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9.13) Treating Tinnitus: hydergine


This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by markb@cccd.edu (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.

9.13) Treating Tinnitus: hydergine

Another "smart drug", for which Dean & Morgethaler say:

"Hydergine is reported to increase mental abilities, prevent
damage to brain cells from insufficient oxygen (hypoxia),
and may even be able to reverse existing damage to brain
cells [Ed. note: Call me skeptical].

Hydergine is an extract of ergot, a fungus that grows on
rye. Midwives in Europe traditionally used ergot with
birthing mothers to lower their blood pressure. Researchers
at the pharmaceutical giant Sandoz analyzed ergot in the
late 1940s, looking for blood-pressure medications. Of the
thousands of compounds that researchers found in ergot,
three were combined and tested for their anti-hypertensive
properties. When studies with elderly people uncovered
cognition-enhancing effects, Sandoz began spending a great
deal of research money on Hydergine. It is now one of the
most popular treatments for all forms of senility in the
U.S., and is used to treat a plethora of problems elsewhere
in the world.

Hydergine probably has several modes of action for its
cognitive-enhancement properties. Its wide variety of
reported effects include the following:

o Increases blood supply and oxygen to the brain.
o Enhances brain cell metabolism.
o Protects the brain from free-radical damage during
decreased or increased oxygen supply.
o Speeds the elimination of age pigment (lipofuscin) in
the brain.
o Inhibits free-radical activity.
o Increases intelligence, memory, learning, and recall.
o Normalizes systolic blood pressure.
o Lower abnormally high cholesterol levels in some cases.
o Reduces symptoms of tiredness.
o Reduces symptoms of dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in
the ears).


Precautions: If too large a dose is used when first taking
Hydergine, it may cause slight nausea, gastric disturbance,
or headache. Overall, Hydergine does not produce any serious
side effects. It is nontoxic even at very large doses and it
is contraindicated only for individuals who have chronic or
acute psychosis, or who are allergic to it. Overdosage of
Hydergine may, paradoxically, cause an amnesic effect."

Hydergine is available in the United States with a doctor's
prescription. It is also available from overseas sources, as one
contributor explains:

Hydergine is widely used in France, and it is cheap there.
One person told me that you can get 5 mg Hydergine tablets
there for less than the price of 1 mg in the US. If contacts
can be made directly with French pharmacists sympathetic to
the use of the higher European dosages in the US, mail-order
access might be arrangeable for US tinnitus people.

Hydergine has not been proven in rigorous scientific tests to be
effective for tinnitus reduction.


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