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New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

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Old 11-16-2008, 05:00 PM   #1
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kdubya911 HB User
New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

I am new here but any feedback with a similar experience would be great. I am somewhat baffled by this...

I am prescribed a fairly high dose of Oxycodone per day due to degenerative disk problems. I have been on this dosage for about 6 months, and have been on oxy for over a year with no real side-effects (besides the standard constipation, and drowsiness).

For some reason a couple of weeks ago I started to develop a very itchy red rash on my upper arms, and torso. It is little red bumps, it's not hives b/c I've had those before. Hives are more like welts, these are bumps, and they itchy and uncomfortable.

I initially thought it was from an antibiotic I was prescribed to kill a skin infection on my feet. My PCP prescribed some Prednisone, and changed me to a different antibiotic. The Prednisone worked fairly well while I was taking it, but I was still itching some. Now that I'm off the Prednisone the rash is still here, and I've noticed that it gets considerably more itchy after I've taken my pain medicine. I have also noticed recently that I am developing a bunch of little warts on my hands. This is even more puzzling. They are little bitty tiny warts and there are about 10 or 20 of them on my hands.

Is it possible to suddenly develop a rash from a pain medicine that I've taken for over a year? I really have to take the medicine as I'm in terrible pain. I am having a double spinal fusion at L5/S1 & L4/L5 in January. I do not want to have to switch medications again. I am happy with the relief I am getting from the Oxy.

What is the deal with the warts? I've heard that being on pain medicine for a long time can kill your immune system. Is it possible that I was exposed to the wart virus and my body was unable to fight off the infection?

I am planning on going to see my PM doc this week if it does not get any better. If anyone has had a similar situation please let me know.

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Old 11-17-2008, 02:54 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Strawbaby HB User
Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

kdubya911 - I can't help with your question but wanted to let you know that the boards are often quiet on the weeknds. Surely someone will have some thoughts for you today.

I'm hoping you find answers and relief.


Old 11-17-2008, 08:32 PM   #3
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kdubya911 HB User
Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

I sure hope someone has some experience. I just find it very odd that I've taken this medication for over a year, and now all of the sudden, my skin is breaking out. It's really frustrating.

Does anyone have any similar experience with sudden adverse side effects from a long term pain medicine. Remember, there have been no dosage changes, in fact I'm actually taking less now than I was before the rash. I'm toughing it out a little more with the pain in order to get some extra relief from the itching.

Old 11-18-2008, 08:03 AM   #4
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Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

Although it's possible to become suddenly allergic to a medication there are a couple of other things to rule out first, especially if this med works well for your pain. Have you changed laundry detergent, dryer sheets, softeners, hand soap, body soap or gel, shampoo, lotion, or anything else that you apply directly to your skin or to wash your clothes in? I'd also include any cleaning products you use on the bath/shower areas or use on anything else without using plastic gloves. These are the most common cause of allergic skin reactions. Even if you didn't change brands it's possible that the company changed the formulation. I'd try switching to all hypoallergenic products - for laundry anything thats "free and clear", for soaps Dial basic, Dove sensitive, shampoo try baby shampoo marked hypo-allergenic. For cleaning products either get gloves or have another member of the family do the cleaning. For the shower/bath you can try plain white vinegar. I've had a lot of skin allergy problems and these tend to be the culprits. If you find that after eliminating these products the rash dissapears, you can add stuff back one product at a time. I would suspect the warts came from having small skin abrasions from scratching the rash. The virus can get in even thru something like a paper cut.

Good luck on finding the allergen. I've been thru this a few times and it's no fun. One time I had hives for two years before I found out that the cleaning company I had hired was using products on the shower and tub that I had told them specifically not to use. I can sure understand not wanting to change meds when the one you're on is working for you.


Old 11-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

I have not heard of this. have you changed the brand of the oxycontin you have been taking? like did you possibly get a generic at your last refill? check your bottle and see if its a different brand, as all meds have different fillers when you go generic that people often react to.

another option is to stop the oxy and see if the warts and rash go away but than you will be in withdrawel but maybe your PM DR can reccomend another pain med for you to take so you won't have the W/D'S.
This is the only way to know if its your pain medication is to stop taking it.

