Medication use for relief of spasmodic dysphonia symptoms

Oral medications have not been proven to provide consistent relief for symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia.

At this time, no medication is specifically indicated to treat spasmodic dysphonia or other forms of dystonia; however, a number of products, are used to settle muscles or nerves that present excess activity. Also, some medications can reduce anxiety and have the potential to a person’s voice.

Some of the medications include:

  • Sinemet® (carbidopa/levodopa)
  • Ativan® (lorazepam)
  • Klonopin® (clonazepam)
  • Neurontin® (gabapentin)
  • Valium® (diazepam)
  • Other categories of medications used in the treatment of dystonia include anticholinergics, benzodiazepines, and baclofen.

CBD and Medical Marijuana — CBD oil and medical marijuana has not been studied specifically for relief of spasmodic dysphonia. However, people anecdotally have reported temporary relief of symptoms of their SD after using CBD and/or medical marijuana.

Current Research

Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem) — An ongoing study is being done testing the use of sodium oxybate to treat spasmodic dysphonia and vocal tremor. It is known to have therapeutic effects similar to alcohol. This is due to the fact that the drug is known to convert GABA within the brain and increases dopamine levels. It was noted in study that test subjects had vocal symptom improvement within 45 minutes of taking the dose. The effects (improved phonation) lasted an average of 3.5 hours and had high tolerance without major side effects. Studies are on-going at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, MA.

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