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Old 12-29-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Exclamation Itching

Hi,

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas

I saw my PM doctor on Thursday and he increased my meds to a stronger dose mainly b/c the Oxycodone 10mg is not covered by my insurance. He bumped me up to the 15mg, 3/day (I was taking the 10mg 4/day). So instead of having to shell out $80 for my Rx, I only had to pay $1.10! The only issue I'm having with the higher dosage is itching. Not just a little itching, but itching so severe that I've actually clawed parts of my skin, causing bruises . I asked the pharmacist about it and she said it is a fairly common side effect and she doesn't think I'm allergic to it. She suggested Benedryl to help with the itching but warned me to be careful taking them together b/c they both make me sleepy.

Has anyone else had this reaction to their meds? It is so frustrating b/c so far, this is the best medication for my pain. I'm trying to figure out which is worse at this point, the pain or this itching .

Would love ANY advice. Is there something better than Benedryl for the itching? Is there anything topical (like a cream) I can use? Is there anything I can eat with the pain medicine that might help the itching?

Thanks so much all!
Pandie

 
Old 12-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
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Re: Itching

If you are responding that strongly, its likely this med/dose isn't for you. I'd put a call into your doctor. There is a chance this could subside as you get used to the med, but who knows. Benadryl is an option, as well as topical creams (look for cortisone). There are some other otc allergy meds that may cause less drowsiness than Benadryl, like Claritin.

Most of the time with pain med itching though, its so widespread that creams are tough. You might also find an oatmeal bubble bath soothing. Sorry you are struggling. However, dealing with itching and having to use pills and creams isn't a long term solution. Can you ask your doctor if you can try half a pill 5-6 times a day?

I'm surprised that going from 40 to 45 mg a day went from no problem to crazy itchy...it must just be the amount of med hitting you at one time, which is why I'd suggest asking about splitting up the dose. Or, any chance this is a different brand and you are responding to a filler? Some folks are sensitive.

How is your pain doing? Even with the higher dose, if you are like a lot of folks, Oxycodone won't last 8 hours. Even 6 hours is a stretch for me. What about asking about 5mg pills and taking two at a time? Since this is an insurance issue, and you know what they cover, and you are not asking for a dose increase, I wouldn't see a problem asking about specific doses. If they cover 5mg pills, and the 10mg every 4 hours was working for you, that seems like the easiest solution. Best wishes.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: Itching

Thanks so much Kate!! We briefly talked about changing the Rx to the 5mg, as my insurance covers that dose, but I was getting #120 of the 10mg and that would translate into #240 of the 5mg and my doctor said my insurance may not cover for that amount.

I believe I'm going to half the 15mgs and see if that helps with the itchy. My doctor told me that halving them would be fine.

I had gastric bypass almost 2.5 yrs ago and my absorption of all of my meds has changed. Most things tend to be quick in/quick out. I think halving the tabs would help me to keep a small steady stream of medicine in my system.

Right now, I'm not working and not in class, so taking the benedryl with the oxycodone is ok. My classes start back in mid-Jan and there's no way I'll be able to take them together and drive and/or study. I may just have to just bite the bullet and pay the $80 once my classes start back.

Thanks again!
Pandie

 
Old 12-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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Re: Itching

I just wanted to say any oxycodeine makes me itch, even the 5 mg. I currently take lortab 10s up tp 4 times a day bc I cant stand the itching. I dont know what I ill do once the lortabs arent covering my pain.
I also tried the benadryl bc benadryl does not make me sleepy, but it didnt help enough that I could take them. Clartin and Zyrtec are more for seasonal allergies, not allergic allergies, atleast thats what my phamarcy told me so they wont help.
I dont know about any other meds, but let me know if you find anything that helps, just so Ill know for future ref.
Thanks & Good luck, thats a huge diffrence in cost so I hope you are able to work it out!
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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Re: Itching

Thanks Ctrue

For now, I'm taking the benedryl along with the oxycodone. I've been taking it in the morning when I take all of my other meds. It is helping. I've also started using some Vaseline cocoa lotion for dry skin. I know it's not really to relieve itching, but it seems to help. I would try the topical benedryl but b/c I'm itching all over, it just doesn't seem feasible ... too bad benedryl doesn't make a body wash, lol!

Pandie

 
Old 12-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Itching

hi pandie

I take generic allergy relief which has 25mg of the dyphenhydramine(prob spell wrong)but same ingredient as oral benadryl and it helps and stops the side effect of itching for me(side effect from use of narcotic meds very common)i take 2 and it stops the itching.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:13 AM   #7
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Re: Itching

Dear pandie, Hi, it sounds like besides the itching everything is going well with your new pain management dr & im so glad. These are capsules correct? Is there anyway you can take them further apart on a 24 hour schedule? Like every 8 hrs or is this too long for pain control?I have had this happen to me before & it subsided with time but i agree with earlier posts you should call your dr for safety sake. In the winter i have to keep my skin hydrated with non medicated creams, lotions, and bathing with the bath gel that has baby lotion in it helps me & in the past i found that not scratching at all or more gently helps, are you scratching in your sleep? I put on topical cream like cortisone or benadryl cream on the spots that itch but was told that the benadryl gets in your system this way as well as by mouth & you have to be careful using both. Taking the benadryl before bed & asking the pharmacist for the name of a non sedating antihistamine for daytime? 50 mg of diphenhydramine puts me to sleep, there are longer acting antihistamines that last 12 to 24 hours ask your dr or pharmacist.

