Zoloft tinnitus went away (A rare side effect)

In this blog post, we are going to talk about zoloft induced tinnitus and measures we can take to make it go away. We will also discuss how much time it usually takes to get better and what other health conditions and medications could contribute to this condition. 

Does zoloft induced tinnitus go away? 

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Tinnitus caused by zoloft should go away within 3 to 4 weeks, but it is not always the case. Mild ringing in the ears usually subsides on its own, but sometimes it causes serious disturbance and you might need to discontinue your treatment with zoloft, in order to get rid of tinnitus. 

Zoloft belongs to SSRIs, the class of antidepressants which inhibits the reuptake of serotonin from synaptic cleft. This increased amount of serotonin, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter, has multiple effects on your body and brain. 

It can cause hyperactivity of nerve cells which support hearing and can make you feel like you’re constantly listening to some ringing, ticking, or buzzing etc. 

In some cases, tinnitus begins as a symptom of zoloft withdrawal after stopping zoloft abruptly. It is also seen in people who tapered off zoloft after a long duration of treatment. 

What does tinnitus feel like? 

Tinnitus is characterised as a sensation of ringing ears. You hear some kind of a sound in your ears like ringing, ticking, clicking, buzzing or whistling. 

You could either hear them continuously or after short intervals. This condition gets pretty disturbing when you’re trying to sleep in a silent, peaceful room. Tinnitus affects a lot of people annually. It has different causes and different levels. 

It could be a symptom of some underlying health condition or a side effect of certain medication. Drugs which cause tinnitus, hearing loss or different ear/hearing related side effects are known as ototoxic drugs. 

What could be done? 

The first approach to get rid of tinnitus is to stop using zoloft. If your tinnitus causes serious difficulty, it most likely indicates that your antidepressant doesn’t suit you and it’s time to change it. 

After discontinuation of depression treatment with zoloft, tinnitus begins to subside within 2 to 3 weeks. Make sure you taper off zoloft properly in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. You can try removing your earwax. Clearing up your ears can sometimes reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. 

It is difficult to treat tinnitus itself. The best approach is to deal with the underlying condition that causes it in the first place, but your doctor may recommend some noise cancelling device to tone down ringing in your ears. 

This really helps to relieve some of the symptoms and irritability that comes with them. There are no known medications to treat tinnitus but several therapies are available to help reduce the symptoms. 

For people who can’t seem to get away with it, therapies like Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are used to learn how to cope with tinnitus. 

Make sure you don’t use any such thing that can contribute to your tinnitus. Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they can have an impact on your already existing tinnitus. 

Other tinnitus causing medications

Tinnitus could be a side effect of your zoloft but use of some other medications are more common causes of tinnitus. Such meds include:

Antibiotics 

Antibiotics are antibacterial agents which are used to treat moderate to severe kinds of bacterial infections. These agents are known to cause tinnitus, including azithromycin, tobramycin, clarithromycin, gentamicin, streptomycin etc. 

These drugs are well known for producing ototoxicity, hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Fluoroquinolones (moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin) can also cause tinnitus. 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin can cause tinnitus. This is more common when you’re taking a high dose of these drugs. 

Do not use these for a longer period of time as they not only cause ototoxicity but can also cause several other side effects like gastric pain, diarrhoea, acid reflux, bleeding etc. 

High ceiling loop diuretics

Diuretics are used to remove excess sodium and water from your body. This class of diuretics include the most commonly used med, furosemide (lasix). They can cause tinnitus and loss of hearing. 

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers are antihypertensives. They are also used to manage cardiac activity in patients with coronary artery diseases (CAD). These agents are also known to produce tinnitus or ringing in the ears. 

Make sure you’re not using any one of the above mentioned drugs along with zoloft, which might enhance your tinnitus. Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have to take multiple medications at the same time. Some medications are incompatible with one another.

They cancel out each other’s beneficial effects and cause even more side effects. Drug-drug interaction is a serious issue. It’s better to check if your medicines are safe to take concomitantly. 

Health conditions that can make your tinnitus worse

Following health conditions can either cause or make your existing tinnitus even more worse: 

Ear infections

Ear infections can make you hear ringing in your ears. The infection usually causes buildup of pus or fluid in your ear canal which blocks it. The blockage creates pressure and you start experiencing the symptoms of tinnitus. 

