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Difficulty dealing with tinnitus and other issues
Hello @tarheel, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I have no experience with tapering off of benzodiazepines but did find some articles that may provide some helpful information.
Helping Patients Taper from Benzodiazepines (PDF): https://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/AcademicDetailingService/Documents/Academic_Detailing_Educational_Material_Catalog/59_PTSD_NCPTSD_Provider_Helping_Patients_Taper_BZD.pdf
American Family Physician — Tapering Patients Off of Benzodiazepines: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1101/p606.html
There is another discussion on Connect that you may find helpful — Valium (diazepam) Taper: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/valium-taper/
Are you able to share a little more about the symptoms causing you the most problems?
Please be more specific. Many on here can give you some great advice.
I am having a rough time getting off of years of prescribed benzos – specifically Flurazepam and Alprazepam. When the manufacturer stopped making Flurazepam fairly suddenly, I had to try to handle that by continuing Alprazepam and adding Temazepam. Its been 7 months since this change and I am frequently anxious, I have very bad tinnitus (which I didn't have before) and I am often tired in the afternoon. My GP is generally aware about the dangers of benzos, and is trying to work with me, but its very difficult, particularly the tinnitus.
What has your doctor suggested about the tinnitus. Does he think it go away after time?
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@seats I'm not sure who you are responding to as I posted also about tinnitus if you could post first with the @abd name thanks make it easier As far as my tinnitus it never goes away ,forme I found dairy products make it worse so I avoid when I can I use Almond milk
I was replying to tarheel. I thought so anyway!😋 And your tinnitus came as a side effect of tapering Benzos also?
Your difficulty tapering off of benzodiazepines is very understandable. Many have this problem. Has your doctor considered prescribing a anti-depressant med to help you deal with anxiety? Here is some information that was written by a Mayo pharmacist for another Member who was withdrawing from clonazepam. It is possible that the information could help you as you seek to withdraw from Alprazolam.
"The goal to be “addiction-free” is admirable! I commend your motivation to improve.
Taking antidepressants for MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) shouldn’t be considered “addictions.” Antidepressants aren’t addictive, but missing doses or stopping abruptly can cause withdrawal-like symptoms including sudden worsening of depression. MDD and GAD are often chronic diseases that can require lifelong treatment. Sometimes people feel so much better with the treatment they think they don’t need treatment anymore. Your clinician can help you try to taper off safely. Communication with your healthcare provider is important in providing a personalized taper and options for resuming therapy, if needed.
Extra care should be taken regarding tapering from clonazepam. It will be important for you to get tapering instructions from your psychiatrist. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines like clonazepam can be serious and may include tremors, anxiety, sweating, psychosis and seizures. The onset and severity of withdrawal depend on the which drug was used, for how long and other patient-specific factors. If needed, you could ask about less addictive anti-anxiety medications.
Your psychiatrist can help you by discontinuing marijuana. Drug-free social support may help.
I wish you the best of luck in battling the true addictions you mentioned. Physical activity, sunshine and adequate rest will help to boost mood and endorphin levels. You are taking on a lot at one time. Don’t throw it all away because of 1 missed step. Celebrate every day of progress."
In addition to your GP, are you also working with a therapist?
@sears No I've had my tinnutis for a long time then seems like after I fractured my back it increased it more so it's everyday and night now I'm so use to it I don't notice it when I'm doing something
I have only discussed the tinnitus with my GP who recommended that I go to see an audiologist. Unfortunately, b/c of the Covid 19 situation, audiologist offices are closed except possibly for remote consultations which would preclude any meaningful evaluation. So I am waiting to see if these places open up for office visits, including hearing evaluations, etc.
The tinnitus did not arise until I started tapering from a benzo – but not right away. So I am not certain that the tinnitus is caused by the benzo withdrawal, but I think that it must be related in some way. I never experienced tinnitus before I began tapering.
I have not seen an audiologist yet because of the closure of most offices. My GP has no idea whether its related.
Your doctor will never admit it’s related to your withdrawal. It’s a very common complaint with benzo withdrawal.
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