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  • Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

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    Old 10-11-2004, 07:55 AM   #1
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    Phlox HB User
    Post Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

    I have had a weird problem lately with my "ears popping", kind of like when you change altitude in a plane or car. It mainly happens when I lay down, so it could it be my bad sinuses for all I know. However, I have both heard and read about hearing loss occuring from the use of Hydrocodone & Acetaminophen(Tylenol/APAP). In just the city of LA, they found 29 people who may have had their hearing damaged by Hydrocodone meds.

    After initially taking Lortab I was changed to, and have most recently been, taking Vicoprofen. I just wondered if anyone knew about Hydrocodone causing ear problems, or has followed this problem? I found some information on the web, but most of it is rather outdated (pretty old actually) and only talks about that particular combination of the Hydro/Tylenol. Has anyone heard anything new about this, or have any recent information? My doctor talked about possibly returning me to Lortab instead of the Vicoprofen (b/c of GI problems) if the meds Im on now dont work for me, but now Im very leery of the Hydro/Apap combo. Also, considering how many ppl are on meds with that combo, and the problems of Tylenol in general (Liver, Overdose, GI)---why wouldnt doctors just put people with no GI condition on the Vicoprofen and tell them that if they eat food with it, that would be a safer alternative?

    Anyways, I just wanted to know if my 'ear-popping' problems could be related to the Vicoprofen/Hydrocodone. I havent been on the 10/325 Lortab on a regular basis in quite some time now, so I think that if that combo is required, the few 5-day 10/500 Scripts they gave me for it (twice when they had me stop the VP) wouldnt cause a problem? Its amazing how in such a small amount of time, I went from a 'no-need of, clueless about narcotics' person, to a CP patient asking questions like this and sharing information with others that Ive found. Im not trying to scare anyone, in fact just the opposite: Im looking for clarification and updated information. I plan to ask my doctor the exact same question! Heres a quote from one of the articles I found, so maybe you can discuss it with your doctor if youve been on this combination for some time:

    "In a retrospective observation conducted at the House Ear Clinic (HEC) in Los Angeles, physicians have found a possible correlation between permanent hearing loss and a commonly prescribed painkiller medication that combines hydrocodone and acetaminophen. This combination medication is distributed under various names including the brands Vicodin®, Hydrocet®, Lorcet®, Norco® and their generic counterparts. Over the past two years HEC physicians in L.A. have identified as many as 29 patients with moderate to profound hearing loss possibly resulting from extensive use of these painkillers. This unusually high incidence prompted the physicians to report their observations of this side effect to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to alert consumers.

    "We feel that it is our duty to warn the public that permanent hearing loss may result from prolonged, or excessive use of painkillers that combine hydrocodone and acetaminophen," said John W. House, M.D. "Recent media reports indicate that many people are becoming dependent on medications originally prescribed to treat temporary or chronic pain and we feel that their lives may be further complicated by loss of hearing."

    Last edited by Phlox; 10-11-2004 at 08:02 AM.

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    Old 10-11-2004, 09:17 AM   #2
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    Re: Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

    I get something like my hearing goes out in my left ear for a few minutes and then gradually comes back. My doctor says this is from my pain meds. I'm on Mscontin and Dilaudid for bt. It's very interesting. Thanks for posting the info. Tina

    Old 10-11-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
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    Re: Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

    Hey Flox, From what I have read it's from the apap, not the opiates. People taking 4-5 Vicoden ES are only cnsidering the pain relief they get and how much Hydro they are ingestinjng, not paying attn to exceedingthe recomended daily dose of tylenol in a single dose of a Hydro/apap combination.

    I have noticed ringing in the ears back when I was using hydro/apap combos when I ceeeded the apap safety ranges.

    If a doc prescribed Vicodin ES, It limits you to 1 tablet every 4 hours. Taking 2 tabletrs is 50% more apap than a healthy non chroinic user of this med should take. If you use apap products daily you cut those numbers n half, 500 mgs per dose, 2000 mgs max per day of apap for continued use sis thje recomended safe parameters.

    When you have combination meds, I think opiatephobicsw docs first instinct is to blame it on the opiate.

    I've met folks that used compounded hydrocodone with dextromathorphan to increase the duration of each dose and limit tolerance, increase thresholds to pain and to help with Neuro pain. 100mgs of compounded hydro without apap 3 times a day hasn't aused her any problems. It's the apap but it's a mighty popular product to point the finger at.
    Good luck, Dave
    As far as morphine or dlilaudid causing hearing problems, never heard of a single problem. My morphine dose was 600mgs a day with 16mgs of dilaudid, or 120mgs of MSIR or 120mgs of oxycdone as needed for BT and no hearing problems since discontinuing all apap.

    Why not suggest an experimant flox and substitiute the hydro/apap products with an equal amount of Pure oxycdone Availabkle in 5mg capsules and tabs, 15mg tablets that can be broken in half or 30 mg oxy tabs that can be groken. There are laso liquid verson of oxy that can be tried.

