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  • Anyone itch from pain meds?

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    Old 09-11-2008, 10:33 AM   #1
    10sox
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    Anyone itch from pain meds?

    I just started taking Tramadol and I am not sure if this is all in my head or not, but I swear my skin itches a little. Nothing major but I do notice it. Before I took the med I read up on it a little and saw that it did make some itch. I asked the pharamacist about it and he said he'd never heard that before and to just watch and see if it gets worse as it might be an allergic reaction?

    It's not bad at all, just minor. The good news is, it is really working on my pain. I am taking 100mg every 6 hrs along with a regular strength tylenol. It seems to be working just as well as the vicodin I was on.

    Has anyone had the itch go away? Does my body just need to get used to it.

    Thanks!!

     
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    Old 09-11-2008, 12:36 PM   #2
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    This is a common side effect of opioids. I get it all the time. For some it goes away, for others it takes benadryl or something else to resolve it. Hopefully it remains minor.

    steve

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    Why did it never happen while on vicodin? That is an opiod right?

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 02:26 PM   #4
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    Even though it's a common side effect of opioids, most find that while some opioids cause them to itch, others do not. It gets down to the personal level of how you specifically react to these drugs. I itched quite a bit from methadone but not as much from morphine. Most find that the totally natural opioids (morphine, codeine) cause more itching than do the synthetics or partial synthetics (e.g. hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, etc).

    steve

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    thanks steve! The nurse from my pm office just called and said if it gets bothersome I can take some benedryl before bedtime. the itching has been very minimal today. i like the way the tramadol is working with my pain, so i hope the itch stays at bay!

    Does anyone know why some call Tramadol a narcotic, while my prescription says it is narcotic-like?

    Last edited by 10sox; 09-11-2008 at 02:53 PM.

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 03:24 PM   #6
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    I itch like crazy with some of the meds too and will get hives. For example, hydrocodone is one of the worst. It is actually an allergic reaction but if you can tolerate it, you can treat it with benedryl. I find the liquid benedryl works best for my symptoms. Oxycodone does NOT cause this reaction with me. It is strange at best but as long as something works well, it is best to treat some of the side effects than to keep searching. I'm happy to hear the tramadol works so well for you. Hope the benedryl does too. Good luck!

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    My itching seems to be increasing as the night goes on and I have no benedryl in the house.

    Also, I am sort of upset. The reason I switched from hydro to tramadol was because of all my addiction concerns. (I am going to see a psychologist to discuss this). Anyway, I was told tramadol was not an addictive by both my doc and pharmacist. I just finished reading over 30 posts about how horribly addicting tramadol is and how it can be even worse than hydro. I mean horrible horrible stories. I just spent the last 2 days in pretty good pain control and my spirits were pretty high that I found something that worked AND I felt comfortable taking. Now I am crushed.....(and itchy ) I also wanted to add that the Tramadol is working better for my pain. I took one 5mg with a tylenol at 4pm and it is now 10pm and I am still pain free! I feel like a new person (with itchy skin)

    Last edited by 10sox; 09-11-2008 at 07:12 PM.

     
    Old 09-11-2008, 08:41 PM   #8
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    I guess I'm curious as to why you're worried so much about drug dependence/addiction, because there is a very big difference between the two. And honestly if you're a chronic pain patient, chances are you're going to be taking pain meds for a long enough period of time that you're going to become dependant on them, regardless of what they are. But if you found something that actually works and is controlling your pain, why would you not take it because you're worrying about something that may or may not happen sometime down the line?

     
    Old 09-12-2008, 04:35 AM   #9
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    I am worried about addiction because I grew up with an alcoholic father and I saw what addiction can do to a family.

    Yes, I totally understand the difference btw addiction and dependence. I have read up on it TONS. Yet, for some reason I still can't shake this feeling of horror each time I take pain pill. I have been on them on/off for four years and never once have I ever craved them, just take for pain. The past couple months have been rough and I have been taking them every day. I really thought the tramamdol was the answer for me.

