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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-29-07 10:57 AM
Original message
Itching from narcotic painkillers.
I had to stop taking percocet and roxicet because I started itching whenever I took them. That was years ago, and I was put on Morphine. Now the Morphine is causing intense itching too.

I really don't want to have to go through the trials all over again, trying different painkillers to find one that works well for me. It's incredibly disruptive, and I'm having enough problems dealing the everything.

So, have any of you had similar things happen? How did you handle it? Is it okay to just take an antihistimine to deal with the itching? Is there a better option? Or should I just agree to move to something else?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-29-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Percs always made me itch
but have you broken out in hives, or are you just itchy? This is an important question because the former signals an allergic reaction that means you should not take that drug unless you're under close supervision and in combination with antihistamines and even steroids, while the latter is an unpleasant side effect.

In any csse, you need to consult your doc about this. There are medications which will relieve it.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. No hives that I can tell.
But I itch in places I can't see, so it's hard to tell.

Thank you. I'm definitely going to take this to the doctor.
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-29-07 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've had that reaction too and I've also known people who've had it.
I have taken Benadryl under a doctor's supervision, but I was on a low dose of each. Either way, definitely check with your doctor so you can get some relief. I feel for you - I have excema and hives from allergies anyway so I know how miserable this is on top of everything else!

Take care and I sure hope you feel better soon. :hug:
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I'm self medicating with benedryl, which seems to help.
But you're right that I need to talk this over my Pain Management doctor.

I don't know how people manage chronic skin problems. I'm ready to climb out of mine.

The doctors still don't know definitively if I have Rheumatoid or Psoriatic arthritis, and won't be sure until the secondary characteristics kick in. If it's Psoriatic then I have Psoriasis to look forward to. So I guess I'll find out how people manage. :(
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flamingyouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Either one is awful, Thom.
But if you do wind up with psoriasis, I do have some management tips for you, so let me know.

My mom has rheumatoid and my dad has osteoarthritis - they both suffer horribly. :(
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-10-07 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. There's also psoriatic arthritis, just to scare you completely.
I worked in a specialty unit back in the good old days, so I do have comfort tips for psoriasis. I have the RA, so I can tell you about that one, too.

Do talk about getting antihistamines that are less sedating than Benadryl the next time you visit the doc. They're out there.
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Cobalt Violet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-01-07 08:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. It happens to me too.
I've just put up with it but it is probably okay to take a antihistamine if your doctor says it's okay. I am a huge fan of opiates for pain relief.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. I don't understand why so many people are afraid of opiates.
The "high" is not severe, but it's unpleasant enough that very few people are going to want to get high. And, nothing else works better for some types of pain.

The paranoia about these meds is amazing.
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KitchenWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-01-07 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. I get it with all the opioid pain meds
:banghead:

I guess one of the mechanisms of these drugs is that they release histamine into your bloodstream. Thus the itchiness. I take Benadryl to counteract some of it. The itchiness is still present, but it is not nearly as bad as if I took the opioid drug alone.

Another consideration (I am sure you are already aware), those drugs can bind one up something fierce. Senokot is a many splendored thing.
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schrodingers_cat Donating Member (448 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-01-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'd agree that it would be best to speak to a Doctor first about adding
benadryl.....opiates depress one's breathing, and benadryl can also have a sedative effect, so if you are prone to apnea, or even are just a snorer, I would be careful about layering them.
I get the itchies too, mostly when I have to keep a steady amount in my bloodstream. I find that witch hazel gently applied topically helps to calm my skin. I'd often wondered what caused them, so this has been an informative post for me.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. Witch Hazel.
That is an awesome idea. I had not thought of that.

Thank you.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. One advantage of eating a high fiber vegan diet
and drinking huge amounts of water (because of a history with my Kidney) is that I rarely have that side effect. I've been warned, and I'm ready if it happens, but I've been lucky. :)

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yy4me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-01-07 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. I know just what you are talking about. The doctor put me on
an anti-depressant 6 weeks ago. The medicine is the generic form of Celexa($4.00 Walmart). It is doing a great job and I feel about 150% better but have what I think is a nasty side effect.

I take clonazepam for restless leg syndrome and have for some time. I developed a slight but very itchy rash only on my back and have lived with that. I put cortisone on and try and ignore the itch.

The new pills seemed to be fine but 2 or 3 weeks ago I noticed an itch in funny places, including my eyes. It is getting progressively worse and I plan to call the doctor tomorrow because it is now at a point that I am ready to jump out of my skin. I thought it was an allergy to something growing outside that was in bloom but now I'm sure it is the pills.

I need to find out if I should change medications or take an antihistamine.

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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-02-07 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. It gets crazy when you're taking meds to counter the effects of
other meds. :(
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yy4me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-03-07 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. What happened at the Doc's was interesting. After checking me
over and asking about a million questions about introducing new things to my environment, it was decided that he would change my medication as the itch-rash seems to be an allergy to the medication.

Getting off one medication to go to another is complicated. Yesterday I was to take a half pill of the original pill, and one of the new one. Add to that, take an antihistamine(Loratadine). It is an over the counter allergy thing (CVS in the section with the Benedryl etc). This would go on for 6 days, then switch to the new one 2X a day at about 6AM and4PM. It seems the new one may make you wired and jumpy.

I know you should not mess with what your doc orders but because yesterday and today were going to be crazy days around here, I decided to hold off on the new pills/schedule and try to cope with the itch with just the antihistamine and cortisone cream until Thursday. Yesterday evening, I noticed that I had very few welts from scratching and that in general the degree of itch was less.

Today, took the old meds and allergy pill and will monitor the day. If things stay the way they are not, I will not start the new pills as the price is huge. My COBRA will end in 2 months and I will be on Medicare. I don't want to buy the drug coverage plan. This new pill is $103.45 per month as opposed to the old generic at $4.00(Walmart generic program). There is no way for me to afford expensive drugs, I get only $580.00 a month on Social Security. Doesn't go far.

I'm hoping this is antihistamine is an accidental fixit for this horrible itch.
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Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
15. They release histamines that can cause an allergic reaction
Sensitive people will get itching, even hives. I had itching when I first started my pain meds and every time we tried raising the dose. Eventually, your body gets used to it and the itching stops, though it may take awhile.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-10-07 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I've been taking these meds for 6 years now.
If I'm going to get used to this stuff, I wish it would happen already. Instead, it seems like I reach a point where my body suddenly notices, "hey, I can complain about this."

My pain management doctor does not like the manufacturer of the liquid I've been taking, so now I'm switching to the pill. We'll see if that makes a difference.
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