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Now I am worried about hives and itching all over

So my cough left.

Then I started to itch. I thought at first it was mosquito bites. I would say to my husband in the morning, " I am covered in mosquito bites on my legs and arms. Itchy, swollen bumps. My husband would say he didn't have any. So I thought maybe the odd mosquito that got in loved my estrogen -less blood.

But soon, I noticed the bumps were not mosquito bites but hives. And then last Friday, my lips swelled up. That went away by Sunday. Now as of last night and today, my hives are covering my thighs and descending into my shins and upper arms. I took Benadryl last night when I went to bed and it eased a bit. But today, the hives on my legs are the worse they have been.

Question; can this be a delayed allergy to Arimidex or to Effexor XR (I have been on both for about 15 months now). When I started the Arimidex, I was itchy right away, with no hives. I was told my GP and MO that the Arimidex dried my skin and to use moisturizer, which I did when the itchiness was too bad. The itchiness abated after awhile.

Or could it be a sign of something more onerous that is developing?

I guess I should go to the doctor tomorrow. GP that is.

Anyone else ever have this?

wallan

Comments

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited July 2018

    I was allergic to tamoxifen and developed red itchy/burnt/stingy rash all over my back, neck, shoulders, upper torso. I feel your pain. MO said take a daily 24 hr antihistamine like Zyrtec or Allegra. Helped a lot. In your case I can’t believe the GP and MO said dry skin! Obviously they were wrong. Did your pharmacy perhaps change manufacturers of the Arimidex? That would be the most likely scenario. Or your body just can’t handle/contain the reaction anymore. Or you’re possibly allergic to something else entirely. Have you changed laundry detergent/fabric softener? Or soap/lotion? What about razor brand/style?Any new foods/beverages or new brands or new recipes of old standbys (like all these companies replacing ingredients with ‘all natural’ ones? I’m betting on the arimidex being the culprit.

  • wallycat
    wallycat Member Posts: 1,238
    edited July 2018

    You can develop allergies to anything at any time, and when you indicated an already sensitivity to Arimidex, the longer you take it the more your body will react.

    Can they switch the AI for you to see if that helps? Femara? Best to you.

    As an aside, I react violently to flea bites; I know before the cat that he has fleas. DH? Zip, nada zilch. They could be eating him and biting and chewing him all night...nothing.

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited July 2018

    Thanks ladies.

    I tend to think it is the Arimidex, maybe intuitively. But at the same time, I have been on this drug for 15 months. The itching had abated. As had other side effects.

    So, I will call my MO. I didn't go see the GP yet. I am really doctor averse now unless I really really really need attention. The Bendryl is not helping much - just making me drowsy and each dose is for 4-6 hours.May My hives are on my thighs and arms. Maybe its mosquito spray? The pharmacist told me its not the drugs because I would have had hives way before now and to only take Bendryl for hives.

    Sigh....

    wallan

  • lkc
    lkc Member Posts: 180
    edited July 2018

    definitely see your doc. sounds very much like an allergic reaction. this would be very unusual to have this from RXs that you've been taking for awhile.

    perhaps your body is becoming more sensitized by insect bites... that happens .

    you need something stronger to settle down your outbreak.

    hope you are feeling more comfortable soon.

  • Marchz
    Marchz Member Posts: 8
    edited July 2018

    imageI had a horrible case of hives out of nowhere after 8 months of anastrozole. It did start on legs but went all over my torso. I never figured out what triggered them but didn't stop the anastrozole. They said the same thing someone mentioned that if it were due to that it would have occurred earlier. I really hope I never get them again, just another thing to deal with. So far in the past year i

    Have had a wound from a seroma, wound vac for 8 weeks, the hives, ruptured appendix with a drain and antibiotics for 6 weeks, etc. hope that's it for some time! Thought I was healthy before all this march 2017.

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited July 2018

    Thanks ladies for your responses. I have a GP appt this afternooon.