    Replacing every 10 mgs of hydro combined with apap with pure oxy should do the trick as far as pain and avaoid any problem with apap and liver disease.
    Unfortunately we never get the whole story. All the folks that died from OxyContin and the silly Oxy kills web sites forget to metion that in 90% of the cases there were poly drug combinations in each death, either oxy mixed with tranquilizers or alcohol. When a newspaper releases a statistic like 29 deaths atributed to hydro/apap combination does it seperate the true cp patients from the recreational users that chase 4 Vicodin ES ewith a 6 pack or do we just get the numbers without the info.

    In virtually every "OxyC" death, only 10 % could be atrbuted to OxyContn itself,either by ghost pills remianing in the sytem or observervations made by other party goers. But who knows what they took prior to someone seeing them take an oxycontin, could be 5 percecet didn't do the trick so someone chews a 40 mg oxycontin and Oxycontin is now the killer drug for all to beware of. There are dozens of products that contain oxycodone, Percocet in 7 strenghts,Tylox Roxicodone, OxyIR, Oxyfast,oxydose, Roxicodone intensinol and again, with poly drug combinations deemed safe by strret users, outcomes are unpredictable and often deadly.

    Barbituates and alcohol put karen anne Quinlin into a coma for months. Recreational use and misuse of meds is what gives them a bad name, But the these problems rarely occur in the true CP comunity where meds are acounted for,Interactions are checked before combing different drugs and compliance is a must. Runnng out one day early can get you booted from a PM practice. If taken as prescribed and avoiding attempts to amplyfy the buzz, it wouldn't even be an issue. No dealer is going to refuse to seel his drugs because he feels you have had enough or you shouldn't take Oxy and Xanax when drinking.

    There is no medical guidence in these cases of abuse, other than the combo didn't kill me yeterday so a little more today should be OK. Occording to who, the dealer, the junkie friends, all the information nd research the junkie did pror to injecting a wad of talc and titanium dioxide into their veins? I'm not exactly convinced the folks injecting and abusing these meds go through an eloborate distalation process to remove all the impurities , binders and fillers that more than exceed the actual mg weight of any particlur pill.
    JMO and the findings of the CDC.

    In this case , once again the finger is pointed at the evil opiate rather than perfectly safe OTC meds that kill 17k people per year.
    I'll keep looking an keep my mind pen if I see any thing coralating Opiate use to hearing loss.

    I've taken viox on numerous occasions and had a heart attack 2 years ago, do I make the huge leap the Viox caused the problkem of my extremely low HDL cholesterol count from remaining dsedentary to control the pain. I guess if I wan't a check for $9.38 and want the lawyer representing the folks to make 10's of millions of dollars in these class action suites I could throw my name into the suit.

    Where is the direct link, cause and effect? Not that I don't believe Vioxx should be pulled if there is any question of it's safety but if you drink, smoke, don't excercise, don't eat properly and want to blame 10 days of viox use 8 years ago for your heart problem today, more power to the folks joining the suite. The lawyers make millions and the company recoups the cost in price increases across the board for all their products that add up to the amount of their loss.

    So who's really paying these penalties? I wouldn't be surprised if the folks we elect to represent our interests in all afairs don't then turn around and give the pharma co a tax credit for the loss incured by the class action suite, If the company can get the public to pay their fine twice, once with a price increase, again with a tax break to offset their loss and throw in a grant to determine if Vioxx can be used safely short term or the danger is only in long term use.

    There are 3 pharma lobbyist for every elected offical in washigton, more than all other lobbysist combined for any other inductry. With a golden parachute and lifetime beni's for a 2 year stint in congress, the cost of meds will never be an issue for the people we ellect. The only compensation for allowing the pharma industry to dictate prices at margins any other industry could only imagine is contributions to campaign funds to keep the incumbents that work well with industry in office. Working well with industry just means holding your hand out for any incumbent that knows they must raise 27k per day for every day in office to keep their seat and continue to make lobbying part of democratic process.

    Did I miss the amendment that allows our representatives to sell their vote to the highest contibuter to their campaign coffer. Ignoring the needs and wishes of the folks that actually elected them thinking here's someone that's going to look out for our interests, not the most powerful and profatable industry in the country.

    Even better lets use NAFTA so we can manufacturer these meds outside our country. Pay workers a dollar a day to make thousands of pills that sell for 10 bucks a mg in the states? What a brilliant idea for industry.I don't recall voting for Nafta or the golden parachute or thecongeresses latest pay raise andperk increase. Kind of nice to be able to set ou pay and benefits package, who's going to appose. Why except a 250,000% grosss margin when you can make 800,000% by setting up manufacturng in another country. Manufacturing costs drop and profits skyrocket. That's where the money comes from to grease the sticky democratc system.

    sorry to get off topic, Take care, Dave

    Old 10-11-2004, 12:48 PM   #4
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    Re: Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

    Go Dave, Go Dave!
    I love it when you go off topic. I always learn something new.

    I'll have to keep an eye on my husband. He inhales Excedrin as his doctors won't give him anything for pain.(disc trouble for 20+ years, pinched nerve and recent failed knee surgery) We've always attributed his hearing loss to rock music and 'male selective hearing'!LOL

    Thanks again for the info. -Mush

    Old 10-11-2004, 08:41 PM   #5
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    Phlox HB User
    Re: Hydrocodone & Hearing Loss

    Thanks for the interesting information---on both topics, hehe! Youre comments are always appreciated and welcome Dave!! Thank you!

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