    Now I am reading that Tramadol might not have the strong mental addiction as vicodin, but has a worse physical withdrawal than the vicodin. This is my struggle. Trying to make sure I do the best for me and my family. My doctor tells me to use whichever gives me better pain control. They both are good (tramadol workds longer, but itchy). I am trying to decide now which wil be easier to get off of in the long run. And unfortunately I will probably be on these indefinately.

    I wanted to thank everyone for helping me out with this. I've posted quite a few times about my fears of pain meds and you all are really helping me. I think it will be a very slow process for me and I am looking forward to talking to a psycologist about this.

    Thanks

    Last edited by 10sox; 09-12-2008 at 04:38 AM.

     
    Old 09-12-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    10sox,

    I think it's very wise to fear addiction. To fear dependence as well. I sure do. And I am not at all pleased with the dependence that automatically comes with chronic use of opioids. I've experienced WDs more than once, and I do not take the use of opioids lightly. I believe that caution is shared by most everyone on this board with CP.

    I have drug and alcohol addiction in my family and this is why I refuse to drink. I simply will not take the chance. And I respect others who chose to do the same kind of thing.

    So we all need to carefully consider the consequences before choosing to take drugs that cause dependence and can cause addiction as well. But it's important to temper that caution with reason and information.

    Pain takes a heavy toll on our bodies. For many, a much heavier toll than opioid dependence. So each of us needs to weigh carefully the pros and cons of pain relief versus dependence. Untreated, or under-treated CP lowers the immune response, causes depression and affects many of the body's systems. Proper, aggressive treatment of CP is critical to good overall health. This is lost on many in the medical community. Those who refuse pain relief and pain meds are viewed as heroic, when in reality they are setting the stage for depression, sickness and isolation. I realize this is a strong statement, but I fully believe it to be true.

    All opioids can be stopped. And it doesn't have to include terrible suffering. A very slow downward titration, under doctor's care, can mitigate the majority of symptoms that accompany discontinuation of treatment with opioids. Doctors have medications that can counter every single effect of opioid withdrawal. The issue is whether one's doctor understands how to do this and is willing to treat appropriately. The patient needs to determine where their doc stands on this issue. I would feel very uncomfortable with a doc that believed I could stop my MS Contin in a few days to a week.

    steve

     
    Old 09-12-2008, 12:05 PM   #11
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    10Sox,

    I didn't mean to appear as coming on so strong or to be blase about dependence to opoids as not being a big deal. I whole heartedly agree with what Steve posted. I myself besides dealing with Chronic Pain for the last 19 years also have BiPolar disorder with severe BP suicidal depression. I know for a fact that when my pain escalates and is not properly controlled my depression gets much much worse, and for me that can be a life or death issue. So, yes I will agree to whatever my PM docs/Surgeons/Psychiatrists suggest for my pain control and other medical conditions and unfortunately will have to deal with the dependence issues later as they come. Fortunately they are not a big problem for me, I've used Ultram for 9 years and am able to use it on and off as needed sometimes skipping months at a time without WD problems. Each person is different when it comes to meds. and we all have things in our lives/backgrounds that we have to take in account when making our decisions. The other thing that I think is very important is finding a good supportive medical team that will work with you, and I understand that this can be very difficult, but one must strongly work towards being ones own advocate until they acquire this. So hopefully I didn't offend you, and I do understand the fears that come with this life we call Chronic Pain, but sometimes you just have to weigh the pros and cons and do what is best for you and not worry about all the horror stories that are out there.

    And BTW I also had the "itch" from tramadol, and it eventually went away as my body got used to the med, so hopefully if you decide to continue it, your itching will diminish with time. Good luck to you.