    Marchz: your hives look horrible. You have been thru the ringer. Hugs to you. I hope you are well on the way to recovery now.

    I do not have hives that bad, as in your picture. My hives are bigger and together and cover my inner thighs, my outer thighs and now this morning, they are on my chest, abdomen. I have a few on my arms too.

    I hope they clear up with something stronger. They are a drag. And I really don't want to stop my meds. Anastrozole is not bothering me now otherwise.

    I will let you all know..

    wallan


  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited July 2018

    Well, I went to GP. He diagnosed hives but with hesitation. Said it could be a type of eczema that is itchy that I scratch and then hives appear. He said hives can be caused from too much scratching. So yes, hives are there, but he thinks there is an underlying skin issue. Who knows?

    He prescribed Reactine, double dose. And told me to take Bendryl too. Wow. Told me to come back and see regular GP next week. (He was filling in for my regular doctor).

    We shall see how it goes.


    wallan

  • Jholly
    Jholly Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2018

    I started having this horrible itch and little bumps I thought were flea bites on my neck and right arm--started almost immediately after the mastectomy. I finally went to dr, turns out to be Shingles. Apparently this is common when your defenses are down. I had just finished chemo, got the flu, turned to pneumonia, then had my surgery. I'm just mentioning it because you started the post referencing a cough. I hope you feel better soon

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited July 2018

    Thanks Jholly:

    I thought of shingles too but my "hives" migrate too.

    Today, my arms and legs are covered in them. They coalesce together. The Reactine takes the itch away but not the hives.

    The rash is getting a bit worse - covering larger area.

    I haven't been to my GP yet. I am only taking 10 mg of Reactine instead of the 20 mg prescribed because the 20 mg makes me very drowsy and triggers migraine. The 10 mg does not have that effect. Its like 20 mg is too much for me. the doc did say I could stick to 10 mg if 20 mg too much. So maybe its not strong enough dose. I would really like to know why I have this. I have started to journal everything I eat, if I am too hot, too cold, stressed, when I take meds etc.

    wallan

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited July 2018

    You can develop an allergic reaction to something at any time. I developed an allergy to an antibiotic I'd been on many times before with no trouble. As someone else mentioned, they could have switched brands, or the company may use a different filler, etc. The only way to know is to stop the med and see if it disappears. Keep a photo log daily. Hives can also be from a new food, a new laundry detergent, new sheets, etc. Sometimes hives can be idiopathic, meaning they have no idea why they're there. My son has had several bouts of hives over the years.....they'd be all over him, and they could never find out why......... and that is frustrating beyond words. Eliminating culprits will help you pinpoint a cause.

  • MarieBernice6234
    MarieBernice6234 Member Posts: 125
    edited August 2018

    Hi All -

    I have been on Arimidex for 6 months now and within the last week noticed the same type of rash that many are speaking about. The ones that looklike pimpes and can be very itchy. Saw my new medical oncologist last week and mentioned to her. Seeing as we have had a major heat and humidity wave and I have to wear a hand piece for lymphedema, she told me to not wear it for a few days and use caladryl or benedryl on it. Unfortunately it is still coming up, primarily on the side where my cancer was and I had radiation which makes sense. Today some new spots came up on the webbing between my thumb and the finger next to it on my dominant hand. So it is starting to make an impact on my life. Hard to hold pns, pencils etc. Tomorrow I am not going to take my Arimidex until I hear back from the doc. Any other thoughts. Maybe I holiday and a re-start?

    Marie Bernice6234

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited August 2018

    have you tried taking an antihistamine like Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra or xyxal? It may make huge difference.

  • MarieBernice6234
    MarieBernice6234 Member Posts: 125
    edited August 2018

    Hi Lula73 and All -

    I already take Loratidine (Claritin) daily as it is. I spoke with my Oncology department and the plan is for me to not take any more Arimidex (Anastreazole) until at least Friday and see if that starts to make any difference. I didn't take one today even before I spoke with the Oncology department. Hope this will work.


