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Itching related to carbo/taxol?

ktamp
Posts: 82
Joined: Dec 2011

I'm on dense dose carbo/taxol. After my second dose of taxol only, I developed severe itching. No rash though. It feels like it is coming from inside my skin. Nothing relieves it. It is getting worse. I can hardly stand it as I am typing. My hands and arms are itching like crazy. If I scratch, it itches even worse. I talked to the doctor and nurses about it last week and they don't think it is chemo related. I've googled and found others who have described the same insane itching and it does seem to be a rare side effect from the taxol. Has anyone else had itching like this on carbo/taxol? I'm scheduled for another dose of taxol tomorrow and I'm terrified of it getting even worse. I hardly slept last night because of the itching.

poopergirl14052's picture
poopergirl14052
Posts: 1151
Joined: Nov 2010

for the itching. it helps...val

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mar 2010

you have a need to have it evaluated and treated. Just make sure your treatment team understands this is a necessary thing for you. This type of itching, without rash has many potential causes.

best to you

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

of steroids and benedryl? I have to take steroids for a day ahead of chemo and recieve large doses pre-infusion. Please keep telling your Dr. and nurses for even if it's not an allergic reaction, they should be aware of any side effects you're experiencing. Best of luck tomorrow.
(((HUGS))) Maria

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

Of course the itching is from chemo. Your immune system is too suppressed to break out in hives. Everyone is different.

Ask if you can switch to Abraxane which has the same cytotoxic agent as taxol but without the stuff that makes you itch.

I would go NUTS if I was itching all the time! I really feel for you.

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mar 2010

and provided the itching isn't from cholestasis or paraneoplastic syndrome this might work.

Best regards.

LoveButterflies's picture
LoveButterflies
Posts: 73
Joined: Feb 2012

I agree with Maria. The premeds of steroids and benedryl will help with the itching. You can take benedryl after treatment if it continues. Granted it does make you sleepy, but does relief the iching.

Hope it helps.

Carmen

MK_4Dani
Posts: 318
Joined: Sep 2009

If you are scratching you could scratch the skin raw which is an infection worry! Don't give up with the doctor and nurses...ask a different nurse. Find a nurse that has a few years of experience: they know everything! I did not have any itchy symptoms while on the carbo/taxol.
Good Luck!
Mary

ktamp
Posts: 82
Joined: Dec 2011

I had chemo today and talked to the doctor and nurse again. They were much more receptive today. I'm going to stay the course for now. I did ask about switching the regimen to carbo/taxol every 3 weeks but my doctor really wants to me try and finish this regimen. My doctor is out of md anderson and took my case to the tumour board there. This was the recommended treatment plan. As much as I hate it, I want to beat this and I know I have a good shot at beating this if it's not in the nodes. My doctor offered me daily steroids but I don't want to go there unless absolutely necessary as I don't care for the side effects. I did get some tips from a couple other ladies getting chemo today who have had they itching. They recommended a cream I picked up from the pharmacy and using aveeno soap. Lay off the long hot showers which I love and just take short lukewarm showers. I feel better today because I felt like I was heard and that they will address it as much as I ask them to. Last week, I didn't see my own doctor but one of his partners and today I saw my own. Maybe I didn't read her as well since I don't know her but I did feel brushed off. Thank you for all the responses.

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

Do you happen to be taking ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) for neuropathy? I've been taking it, and have developed a very similar itch. I'm three days off it now, and the itching has subsided significantly. I was taking 150 mg Benadryl at night just to knock myself out.

wissmannd
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2011

This may sound awful but I am very glad to find someone else who has this itching thing. I want to tear my skin off.
I felt crazy because I definitely felt this intense itch, but there was nothing there. It impedes on my daily life too. I do every 3 weeks Carbo/Taxol. I have been prescribed 3 different Allergy pills and I take Oxy for bone pain. I have tried Aveeno Eczema lotion, Cotizone Cooling gel. My doctors now want to try a low dose of pretnizone steroids, which I'm worried about the side effects. I got a suggestion to try Aloe Vera with Lidocane. Since your post have you found anything that helps that doesn't require me to take a lot of pills?

Hope your itching is better, I can completely sympathize with you and how you feel.

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

It turned out that the ALA I was taking did not cause my itching, which was the same kind of insane itch described here. I finally went to my family practitioner, who put me on OTC cetirazine (generic Zantac) and femotadine (a generic stomach acid reducer). The cetirazine was a 24 hr 10 mg tab, and I took 20 mg femotadine twice a day. IT WORKED! I stayed on for a month, just out of fear, but I'm off the meds and back to the ALA with no further problems. If you are still in chemo, I suggest asking your gyn/onc before trying anything besides benadryl.

