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I started hearing a high pitch noise in my left ear 6 days ago. Ear doctor believes it to be Tinnitus, but doesn't know the cause (no hearing loss, associated). It seems to have increased in magnitude from day 1 to day 6 (takes more ambient noise to drown it out now). I saw Topiramate on this list of meds that can trigger this...however I've been taking this stuff for several months (over a year), could this be a possible trigger or would it have occured much more suddenly if it were the cause of my Tinnitus? -IF this could be this trigger, would discontinuing it lead to a decrease in magnitude of tone?
AskDocWeb: Side effects can occur months and even years after starting a medication. If your high pitched noise is caused by the Topiramate then discontinuing the drug is likely to return the hearing to normal. Do not stop taking Topiramate without talking to your doctor first. There is an increased risk of seizures.
Subj: Aspirin makes tinnitus worse
I have had tinnitus since March of 2005. Aspirin definitely makes it worse. I have been taking omeprazole for a few months now, and fortunately I did not notice the tinnitus getting any worse. For a few days now, I've been applying a topical gel (diclofenac sodium) to treat a sore foot. Tonight I noticed that the tinnitus is worse than normal, so I began researching to see if there is a known connection between tinnitus and diclofenac sodium. Since there appears to be a connection between tinnitus and NSAIDs in general, I now have to decide between the pain in my foot and the risk of the tinnitus getting worse. I think my foot will have to feel better without the NSAID.
I have been taking lamotrigine (Lamictal) for 3 months and dropped dose recently from 150mg to 100mg and noticed buzzing in my ears - I think this has got louder (I have had very mild buzzing in my ears for years). I will be reducing the dose further as I am planning to stop the drug in the next few weeks but wonder if I should ask to stop more quickly. I notice some people have acquired tinnitus after taking this which has been permanent.
AskDocWeb: If tinnitus persists for more than 2 years it is considered to be permanent. How quickly you stop the drug is a judgement call for your doctor. The exact extent of the effect of Lamotrigine on hearing is not known.
Subj: Hydrochlorothiazide and Nexium
I have had mild tinnitus for about 15 years. I do not know how or why it began, but since starting Hydrochlorothiazide daily for borderline hypertention, the volume of my tinnitus has increased tremendously -- to the degree that I had to start antidepressants and Xanax in order to tolerate the ringing and to sleep. I am now in the process of not taking the HCLZ to see if the tinnitus subsides. I also believe Nexium (which I also used to take) aggravated my tinnitus. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that eliminating these two drugs gives me relief.
Subj: Severe tinnitus
PLEASE HELP ME. I am scared to take any blood pressure medication because I started having severe tinnitus the day after I took my first 10 mg of Lysinopril. I took the medication for seven days and stopped, but the tinnitus is still going on four days later. I do not think the it is caused by my blood pressure because it does not follow my heart rhythm, and I had a blood pressure reading at my dentist's office that said my bp was 133/83. My doctor has now prescribed Norvasc, but my liver enzymes are elevated and so I am afraid it will cause more damage. I am a college professor and my work is inside my head. The tinnitus in interfering with my ability to do my job, and, emotionally, I am having a hard time dealing with it. I think the damage may be permanent, Any course of action or information would be greatly appreciated.
AskDocWeb: If the Tinnitus is drug induced, it may fade away once the drug is discontinued although that could take some time. If it doesn't then you may want to consult with an audiologist.
Has Propecia or Proscar (finasteride) been linked to Tinnitus? Thanks.
AskDocWeb: Less than one percent (0.54%) of Proscar users report tinnitus but it is not listed as a side effect of Propecia. Read more on drug induced Tinnitus here.
Subj: Zoloft tinnitus
In December I starred Zoloft. Within 2-4 weeks I noticed ringing in my ears. I also couldn't sleep and had sweating palms. I discontinued the zoloft under doctors advice and 4 months later I still have tinnitus. Since the zoloft cause the onset of tinnitus should it have gone away since the drug is out of my system?
AskDocWeb: Drug induced tinnitus may or may not be permanent. For those who have temporary tinnitus it usually goes away in a few days to a few weeks. If tinnitus persists for more than 2 years it is considered to be permanent.
Subj: Amoxicillin side effects?
I am taking Amoxicillin 500 mg for an infected tooth. From the beginning, my tinnitus has worsened and there seems to be pressure also in my left ear. Today is the 3rd day I've been on the medication and have 3 and a half days to go. Should I change to another antibiotic or will the side effects lessen when I'm off the amoxicillin?
AskDocWeb: The pressure in your ear could be related to the infection. Most of the time side effects will disappear completely when a drug is discontinued.
