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Can Klonopin or Xanax cause hearing problems?
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Can Klonopin or Xanax cause hearing problems?

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.
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Avatar_n_tn
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

http://www.stopdizziness.com/resources_vestibular_bilateral_loss.asp

Google:  Ototoxic (followed by you meds)  there you should find more info.
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242516_tn?1368227505
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/neuro/messages/34098.html

your question reminded me of this message from a cleveland clinic neurologist who cautioned about considering tinnitus as a side effect of levaquin.

In fact, clonazepam is a drug sometimes used to cure tinnitus, and tinnitus isn't a common side effect of Klonopin or Xanax.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dr. Choi,

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.

http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2003/10/07/rush_drugs/index.html

Seemingly harmless things such as carpet glue, & gasoline contain ototoxic chemicals in them.

http://deafness.about.com/od/ototoxicity/a/ototoxic.htm

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)

Any how time to go back to bed & hopefully sleep.

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242516_tn?1368227505
You're right, i didn't mean to say "cure", i mean to say decrease the symptoms of

xanax or valium doesn't have a common side effect of vertigo but many complain of lightheadedness that they also rename as dizziness.

thanks for the links to ototoxic exposures.  that's enlightening.

btw, looks like the in-laws are coming here in feb so no phuket jaunt for me ;(  ugh.

ENG studies are a good idea.
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152264_tn?1280358257
" 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.

Nancy T.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well,

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.

Good luck to you...  
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152264_tn?1280358257
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.

Nancy T.
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242516_tn?1368227505
lightheadedness is very common with many medications

vertigo is a different issue, it's something causing imbalance such as the room spinning round you

when people refer to dizziness they could be talking about either.

i was referring to xanax, valium, and klonopin as ways to benefit vertigo, even though they to often cause people to become lightheaded
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152264_tn?1280358257
Yes, (non-spinning) dizziness is hard to describe, many words could be used.

I'm sure the cause of a person's dizziness and the dose of the benzo (?) can make a difference in whether it helps, hurts, or does neither.

Thanks for all your advice and info on this forum!

Nancy T.
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Avatar_n_tn
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.
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152264_tn?1280358257
" 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.

Nancy (my real name)
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242516_tn?1368227505
codes?
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152264_tn?1280358257
I may be dense, but I don't understand what you mean by "codes?"
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Avatar_n_tn
Billing codes, insurance codes, CPT codes.... codes necessary when billing 3rd parties, ie insurance companies.

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.

Any how, I hope that clears this up some.
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152264_tn?1280358257
Ah, THOSE codes. Thanks W/a/J. If you were asking about what codes the chiropractic neurologists and neuro-optometrists use, I have no idea, sorry.

Nancy
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152264_tn?1280358257
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.

Nancy
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242516_tn?1368227505
oh, that's what you're asking about

yes, epley maneuver is billable as "cochlear otolith repositioning" and the test to diagnose BPV is "positional nystagmus test" both are billable.
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Avatar_f_tn
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
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Avatar_m_tn
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
Benzodiazepines"
http://www.benzo.org.uk/busto.htm

The abstract can be found here in Pubmed:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Protracted+Tinnitus+after+Discontinuation+of+Long-Term+Therapeutic+Use+of+Benzodiazepines

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:

http://www.************.org/forum/index.php?topic=96554.0


http://www.************.org/forum/index.php?topic=96554.0
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Avatar_m_tn
I see that the web links I gave you for benzo buddies were censored out. :(

Hopefully you will be able to find the information on your own. :)
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