     
    Old 09-12-2008, 12:24 PM   #12
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    KMIT-
    I was not offended AT ALL, really. I should posted my fears up front so everyone had the whole picture here. I appreciate your words and thank you for sharing your story with me. It is good to hear that the itching does go away for some people. I do have one question for you. Did you ever have any jerking movements from the Tramadol? I know that it can cause seizures in some people if taken in high doses or stopped abruptly. I also read about someone having their body jerking at nighttime. Well, I was napping on the couch and I was about to fall asleep and my whole arm jerked really hard. It was really bizzare.

    Steve:
    Thanks again for your words of advice too. I know the pain is really doing more damage than the pain pills. As I have said, I have been fighting taking them for the past year and I have lost over 10 lbs. I eat more than most of my friends and I still cannot gain weight. I am a small person to begin with too. I read that when you are in chronic pain your body goes into some kind of "Fight or flight" mode and I think that is what is happening to me. I also have 2 small children to care for and I LOVE when I am out of horrible pain and can play with them. I really think this is a slow process I am going through and am hoping a psycologist can help me.

    Thanks again. Oh yeah, I took one tramadol today with the tylenol and it barely even touched my pain. Also since I had that jerking motion, and the itching, I might just call my doctor and switch back to the hydro. I also forgot to mention that I had a reaction to an anti-nasusea medicine when I was a teenager and I had a seizure-like reaction to it. Not an actual seizure, but still scarey enough.

    Thanks. I am so glad I found this board and can talk about all my fears with you all,.

     
    Old 09-12-2008, 02:21 PM   #13
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    10sox,

    It's interesting that you ask that question..I acutally have a seizure disorder, for which I take a couple of other meds., that's another reason that I have to be a bit more cautious with the Ultram, because it can cause seizures. But I do frequently have jerking moverments in my limbs, docs refer to it as a form of tardive dyskinesia, usually when I'm laying down to sleep and am almost about to drift off. It doesn't hurt or anything, just annoying. I don't take Ultram much anymore, due to the seizure issue, and it also tends to "activate" me and I don't need anything making it hard for me to sleep. Right now my pain meds are Oxycontin, Oxycodone and Fentanyl Patch along with alternating advil and tylenol.

     
    Old 09-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #14
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    Hi sox,

    I have a quick question for you. Are you taking anything for depression? The reason I ask is because there is a slightly higher chance of having a seizure while taking Ultram with any of the SSRI drugs (Prozac...especially Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Effexor & Luvox...I think that's all of them). It should also say that on the patient info leaflet that comes with your script.

    One more thing.....please try not to get caught up in the "horror stories" of Ultram, w/d, and other related stories. If you have found something that works well on your pain with minimal side effects (the itching) then you have literally hit the jackpot. Many people go years without finding something that works well with minimal and tolerable side effects.

    If and when the time comes that you would need to stop the Ultram, your doc will taper you down. I think you are really stressing over something (w/d) that you will probably never have to encounter. The stress is just going to add to your pain level, ya know? So, take a deep breath, relax, and try not to read all of those "stories", ok?? Take care and bye for now.

    Shay

    P.S. I have literally scratched myself raw when it comes to Morphine. I cannot take that in any form. That's fine with me, because Morphine never helped me anyway with my pain. All it did was make me itch!!

    Last edited by friendly_one; 09-14-2008 at 08:28 PM. Reason: add info

     
    Old 09-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #15
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    Re: Anyone itch from pain meds?

    Shay,

    Great post!

    I second everything you wrote (except for the morphine, which is my staple for an LA med and only makes me itch a little).

    Frosty6,

    Please take everything Shay wrote to heart. It's all true.

    I am not prone to seizures, but when I was on Ultram, whenever I took the max dose I got what I referred to as jerking. Sometimes it actually made a sound in my head, like a loud pop. I always believed it was because I also take an SSRI for depression and pain. It's one reason I stopped Ultram a month ago. I needed the SSRI more than I needed the Ultram.

    steve

     
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