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Friday, December 12, 2008 Arlene, Community Member, asks

Q: why am I itching after taking pain killers, oxycodone, hydrocodoneand mepiridine/What is safe for me

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Answers (4)
Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
12/13/08 2:09am

I hope you'e not saying that you're taking all three medications at the same time since all are opioids and taking that many at once could result in an overdose. 


As for the itching, there are two types of itching that sometimes occur when taking opioids.  One is an allergic-type reaction caused by a histamine release and can be relieved by taking an antihistamine like Benadryl.  The other is caused when the "itch gene" (called the gastrin-releasing peptide receptor or GRPR) is stiumlated.  This type of itch does not respond to antihistamines. 


If your itching continues and does not get better by taking Benadryl, call your doctor.  You may need to try another type of pain reliever.


tystick, Community Member
12/13/08 2:17pm

Because your not used to them.I used to itch too. also when my daughter got her wisdom theeth out they gave her oxycodone. her first question is why am I itching.?I liked the other ladies comment.Maybe it is a itch geene and they just trigger it. But you hear that alot ,about people starting to take these kind of meds

Helen39, Community Member
4/20/09 4:34am

I have asked the same question Arlene and will give Benadryl a try. Unlike the 2nd answer I do not get used to these drugs but after taking them for a few months I start to react like you have. Apparently it is a common side effect to these opiates.

Helen39, Community Member
4/20/09 8:51pm

Oops! Please be aware everyone that Benadyl will make you even more sleepy than you are on the other drugs. Claradyne and Telfast non drowsy didn't work. Helen39

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By Arlene, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/04/14, First Published: 12/12/08