example, I could be wrong, but I do not think there are billable codes for the Epley manuever. So if it is performed the doctors have to get creative and code it as some type of office visit. If not, then the procedure is paid on a cas basis. I know there are no codes for posturography, but there are for ENG, rotary chair etc.
Codes are also issued under scope of practice too. In other words, and ENT can not bill for removeing an in-grown toe nail. That would not be considered within their scope of practice. If they did bill for such a thing, the insurance companies would be very allert to that. Remember they do not want to pay a peney.
P.S. If you go to www.vestibular.org and look at the lists of professionals for, say, New York or New Jersey, under the category "Others" at the end of the list, you will see some examples of those types of specialists (but there is no info about codes).
There is some info about these types of specialists at http://www.acnb.org/ (for chiropractic neurologists) and http://www.nora.cc/ (for neuro-optometrists). I am neither promoting nor criticizing them, just pointing out their respective organizations.
Hi, is Ativan also listed in the Otoxic Drugs Exposed Book? My ENT prescribed this when I acquired tinnitus and hyperacusis from taking Levaquin an ototoxic antibiotic. I want to be weened from Ativan but am nervous about what damages may have taken place from it if any. So could you please tell me if its in your book? Thank you very much Florence
There was a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed the same results you are experiencing - it is an oldy but a goodie ;)- here is the title and a link to the article (Klonopin and Xanax are Benzodiazepines):
"Protracted Tinnitus after Discontinuation of Long-Term Therapeutic Use of
The abstract can be found here in Pubmed:
Also, benzodiazepine induced tinnitus is a common complaint of members of the worldwide online support group, ************.org. This support group is for people who have been adversely affected by benzodiazepines. Here is a link to a thread one of themembers started on tinnitus:
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