    MarieBernice6234

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited August 2018

    My hives saga continues...

    So I am now on 20 mg of Reactine and 25 mg of hydroxyzine daily. Hives are only slightly controlled by this. They are now all over my legs (feet to top of thigh and all around), inner arms, and torso. Sometimes on my face too. And, occasionally, my bottom lip swells.

    GP says the attack will run its course and in the meantime just take antihistamines.

    MO says it is very unlikely it is not the Arimidex and to follow advice of GP. I did stop the Arimidex for one week and it made no difference to the hives. MO feels if it was the Arimidex, hives would disappear in a few days.

    For me, I think I am not allergic to the Arimidex per se, but that the lack of estrogen has created an environment in me that hidden sensitivities are emerging. I did have bad allergies as a kid to ragweed and dogs/cats (hayfever really bad and asthma around cats) and I have had allergic reactions to various drugs over the years.

    I have never had hives. This is a new experience. It sucks. LOL. I sure hope the GP is right.

    wallan

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
    edited August 2018

    My hives saga continues...

    So I am now on 20 mg of Reactine and 25 mg of hydroxyzine daily. Hives are only slightly controlled by this. They are now all over my legs (feet to top of thigh and all around), inner arms, and torso. Sometimes on my face too. And, occasionally, my bottom lip swells.

    GP says the attack will run its course and in the meantime just take antihistamines.

    MO says it is very unlikely it is not the Arimidex and to follow advice of GP. I did stop the Arimidex for one week and it made no difference to the hives. MO feels if it was the Arimidex, hives would disappear in a few days.

    For me, I think I am not allergic to the Arimidex per se, but that the lack of estrogen has created an environment in me that hidden sensitivities are emerging. I did have bad allergies as a kid to ragweed and dogs/cats (hayfever really bad and asthma around cats) and I have had allergic reactions to various drugs over the years.

    I have never had hives. This is a new experience. It sucks. LOL. I sure hope the GP is right.

    wallan

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
    edited August 2018

    so sorry you’re still dealing with this. You can always ask for some prednisone to help with the reaction too.

  • DorothyFromKansas
    DorothyFromKansas Member Posts: 29
    edited August 2018

    Wallan, I just saw this thread and wanted to tell you that the same thing happened to me after being on treatment for 13 months. I've always had many skin allergies and since beginning treatment have had various random rashes, but never hives. Now I've had two recent breakouts of body-wide hives.

    With a breakout, I was given prescriptions for prednisone, hydroxyzine (anti-histamine), and triamcinolone (topical ointment). MO took me off of Ribociclib/Kisqali for two weeks, which made no difference. Next MO took me off generic anastrozole and prescribed non-generic Arimidex instead. The prednisone quickly provided relief and stopped the itching, but it took awhile for the skin to heal and when it heals it leaves "crepe looking" skin in tender areas. I haven't had another breakout in the last 30 days, but also I have avoided overheating. I don't really want to change to Exemestane/Aromasin that MO said may be next.

    I believe what triggers my hives is high body temperature/sweat. With estrogen suppression it seems my body has no temperature control, making overheating difficult to control between the constant hot flashes and the summertime heat. I've confined myself mostly to the inside in the air conditioning and have to take a couple showers a day. Unfortunately I have always been an outdoors person. After reading many "hives" sites, it seems they are difficult to predict unless you can find what triggers the reaction, obviously. The one certainty is that a breakout is miserable. (You may want to look at the Ribociclib/Kisqali and Letrozole/Femara combination thread where some there are thinking the Ribociclib is the cause). Hope you can get yours under control, though the cause remains elusive.

  • meow13
    meow13 Member Posts: 1,363
    edited August 2018

    When I very first started anastrozole my tongue felt fat and lips were tingly. My mo said he never heard of that. Reaction, my skin is so senstive now even after discontinuing meds. The itchy I take benedryl at night helps.