chemotherapy and itching

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chemotherapy and itching

by MaryAnnM on Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:00 AM

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I'm heading for my 4th round of carbo/taxol.  After rounds 2 & 3, about 7-10 days after chemo, I have days and days of INSANE itching in my hands and feet.  I know people get numbness and tingling, but I've never heard anyone say they itch like crazy.

 I think I'm probably allergic to the taxol.  Of course I asked the nurse and doctor, and they think it's a side effect or allergic reaction to medication.

 Has anyone else experienced this?  Please, if you have, tell me  how you managed it or controlled it.  I try topical anti-itch products and Benadryl and don't get relief.

 I have 3 more chemos go to and don't know how I won't shoot myself after going insane from the itching.



RE: chemotherapy and itching

by ladyjogger31 on Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:00 AM

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Hi MaryAnn, I would try Eucerin Cream or Bag Balm and aslo I would take a bendryl pill. It sounds as if the chemo is drying out your skin. Make sure and drink plenty of liquids.Make sure and tell your doctor, he could prescribe a pill for itching. I had 8 rounds of carbo/taxol and had nausea and joint pain. Then I was put on Doxil and WOW what a rash and severe sunburn affect I had. Hoping that this will help you. Sending positive thoughts your way.

Hugs and Prayers, Terry

RE: chemotherapy and itching

by stoptheitching on Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:00 AM

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I am having the very same reaction from taxol. How did you remedy the problem? Were you able to stop the itching?

RE: chemotherapy and itching

by MaryAnnM on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:00 AM

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After suffering for weeks on end with this miserable itching and pin prickles (felt like bee stings) all over my body, but mostly hands and feet and sides, I pretty much thought I couldn't handle one more chemo.

 I changed doctors and told my new onc. what I was going through.  He prescribed me Lyrica, which is used by diabetics for similar neuropathy symptoms. 

 By this time I was near the end of treatment.  The Lyrica helped, but didn't take the itch away completely.  If I did anything that involved too much use of my hands or feet, (like walking across a big warehouse store), the pain would start again.  However, this drug helped.

 The only thing that made it go away was time, once done with my last chemo.  After a month or two, the symptoms became less and less until FINALLY it has all gone away.

Now I revel in the fact that my hands and feet are normal.  How great it feels to not feel anything! 

 Ask your doctor for Lyrica.  Taking anti-histamines or anti-itch creams or Benadryl does not do a thing.  This is nerve damage, not allergy.

Please let me know how you are doing.  I completely understand how miserable this itch symptom is. 


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