October 10, 2003


Misuse of Pain Drug Linked to Hearing Loss: Doctors in L.A. and elsewhere have identified at least 48 cases of deafness tied to prolonged misuse of Vicodin and other comparable prescription medicines. (LINDA MARSA, September 10, 2001, LA Times)

A powerful and potentially addictive painkiller used by millions of Americans is causing rapid hearing loss, even deafness, in some patients who are misusing the drug, according to hearing researchers in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

So far, at least 48 patients have been identified by doctors at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles and several other medical centers who have treated patients with sudden hearing loss. The hearing problems appear to be limited to people who abuse Vicodin and other chemically comparable prescription drugs by taking exceptionally high dosages for several months or more, doctors said.

Vicodin, one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers, is frequently used improperly.

"This has become such a popular drug of abuse," says Dr. John W. House, president of the House Institute in Los Angeles, one of the nation's leading centers of hearing-related research.

The one thing Rush had going for him with even folks on the Left was his hearing loss. Now it looks like he may possibly have caused that himself. One day at a time, big fella.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 10, 2003 7:17 PM

Rush was (ab)using Oxycontin not Vicodin according to his public statement today. Yeah he may have been messing with both but he didn't say so. Given the frankness of his public admission I think he would have disclosed if he was messing with Vics.

They are quite different chemically. I am not aware of any studies linking Oxycontin to hearing loss. Oxycontin is an opioid related chemically to heroin. It is a Schedule II drug and tightly controlled / regulated. (Special tamper-proof prescription pads are required.) Vicodin is a Schedule III drug that is little more than a strong form of codeine.

Ever get that buzzing in your ears after drinking too much cough syrup?

Posted by: Gideon at October 11, 2003 1:23 AM
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