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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Had an inner ear infection and taking klonopin for anxiety disorder. Will prednisone cause neurological damage?

Answered by
Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1998

Answered : 5165 Questions

Posted on Mon, 2 Dec 2013 in Brain and Spine
Question: On Oct 15 I noticed a hearing loss in my left ear. At first I thought it was a defective phone. Later that day I tried using the phone using my right ear. I called my ENT office & asked to move up my annual hearing exam & an audiologist tested my hearing. I am 69 & always had less hearing in my left ear but the loss was significant ..... 30 to 40 % more than last year. She showed me the comparison & then I saw the PA. He said I either had an inner ear infection or a tumor, called in a script to local pharmacy for 60 mg. for 7 days, 40 for 7 days, then tapering to 20, 10,5 & 1/2 in 5 day intervals. He also said I would be called about an MRI. I took the medication because he said if I didn't I could have a permanent hearing loss. I began taking the pills on Oct 18. I have an anxiety disorder & take 1&1/2 mg of Klonopin per day. When under stress, I don't eat. I have had almost every side effect except hunger, bloating & swelling of face/throat. I lost my appetite immediately, felt like I was on amphetamines 24 hrs a day. I increased to 2 mg of Klonopin per day. I began taking one 5 mg of Ativan at night so I could sleep. By Oct 22 I called to ask when I would have the MRI. I was not scheduled until Nov 21 & I am leaving for Paris on Nov 27. I got it changed to Oct 29, saw the hearing specialist on 30th. I told him if he didn't get me off the pills I would commit suicide by overdose of all my pills. I am type 2 diabetic with all levels in normal,range with meds. I was told it was an inner ear infection of unknown origin and he changed timeline to 8 days : 4 of 20mg, 2 of 10, 2 of 5 because they had to taper them. I stopped taking them 4 days ago. I still live on I granola bar, I banana all day long & then I finally get hungry & eat weird stuff for dinner - not typical of me at all. I am still hyper all day long, smoke twice as much as before I started the pills, tapered coffee to only 2 cups per day. I have lost energy, fine & gross motor skills, focus and forget what I'm doing a lot of the time. I also could not sleep more than 3/4 hrs when I stopped taking pills. I finally called my primary care Dr & he sent in a script for Ambien I mg at night. I slept 8 hrs last night even going back to sleep after using toilet but do not want to take another pill to sleep at night. I require 8 hrs per night. I believe I have suffered permanent brain/ neurological damage because of taking Prednisone for 21 days. I will never take them again even if it is a matter of life or death. I am furious that a PA can prescribe pills w/o first consulting with a real Dr. I did ask the Dr what he would have done when presented with same symptoms & he supported the PA. What I didn't ask is the initial dosage of 60 mg for 7 days. Why couldn't I have taken an antibiotic instead of steroids? I am afraid I will never get better in time time for my trip to Paris on Nov 27. Can steroids damage a person permanently ?
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Yes adverse reaction are irreversible Detailed Answer: Hello I have studied your case. Yes adverse reactions of prednisone are irreversible But you can prevent further damage by properly tapering drug and starting healthy life style. If you improve your immunity by healthy and fresh diet with high natural anti-oxidant then recovery is possible. I will advise you to take neurotropics like methylcobalamine for improving your memory. For your ear problem you need proper clinical examination and medication accordingly. Many of my patients with multiple diseases find great relief by doing yoga, pranayama, and sudarshan kriya. Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries. Wishing you good health. Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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