In some cases, the accumulation of earwax can block ear canals which can result in tinnitus. This is exactly why it is recommended to opt for suitable earwax removal techniques which might help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. 

Age

Age has a great impact on the occurrence of tinnitus. Geriatric population is more susceptible to zoloft induced tinnitus, and tinnitus in general, because their tiny hair cells, which are important to receive sound waves, are either broken or damaged. This causes tinnitus. 

Injuries 

Brain injuries can often cause tinnitus by damaging nerves which are linked to the function of ears. Neck or direct ear injuries can also make you hear a constant ringing in your ears. This most commonly happens when some injury damages your eardrums. 

When to call your doctor

Reach out to your healthcare provider if:

  • You keep hearing loud ringing, buzzing or ticking in your ears. 
  • You feel some kind of pain or pressure in your ears
  • You stay up all night because of your tinnitus symptoms 
  • You feel like your hearing ability is declining 
  • You get fever with chills
  • You experience burning sensation tight after taking your zoloft. 
  • You experience unexplained weight gain or loss 
  • You experience any other unusual side effects. 

Other side effects of zoloft 

Common side effects of Zoloft include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling angry or agitated
  • Weight gain
  • Inability to digest food
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of libido
  • Sweating/Night sweats
  • Tremors or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence
  • Inability to ejaculate

Zoloft, sometimes, causes serious side effects. Consult your healthcare provider as soon as you can if these symptoms occur:

  • Seizure/convulsions
  • Eye pain with vision problems
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Memory problems/Dementia 
  • Severe weakness and inability to move

Conclusion 

In this blog, we learned about zoloft induced tinnitus. Tinnitus is characterised as a sensation of ringing ears. You hear some kind of a sound in your ears like ringing, ticking, clicking, buzzing or whistling. You could either hear them continuously or after short intervals.

Zoloft induced tinnitus, if mild, usually goes away in 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. For some people, it can take much longer, up to 4 to 5 months, but extreme ringing in the ears indicates that you need to stop your antidepressant as it’s not the right choice for you. 

Common side effects are expected from antidepressant treatment but if it is disabling, it indicates you need to switch to another medication. In case of tinnitus, it gradually starts to fade away after discontinuing the treatment with zoloft. 

Make sure you don’t stop your med cold turkey. You need to follow a proper taper schedule to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

FAQs: zoloft tinnitus went away

Does tinnitus from Zoloft go away?

Mild tinnitus usually start to fade away within 3 to 4 weeks. If your side effect is severe and disabling, your doctor might taper you off zoloft and switch to another safer antidepressant. 

Can tinnitus go away if you quit your antidepressants?

Yes, if your antidepressant is the one causing it. In this case, the first approach is to stop using your antidepressant. If your tinnitus causes serious difficulty, it most likely indicates that your antidepressant doesn’t suit you and it’s time to change it. 

After discontinuation of depression treatment with zoloft, tinnitus begins to subside within 2 to 3 weeks. 

Can low serotonin cause ear ringing?

High serotonin levels can cause tinnitus or ringing in your ears. This is why certain antidepressants are known to cause mild to moderate tinnitus, as they increase the availability of serotonin in your body. 

Can tinnitus suddenly stop?

Yes, tinnitus can suddenly stop. It is not a permanent condition and is usually triggered by some underlying health condition or some medication. It lasts as long as you don’t fix the reason behind it. When you generally get better, you stop hearing ringing in your ears. 

Can antidepressants cause permanent tinnitus?

No, antidepressants don’t cause permanent tinnitus and not all antidepressants can produce this side effect. If you’re experiencing antidepressant induced tinnitus, inform your healthcare provider. If it is mild, it might go away on its own within 2 to 3 weeks. 

If it is severe, you may have to change your antidepressant as it clearly isn’t the right choice for you. Do not change or stop your antidepressant without your doctor’s approval. 

Why do SSRIs cause tinnitus?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are the class of antidepressants which inhibits the reuptake of serotonin from synaptic cleft. This increased amount of serotonin, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter, has multiple effects on your body and brain. 

It can cause hyperactivity of nerve cells which support hearing and can make you feel like you’re constantly listening to some ringing, ticking, or buzzing etc. 

References 

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