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Post-menopausal. Taking Xanax and tramadol for pancreatic pain. Experiencing tinitus and dizziness. In hospital with pancreatitis

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Karanwal

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1980

Answered : 1357 Questions

Posted on Sun, 17 Nov 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: 62 yr old way post-menopausal female, recently quit smoking after 48 yrs., cigarettes and marijuana; taking Xanax for 13 yrs

trying to decrease 3 mgs/day xanax to two

taking tramadol 50 mgs x 2 day for pancreatic pain, not every day but at least 3 x wk; 2001 pancreatic stones removed but have returned

torqued pancreatic duct so stones cause no problem unless they try to exit pancreas as stint was inserted in duct;

no alcohol, no caffeine, green tea used on a daily basis no sugar added and no salt in house or used in cooking; prepared food never used, cook from scratch, no obesity 5'9" 122 lbs., but low blood pressure 90/60 and no more pot but experiencing tinitus and dizziness especially during early evening and into night time; ringing in ears and dizziness started after 2 weeks of using opalescence 10% tooth whitening gel; antihitamine helps in evening but I don't take benadryl with melatonin;

just had complete physical with CBC and slight liver enzyme problem noted which has been present since mega doses of pain meds during 3 weeks in hospital with pancreatitis;

no sleep problems as yet but melatonin used when needed
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Karanwal 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
Problems due to ear disease/ chronic marijuana use

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for your query.

* Firstly, the symptoms of tinnitus, dizziness, ringing in the ears are usually due, either to :-

- ear problem, particularly that of middle ear (which is responsible for hearing) and XXXXXXX ear (responsible for maintenance of posture; its abnormality causes dizziness, giddiness, vertigo or unsteadiness of gait); or,

- side effects of chronic use of marijuana, which impairs a person's ability to form new memories, and also disrupts coordination and balance by affecting certain areas of the brain such as, cerebellum and basal ganglia, which too have a role in maintenance of balance and coordination

* Further, the tooth whitening gel usually contains Potassium nitrate, which has several side effects including loss of taste (lasting for 3-4 months), dizziness or occasionally,even ringing in the ears, as reported in some literature.

I therefore recommend that :-

1. You get your blood sugar done to exclude diabetes, which is usually a complication of chronic pancreatic stones.

2. Stop using teeth whitening gel if it contains potassium nitrate.

3 Continue with Xanax (prescribed presumably for anxiety/depression) on a dose which keeps you mentally relaxed. Your doctor may add anti-depressants, if deemed appropriate.

4. Continue taking anti-histaminics, such as, betahistine 8mg THRICE daily for a long duration, since the effects of chronic marijuana intake would take a long time to go away. Also, use of Vitamin B12 (at least 1500mcg) daily will help, if taken regularly.

5. Lastly, you should consult ENT specialist to exclude/confirm ear problems, if any.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be happy to address to further clarifications, if any.

Fond regards,

Dr. Rakesh Karanwal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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