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    Default Shingles?

    Has anyone ever had the shingles? I just got off of Methotrexate after 4 month and am back on 200mg plaquenil twice a day. And now I have a painful rash on my lower back and front hip bone. My regular Lupus rash was never painful like this and I think it might be shingles. Any suggestions? (I thought I was getting better).

    Deb

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    Hi, Deb? Have you ever had chicken-pox? Because if you've never had chicken-pox, then you can't get shingles, since it is a re-activation of the virus that caused the original chicken pox. Shingles often starts with pain and itching in the affected area, which turns into small red spots and then a blistery rash. These are usually incredibly itchy and painful and may leave scars as they heal. Prompt treatment with steroids and anti-virals can shorten the course of shingles and reduce the chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia (pain which persists after the rash heals, sometimes for years). People on immune suppressants are at higher risk from developing skin infections as a complication of shingles, so you definitely need to see your doctor if you think this is shingles. And remember that someone who has never had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccination can actually catch chicken pox from someone with shingles, so keep this in mind if you have young children.

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    Thanks for the info! I have had the chicken pox and this actually started with pain two days before the rash started, like when your skin hurts when you have the flu. These are red dots in small round clusters and are painful as they rub againts my clothing. I am just recently healing from vascularitis on my arms and hands and those have been healing nicely...and now this. I will take your adivse and get it checked out.
    Thanks!

    Deb

    p.s. luckly no young children...just teenage boys who have had the chicken pox.

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    Yes, definitely call your doc - without treatment shingles can last 3-5 weeks - you don't want to deal with that! Once the dots start to blister and get fluid in them, they may start to itch, just like chicken pox. So be sure to ask your doctor for something for the itching too.

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    Oh, another person with shingles! I don't know if you're still watching this post tho. Have you been diagnosed yet?

    I started with shingles last week, diagnosed yesterday. On my chin of all places.

    I wasn't on any meds tho, so I'm thinking it's just my wacky immune system acting up.

    Anyways, how are things going for you? Have you had any treatment for them?

    Smiles,

    Kathy

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    Yes, I was diagnosed and treated with Valtrex. Was gone in just over a week. Funny though, I had just stopped taked Methotrexate a week before I got them. How long were you off your meds before you got them? Might be a connection.
    Is a really odd place for the shingles...hope it's not too painful!

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    I wasn't on anything like methotrexate, just plaquenil and anaprox. I've been off the Plaquenil at least 3 months, the anaprox I still take but not every day, only when I need it.

    For me, I don't think the medications are connected.

    For you, methotrexate affects your immune function, so it probably was related to that. How long were you on it? Even though you were off it for a week, it had probably already affected your immunity plus it probably takes time to leave your system completely.

    I wasn't treated for my shingles, too late past symptoms developing for the antivirals to help. I've had them for about 1 1/2 weeks, they are healing and they haven't spread.

    Kathy

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    Hi Kathy,

    I was on the Methotrexate for 5 months. I just couldn't take it any more I felt so horrible all the time so I stopped taking it on my own. I've decided not to take any other medication aside from the plaquenil for while to see if only the plaquenil helps me. I have also discussed this with my Reumatologist. Have a terrible rash on my hands and feet that I just can't seem to shake. Have had it for six months. My doctor thinks it might be vasculitis...it's deep red spots and marks...any suggestions?

    Yes, I belive it affected my immune system bad as I'm also having inner ear trouble and pre cancer cells of the cervix. I've opted for a topical treatment as I don't think my body is ready for any procedures or sugery. Do you know of any Lupies with problems with cancer?

    Hope you are feeling better. Really can't imagine having shingles on my face.

    Take Care!

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    Deb, you may find this interesting and your post gets me wondering how much is a result of the meds, and how much a result of the deranged immune system.

    December before last I had cervical dysplasia, the cells one step before cancer. Had them removed with with the LEEP procedure, done right there at the gynecologists office. Only meds I was on were the plaquenil and the anaprox, and I don't think it was either of them. My gynie mentioned it probably had something to do with my immune system.

    Just curious, have you ever been tested for epstein barr virus? I was diagnosed with chronic epstein barr before the lupus.

    Don't know anyone personally with lupus and cancer, but I'm sure there are some.

    Smiles,

    Kathy

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    Hey Kathy,

    That is exactly what is going on with me but decided not to do the Leep procedure and try medication. I had the Leep done a year ago. I was only taking 250mg of Plaquenill a day then. Now 500. Yes, talk about wacky immune systems. An immune system in Chaos! Have never been diagnosed, but will certainly check into Epstein Barr. Thanks for sharing with me!

    Deb

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