Subj: Zipsor (diclofenac potassium)
I was given a trial pack of Zipsor (diclofenac potassium) by my doctor to try for pain. After 6 pills, my Tinnitus was almost unbearable. It began on the week-end and I was unable to speak with physician so I called my pharmacist and he replied that this Med. could be the cause. I won't take again without discussing with my physician. I have found your column extremely helpful.
Subj: Controlled Tinnitus
I suffer from permanet constant Tinnitus coupled with heart beats predominatly left ear. Tried a sort of meds to no avail, had migranes and it was imposible to concentrate. I take Lamictal 2 200mg doses it tones the buzzing to tolerable level add 10 mg alprazolam for anxiety relating to the buzz and at night a good Ambien CR to fall to sleep as a baby, very happy with this treatment, beware Lamictal serious headaches that soon went away. Controlled Tinnitus no anxiety and a good night sleep. Keep a Maxalt handy to fight the rare headache and don't call me in the morning.
Subj: Swishing or white noise-like sound
I have had tinnitus (swishing or white noise-like sound in my ears) off and on for several years, but was readily able to ignore it. I recently went on two medications for the first time: amlodipine besylate and simvastatin. The tinnitus has gotten much louder, in there all the time, and feels also like pressure in my ears. Is one or the other med, or the combination of the two, the likely cause -- and can only be helped by different meds? Thanks.
AskDocWeb: It may be the amlodipine besylate since tinnitus is known to be one of the possible side effects of that drug. Sometimes the side effects of taking a new drug will go away after a few days but if it doesn't then check with your doctor.
Subj: Ototoxic medications
I have been taking high blood pressure medication for several years. I started out with Diovan HCT and Norvasc and taken some others in between and now I take Hyzaar and Norvasc. I have been complaining of tinnitis since 2008 and only thru my own research did I discover these ototoxic medications. All of the medications I have been taking are on the ototoxic medication list. I have been advised to take EXFORGE HCT which is not on the list but has the same ingredients as the other medications. Can you tell me why EXFORGE it is not on this list and if I should switch to it? The only other medications in the same category are the prils which may me cough or Benicar which I cannot get approved by my insurance. Also, could you please tell me how caffeine, salt, and sugar contributes to tinnitus. Thank you.
AskDocWeb: It is not unusual for people with high blood pressure to be on multiple medications. Last year (2009) the FDA approved Exforge HCT, a combination of amlodipine, valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide in a single pill. However, one of the side effects of Exforge HCT is dizziness so it may affect the inner ear. Ototoxic medications are those that are toxic to and have deleterious effects on the organs of hearing and balance. Not all ototoxic medications produce tinnitus but some do. As for why caffeine, salt, and sugar contribute to tinnitus, research hasn't got that far yet, just that they do. Clinical studies have shown that reducing dietary intake of caffeine, salt, and sugar results in reduced tinnitus.
Subj: Taking HCTZ relieves my tinnitus
Interestingly enough, for me taking HCTZ relieves my tinnitus and greatly improves my hearing. I also have hearing aides, which I don't like to wear, but they too reduce the ringing sound. The most annoying thing to me is I'm missing a certain range of tone when I listen to music. Songs on the radio sound "flat" or "off key" and I can't make out what they are until I listen carefully to the words, know the song from the past, listen hard and then I can find the tune. If I hear a new song I can't make it out well enough to sing along.
Subj: Tinnitus in both ears
I had a mild stroke in august 2010 and am now taking a cocktail of drugs such as aspirin, tablets to lower my blood pressure and interestingly enough, omeprazole. Since starting the medication I have been plagued with tinnitus in both ears its constant and horrendous maybe I should consider not taking the omeprazole and see if it makes any difference.
AskDocWeb: Since the tinnitus is so horrendous, when you tell your doctor about it, ask about alternative treatments.
The whole nine yards
My wife acquired a horrible version of Tinnitus about 8 months ago. Ringing, whooshing, crickets, the whole nine yards. She was in tears many of those days, and it took us a while to get it diagnosed, and correctly treated. After attempting some quick-fix promises that didn't have any effect, we finally got her a hearing test, and discovered hearing loss, which was the culprit. We went to see a Beltone hearing aid specialist here in Fremont California, and he fitted her with a Widex hearing ade, a high tech one. The Tinnitus was 98% gone within 5 minutes, and so far, it's the same status after 3 days. I highly recommend going this route. There's a lot of folks out there trying to get into your pocketbook with BS fixes. If you have hearing loss, this is the way to go. Good luck. I know what hell it can be.
AskDocWeb: Thanks Ken. We agree and recommend anyone with tinnitus to have their hearing checked by an audiologist.
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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright © 2007-2010 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on tinnitus and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.