It sounds to me more like an infection in your body as you had a rash on your feet that came up suddently and now you have something on your arms and hands. I would get a good blood work up and see your GP for this b/c I don't think a PM DR can help you with the blood work and you will need to rule out other ailments that could be causing the rash and warts. a lof of diseases form in the way of a rash so it would seem possible you have something else going on, as I don't think it could be your pain meds, but talk to your Dr right away, I would not wait until your apt I would get in ASAP.

Good luck. I have heard of people getting rashes from antiobiotics and from new pain meds also from pred but never have heard of someone reacting to a narcotic that they have been on for a year, and I have not heard that being on pain meds lowers your immune system, I have never read that or heard it documented ever so I really don't think that is a true statement. Where did you hear that, did an MD tell you that? as I am very curious to know where you heard that.... thanks

take care and I do hope your skin issues go away soon. SS

Old 11-18-2008, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

It is possible to develop an allergic skin reaction to medication at any point in the course of therapy. It is well documented. However, the itching is usually over the entire body, with or without rash or hives. I'm suspicious of the oxy because you say the itching gets worse After you ingest the meds. You might try taking some over the counter Benadryl (25 mg.) about 30 minutes before you take your oxy and see if it prevents your skin from reacting. If it does, then the problem is most likely the oxy. Prednisone isn't an antibiotic it's a steroid that has great anti-inflammatory properties and is often used to treat an allergic reaction. The antibiotic may have also done it. As far as the warts and other blemishes/rashes, they may have absolutely nothing to do with the oxy - could be a coincidence that it is all happening at the same time. If I were in your shoes, I think I'd see a dermatologist and go from there. Sure hope you don't have to stop taking the medicine that is helping you. All the best - <Memere (KathyMac)

Old 11-18-2008, 06:07 PM   #7
Join Date: Nov 2008
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kdubya911 HB User
Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

I appreciate your reply Tigg. Your thoughts were my first thoughts as well. I have added some new body soaps, liquid laundry detergent, and liquid fabric softener recently. I have stopped using everything but the new fabric softener. It is actually the same brand I've always used (Downy), it's just a new scent. I will D/C that one as well and hopefully that is the culprit.

I'm really leaning towards the medication however. I seem to itch more intensely and the bumps look a lot more red after I've taken my medication. They may just look more red b/c I am scratching them more after I've taken my meds, but I digress...

I am going to go to my pain doc on Thursday. I can make it one more day. I'm just worried he's going to switch me to something that won't work as well for the pain. I really cannot deal with a bunch of new side-effects so hopefully it will be an easy transition. I know meds don't really work the same dose to dose for everyone so there will be a titration period. Yuck

Old 11-18-2008, 06:25 PM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2008
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kdubya911 HB User
Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

Memere & Slippery Slope

Thanks to you both as well.

Slippery Slope:
Here is a link that talks about immune system suppression from pain meds. I did not here this from my doctor. I just found out from my own research:


I have tried both Benadryl and the prescription antihistamine Hydroxizine, both help some, but not much. I do know that the Prednisone is not an antibiotic. The first antibiotic my GP put me on was Doxycicline", the one I was switched to is a Cephalexin.

Old 11-23-2008, 07:06 PM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2008
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kdubya911 HB User
Re: New here with a CP medicine side-effect question.

Well, I wanted to post what happened...

I have been diagnosed w/ Psoriasis. I've never experienced this before so It is definitely very weird. I turned 30 last year so I guess this kind of stuff is what I have to look forward to in years to come. Sigh...

They put me on some really strong steroid medication (Dexamethasone), and some steroid cream as well. It hasn't cleared up completely but it is better and not itchy now. The oral steroids make me feel terrible though. I'm very agitated and I'm having mood swings.

Well I guess this isn't really a CP discussion anymore. I guess I'll go look for a Psoriasis forum in here somewhere

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