View Full Version : HELP, Question about itchiness?????

07-09-2008, 12:06 PM
Help anyone, I have been itchy like crazy from head to toe for 3 days now. No hives, some redness in my skin, but I am going crazy, I have been popping benadryl with very little relief. I started plaquenil 3 weeks ago, 200 mg twice a day. I don't think this is a side effect, however thought I would post here and find out. Or, could this be a sign of a flare??? I have been suffering with very painful joints for about 5 days now, much worse than normal.
Does anyone have any answers??????


07-09-2008, 12:30 PM
Call doc office, some times you may have a side effect not listed. It could be an allergic reaction, hard to tell. See what they say. Take a bath with oatmeal, works for me. I got dx with shingles yesterday, bath was great! The one with oatmeal even better. Hope this helps.

07-09-2008, 01:25 PM
Hi there,

I thought I would add that I was having major itchiness problems a few months back and couldn't for the life of me figure out where it was coming from. It was driving me crazy and keeping me from being able to sleep. I finally figured out it was a side effect of Tramadol (Ultram). Since then I have been prescribed morphine (my pain levels increased quite a bit) and have experienced some itchiness with it too, although not as bad as with the Tramadol.

I don't know if you're taking any pain meds, but thought this might be helpful to you in case you are.


07-09-2008, 04:08 PM
Mackie -
One of the main side effects of narcotics is itchiness. Morphine used to make me itch so bad I had to be given something else while in the hospital. Tramadol (Ultram, Ultracet), is not a narcotic, but has most all the properties of narcotics, they are just not supposed to be as addictive (they are addictive if abused). In any case, the itchiness makes sense, because they are like narcotics.
I get attacks of itchiness alot, but I have been told it is a neropathic problem. Just as we get pain signals from the brain, we get weird sensory signals as well when there is inflammation of the CNS.
Incidentally, about the 4th week of plaquenil, I had a MAJOR attack of the itchies in my feet and hands. It lasted about three days (I even posted it here!). I dont know if it was the plaquenil or jsut a nervous system attack, but it was lousy. Especially on the bottom of the feet!! Itchy, pain and ticklish!! Bad combo!!
Cheryl -
I havent been on the forum for the past couple of days. So, you DID get Dxd with shingles?? Oh, you poor thing. Did they give you pain meds, I hope? They can be very painful and, as I said before, they can last quite a while (sorry!). Not always, but often times they last about a month. I hope you are getting some relief....
TT soon -

07-10-2008, 08:03 PM
Thanks Laurie, they did give me pain meds. My first script ever, was scared. I watched those little pills ruin some close family members lives. I took it though, took the edge off. I do hold off until I just can't take it. Hubby said that since I'm so aware and strick on myself that I probably won't get hooked and relax. They do help.

Karen, feel better yet? Checking up on you sweetie :D . Let us know.

07-11-2008, 03:56 AM
I have been having the same problem intermittently for about 12 months.

I posted too about it.......... Raced to the doctor a couple of days ago because I wanted him to see me having one of these "attacks" It is absolutely insane, can't stand it!!!!!! They last about an hour. The only thing I have found helps me is to numb the worst areas with ice.

Doc has put me on pred as I am having a flare with kidney involvement and joint involvement as well.

Hope things start improving for you soon.

Regards, karen 8)

07-11-2008, 05:04 AM
Hi mumma7, I had no idea kidney involvement could cause an itchy rash. Did it cause other symptoms? Just curious, thanks :) .

07-11-2008, 09:28 AM
Cheryl -
Just a little FYI: It usually takes a lot more than one prescription to get addicted. Also, when your body IS in pain, the meds work the way they are supposed to, and interfere with the neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for sending pain signals. Its when your NOT in pain, that the chemicals have only a euphoric effect - NOT pain relief - and your brain starts demanding that feeling more and more. If you take them as directed, for pain, you will be fine. Also, they will not work as well if you wait until you cant take it anymore. Your really supposed to take it right when the pain starts, so you can stay AHEAD of the pain. The medication does not work as well if its "chasing" the pain. It probably says that right on your med instructions from the pharmacy.
So, dont let yourself suffer in fear of addiction. You have a legitamate condition which requires this. Now, if the shingles were all gone, and you were having a bad day, and THEN took the meds....thats when a dependance/addiction can start.
I hope I dont sound like Im trying to be a know-it-all, but I am in recovery from addiction to pain meds, and I also counsel people with addiction. Just tyring to give you the facts, and make sure you are taking care of yourself!! I hope they dont last too long for you...
Love Lauri

07-11-2008, 10:41 AM
Hi Lauri, thanks for the info. I guess I let my fear over-ride my judgement. If you could see my niece and my sis (her mom), you can understand my fear (there the worst of all the others). I'm sure you do, of course. They were so beautiful and great hubby's and jobs. Now: in-n-out of jail, look horrible and thin, alone, mild car wrecks, can't hardly walk or talk, and worst they steal and do horrible things for pills. I know I'm not like that, just seeing pain pills make me want to cry and shove them away. They make me think of the horrible things they do, and forget the good they can. NP did say 1 before bed and 1 in morning if not better within an hour. I'll do that and keep an eye on the pain. I have a high pain tolerance, so I always have a hard time guessing when I may need one. Thanks a lot, the info gave me a lot to think about. Sorry you were hooked at one time, but does help knowing you understand from the addiction side. I'll try not to dwell on it so much. Sorry, hope you didn't mind me telling you all this :oops: , never really mentioned in detail before. Guess you hit a nerve, in a good way :) .

