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Use of Cytoxan to treat hearing loss

Jason Labin jlabinr at ids2.idsonline.com
Mon Jul 8 21:14:04 EST 1996

I am 48 years old and suffer from sensorineural hearing loss.    I was
first diagnosed eight years ago and have rapidly declined since.  My right
ear is so bad  that I can't even wear a hearing aid because my
discrimination is so bad.  In the last six months the discrimination in my
left ear has markedly declined.  I have a Resound hearing aid, which is
about the best on the market.  It is rapidly losing its effectiveness.

I went to see my otolaryngologist recently and he suggested I take cytoxan
(cyclophosphamide) in the event that I have autoimmune inner ear disease.
I have been tested twice for autoimmune inner ear disease, but both have
been negative.  As some of you may know, the test only picks up 6 or 7 of
10 people with autooimmune inner ear disease.  The reading  I have done
about cytoxan is horrifying.  The drug is a form of chemotherapy and has
all the same side effects.  There is a risk of bladder cancer and leukemia
that may not occur until years later.  There is also blood in urine,
cough, risk of infection, headache, rash, etc.  The doctor gave me an
article by Dr. Brian McCabe of the University of Iowa Hospita about the
positive aspects of using cytoxan.  The article says the side effects can
be easily dealt with by monitoring.

My decision is whether or not to take cytoxan.  Has anyone tried cytoxan,
especially in a situation when there was no evidence of having autoimmune
inner ear disease?  Did it work? What were the side effects?  How much am
I at risk for serious long-term side effects?  In general, what are the
pros and cons of this treatment?  

I would really appreciate any information.  Hearing loss is a serious
problem, but I don't need to add new problems unnecessarily.   Thanks.

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