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Old 11-11-2007, 06:42 AM   #1
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Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

Hi, I am new to the Forums and joined for the purpose of asking others for their experience and information. I am older and have chronic arthritis. Per a recommendation from a fellow worker, I tried Tramadol. No, I did not abuse it whatsoever. I literally took 4 50Mg tablets over two days (a single 1 on one day and three the next evening). It did work for the pain however I seem to have a reaction, perhaps hyper-sensitivity. The drug stayed in my system much longer than expected, well into the next day. I am going to have my kidney function checked for this reason.

In any case, the reason I am posting to this forum is because about 18 hours after taking the drug, I noticed the ringing in my ears. This got so intense that I felt 'squenching' in my ear tubes and it was painful. I finally got over the drug effects about 36 hours after taking the last tablet but the tinnitus did not subside much at all. I now also seem to have popping when I swallow and also it appears that I have a little swelling. After all of this, I researched and found that sure enough Tramadol is Ototoxic. I had no idea this was a potential side-effect and it was not listed on the warnings at all. Has anyone else had a case where they took Tramadol or Ultram (namebrand version) and had a resultant ringing in their ears and it resolved itself after days/weeks/months? Like others on the forum, I am concerned because I have experienced this for several days now and have had trouble sleeping. I am worrying my poor wife to death with my anxiety. Thanks for any input on this.

 
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Old 11-11-2007, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

Just try to setup a CD player or something next to your bedside or have a fishtank (or 2 of them like I do) to help you sleep if need be for the time being. I was diagnosed with Tinnitus from very very loud music in July and went through the hardest time physically (not being able to sleep) and emotionally (not knowing if I will ever get any better) for much of August and into September. I'm sitting in a quiet room now typing this and think I can hear only a faint-loud pitched "hiss", and only hear my true Tinnitus while laying on the side of my ears on a pillow at night, other then that I'm getting better with each passing week. Hopefully, in your case, this is only going to be temporary, as it seems that the onset has only begun when you took the medication for your arthritis. If you don't see any improvement for a few weeks, I would suggest looking into buying some Gingko Biloba pills. I know that the profession says that most of the time the pills have no real effect on your system, but I've been taking them for nearly 3 months and I am ever so happy to be almost back to normal like I once was during the early part of Summer 2007.

As for the popping in your ears when you swallow, I've also been experiencing something also along those lines as of late, which started happening after I had the T for about 2-3 weeks. It seems to me that the popping in my case is due to me involuntarily opening up my Eustachian tubes when the muscles in my ear twitch, which create a quick pop, that only lasts about .01 seconds but will interrupt my thoughts and thinking process when it does happen. I went to an ENT a few times over the last few months, and last time I went mainly for the popping I was having.. he told me to give it a few more months, because if there is something wrong with my ears that it could take a few more months to get back to normal because of the slow healing process in the ear. He also mentioned something to me along the lines of my "Tensor Tympani" spazzing in my ear causing this popping sound, which happens more often in my left than my right ear, sometimes I think it's due to the different levels of stress I was going through that caused me to swallow alot more, which made the popping louder.

Hope this helps, and feel free to keep posting. It appears that I am one of the only ones posting about going through my Tinnitus situation lately on this forum, so hopefully it will become more active soon.

-HBomb

Last edited by TNT; 11-11-2007 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Wanted to add more.

 
Old 11-11-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

Thanks so much for the reply back. It is helpful and encouraging to hear back from someone, especially who has had some positive results and good recommendations. My tinnitus situation is affecting concentration and creating quite a bit of anxiety as well. As I said, I'm trying to not fixate too much on it but it is hard - my wife is the one who is really being put through the wringer due to this.

It is shocking to me that a couple of days, 4 pills, could do this. I hope I have not made a permanent mistake - I'll never take tramadol or anything like that again. I have become aware of the Ototoxic destruction that a lot of meds potentially have and I never knew about. Again, I truly appreciate the positive note back.

 
Old 11-11-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

Just one quick question, is there any type of movements you make with your head or ears that will cause the ringing to become increasingly louder? For me, putting pressure on my outter ear lobes as well as clenching my jaw tight will create the very loud high pitched ring that I used to hear all the time, non stop for about 2 months.

Also, on a side note, alot of remedies suggest that having good circulation in your body may be key in helping to reduce tinnitus, I'm not sure what kind of physical shape you're in but it won't hurt to try and put in a few extra hours a week of physical activity. Not only will increase bloodflow circulation, but by the time you go to bed at night, it should make you more tired hopefully and will ease your ability to fall asleep. If not, try going to your family doctor and asking for some sleeping pills, I can't recall the name brand that I was supposedly taking, but 20 minutes after taking them, I would usually be out like a light bulb and not wake up until many hours later (depending on the severity of my tinnitus at the time).

Like I said, Gingko Biloba is also said to help increase circulation in your body by thinning your blood, just gotta read the warnings though on it incase you are having any type of surgeries or any blood work done prior to starting to take them. I can give you a great site if you'd want recommendations for them, just private message me.

 
Old 11-12-2007, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

H,

I've tried various changes in position - that seems to make a difference occasionally but mostly in volume level and not pitch or frequency...I don't know if that is related to ear pressure or what. I also have mastoid swelling and some associated lymphatic swelling. I have an appt. with an ENT today and I hope to find out the professional assessment but I have little faith that there will be much of a positive outcome due to the typical nature of tinnitus. I just hope that they can determine that there is no progressive disease or problem at hand.

Last night I got three hours of sleep with and that was with a bit of sleep medication to boot. I'm not sure I can work tomorrow but I must. I looked into the sound machine/white-noise products you suggested. What model do you have? The Conair line is available and inexpensive so I might try one of those first. Thanks again for the feedback - it is helpful to communicate with someone who has had similar issues.

 
Old 11-13-2007, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: Ototoxic Drug Reaction to Tramadol and Resultant Tinnitus

Oh, for me personally, I never did purchase a white noise machine, although I've seen the ads for them. When my T was really bad, like having those 3 hour sleep nights, I just popped in one of those nature cd's (rainfall, beach sounds) into a CD player that I put on my night stand, even as bad as it was, I would normally be able to fall asleep within 10-20 minutes with the help of some generic sleeping pills recommended for people with Insomnia (can't think of the name now).

Hope your situation gets better, remember that I've heard people say that the ears are very slow healing in nature, so don't get discouraged if you're experiencing the same symptoms even for a few weeks, in my case, it took almost 2 months before I realized that the T was actually getting better, and I felt much comfort knowing that.

Plz keep us up to date with how you're doing and any sorts of other methods you come across to help your suffering/anxiety.

 
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