LaundryQueen's picture
LaundryQueen
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

So the itching could be an allergic reaction to chemo just not a serious reaction?

Anicca: is the ALA helping your neuropathy at all?

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

LaundryQueen - Yes, the ALA helps a lot. I could tell the difference when I stopped taking it, and it was a big relief to go back on it.

It seems like my itching may be coming back, and I'm so scared of it (couldn't sleep!) that I'm starting the cetirazine and famotadine tonight. I've had "winter itch" before, and this is not it.

sandyinmi
Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2012

I started itching at treatment as well and developed hives the next day, which have continued for a week now. Needed extra steroids as well as benedryl and pepcid.

CindyGSD's picture
CindyGSD
Posts: 191
Joined: Aug 2011

It may not be related to chemo. I am not getting the exact same type of chemo as you Ifosfamide/taxol (uterine cancer), but I am itching like crazy too up and down my arms with no rash present. The only reason that I'm pretty sure it is not chemo related is that same thing has happened to me during the last two winters before I was ever diagnosed with cancer.
Not sure that it is even dry skin but I do like my hot showers and I live in Minnesota, so that could be a problem. I've tried moisturizers, but nothing really seems to help except Benedryl which I only take at night.

Sorry I can't offer more but I just don't want you to think it's from the taxol. It may not be.

Take care,
Cindy

AnneBehymer's picture
AnneBehymer
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

I never thought about the inching until now, when I first read your post I did not answer it because it did not happen to me. Now that I read cindys post I remember the iching I just thought it was dry skin, but it was going on during my taxol/carbo treatment once I went to just the Advastin I have not had the iching like I use to maybe it is conected to the chemo. I hope you find relife you are in my prays.

H-L-P
Anne

7 angels
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2011

I to had itching after receiving my chemo treatment also had hives itched like a mad woman miserable called doctor nurse next morning told me to take benodryl and she will call me to check in with me, amazing it helped, reminded them before next chemo treatment and they gave me benodryl before treatment and I was fine .

7 angels
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2011

I to had itching after receiving my chemo treatment also had hives itched like a mad woman miserable called doctor nurse next morning told me to take benodryl and she will call me to check in with me, amazing it helped, reminded them before next chemo treatment and they gave me benodryl before treatment and I was fine .

funbeadgirl
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2009

I thought it was all in my mind! I finished my final of 6 carbo/taxol treatments today. I have had itching on and off for about 5 weeks, no rash, but after I scratch even a little the entire area gets raised little bumps, not really like hives, but smaller and they are not red, but flesh colored. If I scratch too much, the areas I scratch do get hives, it is so weird. I had to switch a medication and it kept happening, so they gave me benadryl and it worked for a couple hours, then come back. It does not happen every day.
I think the common thread I am seeing here, is most of us are on taxol..it is a very strong drug, and who knows how it can/will affect you. I slather moisture lotion head to toe every day, I don't shower every single day while in chemo, and this itch is different that dry skin itch anyway. Perhaps drinking more water will help to flush the taxol through your system quicker, that's what I'm trying to do this time. My best to all of you who suffer because of cancer.

Saranne
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

I have had extreme itching all over my body since receiving my first taxol treatment a week ago. I did break out in a rash a day after the infusion. My onco has put me on 3 different types of antihistamine and steroids and has told me that it is the carrier in the chemo rather than the taxol itself. I am still itching all over with no relief although there is no rash present anymore. I am really not looking forwards to tomorrow's taxol infusion as I don't think that I can stand the idea of even more itching.

afighter
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2012

Not sure if this will help. I began carbo/taxol and at the same time Norco for pain relief. Turns out my itching was due to the norco. Just an idea. Not sure if you are on any other meds.

afighter
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2012

Not sure if this will help. I began carbo/taxol and at the same time Norco for pain relief. Turns out my itching was due to the norco. Just an idea. Not sure if you are on any other meds.

afighter
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2012

Not sure if this will help. I began carbo/taxol and at the same time Norco for pain relief. Turns out my itching was due to the norco. Just an idea. Not sure if you are on any other meds.

afighter
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2012

Not sure if this will help. I began carbo/taxol and at the same time Norco for pain relief. Turns out my itching was due to the norco. Just an idea. Not sure if you are on any other meds.

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