Last edited by gmak; 12-31-2012 at 05:39 AM. Reason: wording

 
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:24 AM   #8
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Re: Itching

I believe the poster is on plain immediate release oxycodone, which are pills, and are typically dosed every 6 hours.

Good luck with the halves...thats great your doctor had already said ok on that. I think that could do the trick until you get a long term option. Has your doctor ever mentioned getting you on a long acting pain med? If you are taking these around the clock for a chronic problem that hasn't responded to other treatments, that could be a better option and improve your pain control.

I'd call your insurance to ask if they have a quantity limit on the 5mg pills. Its absurd they won't cover 10mg, but I guess if they really cost that much more, I could see why. But if they don't cover 10mg, they shouldn't have a limit on the 5mg since if the patient doesn't need 15mg, that is the only other option. I think I noted on another thread though that some doctors like to avoid writing a script for a large number of pills (such as 200), due to the DEA, but it sounds like your doctor would be ok with it.

Hope the itching can be managed. I use an oatmeal body wash (St. Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter), but have also used bubble bath in the past...works better than an ointment as it gets the entire body (unless you have acute spots of itching or places where you broke the skin). I deal with itching too, but from eczema. Best wishes.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Re: Itching

I've had problems with the itching in the past as well, but the good news is it usually goes away as your body adjusts to the new dose. But in the meantime I took 2 Claritin (they had a package labeled for "hives" that was double the dose of regular Claritin) and it worked wonderfully for me. Long lasting and didn't put me to sleep. After about a week I didn't need the Claritin anymore. Good luck to you! I hope you find a combination that works well for you. And the itching should go away soon!

 
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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Re: Itching

Any of the allergy meds may help. The itching is bc opiods cayse histamine release so any histamine blocker should help. Benadryl causes a bit more drowsiness than Zyrtec or Claritin. If the itching is severe I've used Zantac or Pepcid because they are also a type of histamine blocker. Good luck.

 
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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Re: Itching

Thanks so much everyone!! This is such a great place, to be able to come here with a question and get all of these great ideas and support ... yall rock!

A couple of people have asked about getting on a "time/delayed-release" med, but b/c of the gastric bypass (August 2010), I can only take immediate release meds... this is with all my meds, not just pain meds. After the bypass, the way my body absorbs things is completely different and the extended-release meds seem to get absorbed all at once. Everything I take is what I call, "fast in, fast out". I'm so very blessed to have found this amazing pain doctor who seems to be very familiar with dealing with chronic pain post gastric bypass. He is also trying to find a medicine I can take for osteopenia. I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 28 b/c of pre-cancerous endometriosis, uterine fibroids and PCOS, and now have osteopenia. Right now, the meds for it (Boniva, Fosomax, etc) are a "no no" b/c of the bypass. He said if I tried to take any of those, it could "burn a hole" in my little pouch of a stomach. There are a couple of IV treatments that he is trying to get my ins to pay for. I think the IV meds last 6mos-1yr. Once again, blessed that my pain doc is a D.O., so along with being an anesthesiologist, he's a "bone specialist" which has really turned out to be a wonderful fit for me .

Thanks again all, hope everyone is having a happy new year so far!!

Pandie

 
Old 01-02-2013, 08:28 AM   #12
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Re: Itching

Hello,

When I tried Morphine a few years ago I had all sorts side effects with itching as the most annoying. My PCP prescribed the Antihistamine Atarax (Hydroxyzine). Not only did Atarax solve the itching issue but it also potentiates the effects of Opiates. Nortriptyline also potentiates the pain relief of Opiates. You may want to look into a Sub-lingual medication like Subutex.

Iso~

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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Re: Itching

Pandie....I'd buy that body wash !!! lol

 
Old 01-15-2013, 03:20 PM   #14
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Re: Itching

I have had this problem off and on over the years with the different pain meds I've been on. I found the benedryl helped with the itching, but left me too sleepy to function during the day. I tried several different things and finally found that the Aveeno Oatmeal bath and the Aveeno Oatmeal lotion worked best for me. I finally quit clawing myself at night. Hope this helps. Take care.

Liz

 
Old 01-15-2013, 03:31 PM   #15
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Re: Itching

I have had this problem off and on over the years with the different pain meds I've been on. I found the benedryl helped with the itching, but left me too sleepy to function during the day. I tried several different things and finally found that the Aveeno Oatmeal bath and the Aveeno Oatmeal lotion worked best for me. I finally quit clawing myself at night. Hope this helps. Take care.

Liz

 
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