Newest Covid-19 Vaccine Side-Effects on Tinnitus
Hello and welcome, this is episode 16 of the Pure Tinnitus and Hearing Podcast. Today we are with Dr. Bob DiSogra. Dr. DiSogra is a former Adjunct Professor and lecturer of Pharmacology at University of Pacific, Salus University and Kean University.
We are here today to talk about over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements for tinnitus, side effects of COVID-19 and side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, how that affects tinnitus.
Additionally, we’re going to talk about the relationship between antidepressant, prescription medications, their effect on tinnitus and last but not least, the drugs FX-322, OTO-313 and other drugs that are being researched to help treat hearing loss, which could improve tinnitus. Dr. DiSogra, tell us how you’re doing, where you’re coming from and how you serve the audiology community.
Well, thank you Ben for inviting me this afternoon, I really appreciate this a great opportunity for me to put some good solid information out to your viewers about tinnitus and the different causes and management.
I’m in Millstone, New Jersey. I’m in Central New Jersey, I’ve had a private practice in Freehold for over 30 years and I think this is my 43rd year in audiology. So, I’ve had some clinical work, research work, industrial work, I’ve had a wide variety of audiology, different backgrounds and different jobs in audiology.
But the private practice was my bread and butter for 30 years in Freehold and the teaching opportunities came along. So, I’ve been blessed, I really have. So, I’m really here to help your audience with any answers to the questions that they might have through you about over-the-counter tinnitus relief products and dietary supplements.
So, let’s get the party started. – Yeah, let’s get started by talking about over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements that are marketed, labeled for helping tinnitus. I’m very active in the online tinnitus community and one of the common posts people make in the Facebook groups are a picture of an advertisement and saying, hey, has anyone tried this, does this work?
You are an expert in the prescription drugs, you’re an expert in medications and classifying their validity on tinnitus as well as hearing loss. So, give us the quick overview on, what are the takeaway points you want someone to know about over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements for tinnitus?
– Well, the first takeaway is the fact that the food and drug administration classifies, dietary supplements as food. And as food, it does not have to go through the rigorous evidence-based research, that pharmaceuticals have to go through to get approval by the FDA for safety and efficacy, or does it work, okay?
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So what happens is that you have a food product and there are a lot of gray areas in the law when it comes to marketing these products for whatever the manufacturer is intending the product to be used for. So according to federal law, if I’m a manufacturer of a dietary supplement, in order for me to sell this product in the United States, I have to notify the FDA, fill out some documentation and register my company.
So when I get the approval to sell the product, my company is FDA registered, not the product for tinnitus. What happens is that, when I get that okay to sell the product, technically I’m cleared to sell the product. So I have the green light and the blessings of the FDA to sell the product. Now, so here I am I want to sell this product, I don’t have to provide any proof at all to the FDA about safety and efficacy.
So, I want to attract people to buy the product, so I will use words like, well, my product is FDA registered and my product is FDA approved, so prove for sale. The company is registered with the FDA, it’s not approved for tinnitus. There are over 80 products available on the market right now, from my research that are FDA registered, but none of them, zero, none of them are FDA approved for tinnitus.
So, when you purchase a product that’s marketed and it’s pretty slick marketed, when you purchase a product that’s marketed for tinnitus relief, keep in mind several things. It may not be a safe product, there may be ingredients in that product, that may be harmful, harmful for pregnant women, may be harmful for patients that have cardiovascular disease, there is no system of checks and balances.
So, the good news here is that if there is an adverse reaction to a dietary supplement, whether it’s for tinnitus or whatever else it’s being used for, including any essential oils, the FDA has a special program called the MedWatch program, M E D, MedWatch program. And you can go online to the FDA website, they know, just key in, MedWatch, and I think it’s 1-800-MedWatch is the phone number. And you can report this any adverse event that you have to the FDA and hopefully they will follow through.
Now, given the fact that of all of the different issues that we have in this country right now, where is tinnitus on the list of importance? So, there may be some delay in getting a response to that. So, there is a system of checks and balances to consumers, if they’re not satisfied with the product or they have an adverse reaction to the dietary supplement.
And what’s even more interesting here, Ben is that, the MedWatch program is the same program that you voluntarily report an adverse reaction to a pharmaceutical, to an FDA approved pharmaceutical. So the MedWatch program covers prescription drugs and over-the-counter supplements.
– Okay so, when we’re walking this through for someone who is online looking for tinnitus help, we have to remember that when they search on Google for anything related to tinnitus, typically the first few posts that show up on the feed are advertisements. And I’ve of course searched tinnitus may times, many of the people looking for help are then hit with these advertisements for herbal supplements.
So Bob, how would you advise someone who is interested in taking a pill for tinnitus, if they come into your clinic and they say, hey doc, are there any pills I can take for tinnitus? Is there anything I can eat or any kind of herbal supplement that might work? How do you counsel them? – First thing I let them know is what I just said in the beginning, there are no FDA approved products for tinnitus relief. So, really at that point I try to empower my patients to make an informed decision, how they want to spend their money. (Click here to read full document)
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