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 Post subject: not sure what to do
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:24 pm 
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This isn't exactly a suboxone question, but sub is indirectly involved. A side effect of the sub is that it makes me really tired. I'm a tired person to begin with. Oxy gave me energy, one of the reasons I liked it so much. Sub does the opposite. My sub doctor/psychiatrist prescribed Wellbutrin. He said that will help with depression and unlike most ADs it's supposed to give you energy. I've been taking it for two and a half months now. Started at 150, moved up to 300 two weeks ago. The side effects were horrible for the first seven weeks. Made me feel worse. But like most ADs, it just took a couple months to start working. I was really feeling better, more motivated, etc. That's why I asked to go to the higher dose. Here's the problem. I suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I've had it for the past 20 years or so. Damn Metallica concert, lol. It's annoying at night time, when it's quiet, so I just use a fan and I'm fine. Well about 3 weeks into taking the Wellbutrin, my tinnitus got worse. About twice as bad as it was. That is listed as a rare side effect of Wellbutrin. I mentioned it to my doctor, but he didn't seem concerned. A couple days after starting the 300 my ears got a little stuffy, kinda like they need to pop, that kind of feeling. Still have it almost two weeks later. And the ringing is still the same. Searched online and found that Wellbutrin is one of many drugs considered ototoxic, bad for the ears. Saw some horror stories about people waking up and being deaf in one ear. So of course that scared me and I went to see an ear doctor today. He looked in my ears, said they were fine. Took a hearing test. He said I had a little bit of hearing loss, but he said that could be from when I was 16, at the onset of the tinnitus. I wanted to know if he thought i should stop taking the wellbutrin. He wouldn't give me an answer. Said to discuss it with my doctor. I know my sub doctor is just going to say it's up to me. He won't give me a definitive answer either. I would think if the ear doctor thought it was really bad, he'd tell me to stop taking it. It's just that it's actually working really well for me now. Finally. I really don't want to stop taking it if I don't have to. I can deal with the increased ringing, I'm just afraid of permanent damage. The ear doctor suggested coming back in 2-3 months and taking another hearing test. See if there's any changes. But if this isn't just a temporary side effect, I could be doing a lot of damage in 2-3 months. I just don't know what to do. Has anyone had any experience with anything like this? Either way, any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:32 am 
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Hey Kitty...

It can be hard for people when members come on here with real idiosyncratic side-effects like the one you mentioned. But like you said, a quick google shows you're not alone. Some other people attribute their ringing ears to Wellbutrin.

I guess it's up to you. Does the benefit of taking Wellbutrin outweigh its obvious benefits? If so, you could always try reducing to dose until you find a happy medium.

Wish I could be of more help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:41 am 
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Thanks TeeJay for the response. I think I'm going to give it another couple months and see what happens. I read a few articles stating that taurine and B vitamins are supposed to help with tinnitus. Thinking back, a few days before the stuffy feeling started I stopped drinking red bull and started drinking a ton of water after passing a kidney stone (had no idea what was causing that horrible pain until shortly before passing it. Crazy!) Before that I'd been a red bull freak, drinking a couple cans a day. So I started drinking it again, just a can a day, and the stuffiness seems to be almost gone. So maybe taurine and B vitamins really were helping. Or maybe it's just psychosomatic. Who knows. The ringing is still there though. But i decided to look into buying a white noise/sound machine to help me sleep. The Wellbutrin really has been helping so i'd hate to have to stop taking it. I've tried many antidepressants over the years and most of them either didn't help at all or eventually stopped helping. Plus Wellbutrin doesn't have the usual side effects of weight gain or loss of libido (although opiates have already done a number there and I'm hoping the Wellbutrin can help with that). It really sucks that all the medicines that seem to be helpful come with the price of shitty side effects. Hopefully when I go back to the ear doctor in a couple months there won't be any more damage. I'm finally feeling better and would like to keep it that way. Hoping I've already been through the worst of it and that things start getting better. Or at least not any worse!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:10 am 
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When I read your post the other day I started looking online for some answers, but never got around to posting. I have read that Wellbutrin does cause tinnitus and some hearing loss. I did read in one article that the hearing loss is not permanent, but improves after going off the drug. This is not definitive, of course, but sounds encouraging. I also came across a post on a board called "Surviving Anti-Depressants" that talks about a good homeopathic cure for tinnitus.

"I've found that the best Homeopathic remedy for the tinnitus is Sulpher 30C and Calcarea Carbonica 30C."

Other people mentioned ginko biloba as an herbal cure.

I'm sorry that I don't have any personal experience to draw upon, but there is information out there. Good luck!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:57 am 
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Thanks Amy! I really don't want to take any supplements, they just make me nervous for some reason. I'm a little weird. But I did look up the ginkgo biloba to see if that was in any drinks. I thought I remembered it being in one of the energy drinks I used to drink. Apparently the FDA bans it from being put in food or beverages. Causes cancer in lab animals. So I guess I won't be trying that. But thank you so much for actually looking it up for me. I really appreciate it! I tried a sleep sound program on my tablet last night and it put me right to sleep. Only reason I was up at 4 was I had to set my alarm to get up and take my Wellbutrin. I usually take it around 2 am before work, so on my nights off I have to set my alarm, since I have to take it as close to 24 hours apart as possible. Kinda sucks. But the sleep program put me right back to sleep! So I'm pretty happy about that. As long as the ringing doesn't get any worse I'll be ok. But thank you for the suggestions. I'll still be looking for other ways to make it a little better. Maybe one day they'll come up with a cure. That would be awesome :-)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:31 pm 
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You're very welcome. I'm so glad the sound sleep program is working for you! One other idea... My aunt has tinnitus as well and she takes a DVD player with headphones to bed with her. I think she watches old episodes of Matlock, which will certainly put anyone to sleep! :)

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:51 pm 
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Well, I had to stop taking the Wellbutrin a few days ago. The ringing got worse and so did the stuffiness. Called the doctor and was told to just stop taking it. Not sure that was a good idea because I've felt pretty crappy the past few days. Dizzy, headaches, stomach problems, and extreme fatigue. It was so nice to actually have some energy and motivation for a while. Now it's back to the same old too tired to function. If the ringing didn't drive me so nutty it would have been worth it to stay on it. I don't know how i'm going to deal with this crushing fatigue again. I just feel so hopeless.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Hi Kitty,

Have you tried lowering your Suboxone dose? Maybe your dose is a bit too high and that's causing the extreme fatigue?

Also, have you tried vigorous exercise to combat your fatigue? I started exercising pretty hard about 1.5 years ago and voila, felt 1000% better.

I hope you get this figured out soon, living with constant fatigue is no fun.

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