07-11-2008, 11:32 AM
Thanks for your replies,

After 4 days of almost non-stop itching, it just disappeared. My doctor was away on holidays, so I was unable to contact him. The pharmacist told me to stop the plaquenil. I was not feeling entirely comfortable with that advice, so I decided to stay the course.

Thanks again,
Karen :)

07-11-2008, 12:42 PM
Hi Cheryl -
Oh my gosh, not at all. I think everyone has someone in their life with addiction issues. I have been open about my problem here before. Its not that I go around advertising it, but there were a couple of people on the site who were on alot of meds, and (trying not to lecture) I thought I had a responsibility to let people know that even though meds are prescribed, they can be highly addictive and dangerous. There are many docs out there (I had one for three years) who just prescribe one after another - almost to shut the patient up - and dont inform them of the potential dangers.
I was an active, involved working mommy and wife - with high moral standards and alot to live for - and within a few months on pain meds, became addicted. I was functional for a long time on them (or appeared to be), and after two years on one narcotic after another, became fully dependant and basically lay in bed for another year. Now, granted, I was sick at this time (with what we now know is lupus), however, the pain meds KEPT me from getting better. For one, I was not able to monitor symtoms accurately as I was always "numb". Second, the addiiction kept me from REALLY trying to find out what the problem was (if I found out, I would not be able to get meds anymore). Thus, my life revolved around being sick and maintaining enough meds to keep me "high". Your body will build a tolerance to the meds, and then you need more and more to get the desired effect. This is where the total loss of spiritual values come into play. If you dont have enough, you get physically sick (its HORRIBLE). Thus, one will do anything to get them. Fortunately, though I had become someone Im not proud of, I never robbed anybody, or worse - and I admitted myself to detox to be medically taken off of the meds. My husband, though he was ready at that point to take my kids and leave, stuck by me (Thank You Jesus), and I have been clean and sober ever since. I am one of the lucky ones, and had I not had the support system I did, Im not sure I would have made it.
Unfortunately, you have seen the devastating effects in your own family. That is SO hard to watch..I know. Having a healthy fear of pain meds is a GOOD thing, Cheryl. The best parents/doctors/lawyers - anyone - can become addicted. As I said, today I feel I have a responsibility to inform others of how quickly it can happen. There have been a couple of instances when I have done this here (as a couple others here have too), and sadly, we dont hear back from them. What people on heavy pain meds daily dont realize, is that the medication WILL NOT do what its supposed to after a while. There is a whole brain chemistry process that happens (I wont get into it here - boring.lol) that renders your brain to not fight pain naturally. Thus, we feel as if we are still in pain - and need more - when actually, coming off some of the meds, or decreasing them - actually helps pain. But those who are on them, and feel "good" dont want to hear this, and become VERY defensive. Its the nature of beast.
Please know that I know there are MANY people who can take pain meds the way they are supposed to be taken - even long term. I am not against pain meds in any way. Its the lack of education, and the indifference and ignorance of doctors that irks me.
Ooops - I hope I dont sound soap-box-ish - lol...This is just my personal experience, and also what I see everyday at meetings. These meds are SO HARD to get off of...many people dont, and usually will graduate to heroin because its a similar high, but much cheaper. There are hundreds of young people today hooked on oxys, dilaudid, etc - I see them everyday - its incredibly sad.
So, in essence, I am NOT against pain meds at all (I wish I could take them in safety!!), I just share my experience so those who dont have docs who are responsible, have the appropriate facts.
I hope I didnt offend anyone...thanks for letting me share and, again, being aware of what your putting into your body is ALWAYS a good thing, Cheryl.
Love Lauri
PS - Ill never forget the first time I had to BUY my sons birthday cake!! I, like you, always make special cakes with all kinds of scenes on them (jungle, SpngeBob, Transformers, etc) I was devestated, and they gobbled it up anyway!! Im sure your kids will be thrilled regardless - you sound like such an attentive Mommy!!

07-11-2008, 03:02 PM
Hi Cheryl,

Kidney involvement I believe can be responsible for a generalised itchiness which I have but this other thing is so much more intense than that and temporarily affects certain areas and seems to migrate. My thighs are the worst areas usually but it was my thighs and my aknles the other day and I swear I was going to go crazy!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:

Sometimes especially when my bloods aren't good I end up with pretty bad bruising from the itching........... fun huh :roll:

07-11-2008, 04:06 PM
Hi Lauri, thanks again. I have nothing against pain pills either. Glad they were made to help those in severe pain. Just can't help not wanting them, it seems to be so easy. Glad you shared your story, shows you can make it. Just got to want it. My hubby does say its a good thing I have a fear of addiction, definitly should keep it from happening :lol: .

Hi mumma7, thanks for sharing. I know doc said I had shingles, just said not typical looking. Thought ironic the rash-patch on tummy is in exact location of rash patch on back. Both very itchy and the muscle in back under rash swollen too. I not saying its an infection, just thought odd coincidence :? .

Hi Karen, make sure you still tell doc. Let him know if it come back.

08-07-2008, 01:33 PM
Regular laundry detergent makes me itch and burn. I have to wash my clothing and bed linens in plain old Ivory liquid dishwashing stuff; just a couple of squirts of it a load. - If I sleep on sheets washed in Tide or something like that, my skin itches and burns all night; also if I wash my clothes in Tide, Cheer or any of those kinds of laundry powder, I itch and burn.