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percocet rash

Hi, I am currently awaiting a three level fusion and for the time being my pain management doctor has me on percocet 10/325 five times a day.

It helps with the pain a little but it's not worth all the side effects it's given me. I'm hot ALL the time. I have to wear a cervical collar which makes me about three thousand degrees hotter (not really, but it feels like it) and now I am breaking out in this horrible rash all over my chest, neck and cheeks.

Is this a sign that I'm allergic to it? And if so, what now? I'm also allergic to aspirin, codeine and morphine. Does that leave any drugs for me to take?

It's kind of scary because I will be having the surgery soon and I want to know that there is a pain medication they can give me. When I was in the hospital this last time, I found out that I had developed an allergy to Morphine and that had never caused any problems before. This time it gave me hives so they ended up giving me dilaudid for the rest of the time I was there and that worked but I was really itchy with that one too.

Anyone else really med-sensitive?

Thanks in advance for your help!


  • Candace, hello. Have you asked your doctor if maybe an antihistamine might help you?
  • No, I have not but since most of the meds in the hospital made me itchy, they gave me benadryl. I've been taking it at home and while it does help a bit with the itchiness, nothing is making the rash go away, not even cortisone cream or gold bond powder. It's been really hot and humid here in Texas and all that does is excasberate the problem! I can't even wear my cervical collar. I've got a call into the PM doc....just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar?
  • Hi canwin, m sorry you are having all the problems with the medications. I also have had problems in past with pain medications causing itching and hives. I also had problems with them causing nausea and vomiting. I was told to always take Benadryl with my meds which helped with itching and nausea. I was put on a medication called Nucenta and took for over a year and did not have any reactions to it. No rash, itching and most of all no nausea. I took Dilauded after my kneesurgery in Jan. and it really helped with pain but is a very strong medication and did not want to stay on so decided to try Hydrocodone which caused itching in the past and although I did have some the first week I can now tolerate with no side effects if I eat before taking. I have unknown anaphalactic reactions to unknown substances so never know which medication may cause one. I must carry an epi-pen and always have to let doctors and dentist know about my allergies. I am sure they will find something to cover pain after surgery even if the must give other medications to help with side effects.

  • Hi Candace,
    Almost all opiates can cause itching as a side effect, in most cases it does go away. However, if you develop a rash, a true rash, hives, swelling, intense itching or burning, then the best thing to do is to take some benedryl and get yourself into the local ER , as it may in fact be an allergic reaction.
    I will give you my own example- I was taking antibiotics for a ongoing case of pneumonia.....I took a dose, .developed a few really itchy bumps that looked similar to mosquito bites . Didn't think too much about it, but continued to take the antibiotic for two more days. Over those days, I was getting sicker and sicker, my stomach really hurt so much that I couldn't eat, finally decided that there was a problem with this antibiotic and went back to my doctor to get a different one. They changed the antibiotic to another in the same family.......I came home , took one dose, and within a minute, began swelling up like my face, arms, hands, were all made of rubber........my lips were three times their normal size and growing, and I developed this intense burning, itching that I couldn't begin to scratch enough.....and it burned, felt hot.....I took a bunch of benedryl realizing that I was in serious trouble, and headed to the ER. They told me it was anaphylaxis, and that I was never, ever to take that particular class of antibiotics again........so , be careful, and watchful, and if you develop any of those symptoms mentioned above, get thee to the ER...............fast.
  • I haven't noticed any of those bad side effects that you mentioned. if I do, don't worry...I will get right to the hospital! Lol All I really have is the rash on my chest and neck and a little bit on my cheeks although that seems to be clearing up. The rash on my chest hasn't got any worse but it's no better either. It looks kind of like a heat rash and its super itchy. Called the PM yesterday but I havent heard back yet.

    I really appreciate your kind and quick response. I notice that you seem to answer a lot of questions and provide a great deal of support. That's really nice of you!

  • Thanks for your kind words. I've been around a long time, and have been on most of the meds out there, at one time or another, so have a bit of experience with them.
    It could be something in the fillers of that particular brand of percocet too. Sometimes, the fillers can cause a bit of a senstivity in some people. Have you tried an over the counter anti histamine? A small dose of liquid benedryl or claritin or something simillar might help to relieve it. Or try some hydrocortisone cream to see if that helps reduce/eliminate the rash......
    Take care and if you need help, feel free to pm me......
  • ex-gymnasteex-gymnast Posts: 111
    edited 06/09/2013 - 2:54 PM
    Hi there. I get the itching a lot on pain meds too but not the rash. You said you're hot- this may be heat rash, especially if the weather is hot in addition to the narcotics making you hot. Definitely see a doctor! good luck!
    Severe DDD in S1-T12. 5 disc herniations. 5 compression fractures. Had a 2 level lumbar fusion/decompression on June 12, 2013. L4-5 foraminotomy on Jan 8, 2014, Right SI fusion in Oct 2014. Scheduled for L4-5 fusion to existing fusion on Sept 28, 2015
  • it could very well be a heat rash , especially given the heat and humidity in Texas. In fact, we , as adults are just as easily able to wind up with a heat rash as any other person. As I said earlier, opiates cause a bit of itching in people naturally, so it is a balance of finding out if it is just because of the opiate that the itch is being caused by, it will normally subside after a week or so of being on it, or a true allergy. There is a huge difference in the types of reactions that our body experiences.
  • I know how bad this can be.

    When I had a hysterectomy a few years ago (OK, more than a few!) I started itching right out of recovery.

    It was on my face and all over my neck and chest.

    The itching was so bad that I was scratching til it bled.

    Especially when I was sleeping.

    The Doctor decided it was due to the Morphine they gave me.

    He explained that after surgery they left a morphine pack inside before they closed me up and it would slowly dissolve over a few days.

    So....there was nothing they could do about it.

    They gave me Benadryl but it didn't do much I think because the rash was so severe.

    No symptoms beyond rash and itching though.

    Funny thing is, I can take morphine now with no problem at all.

    Don't really understand why I had such a bad reaction that time.

    Anyway, talk to your Doctor and see what they think.

    So sorry, I know you are miserable.

    Take care and let us know how things go.

    Have you tried Hydrocodone or Tramadol?

  • WestieWWestie Posts: 1
    edited 02/16/2015 - 6:14 AM
    I'm writing late because I just Googled the terms to see if anyone else had the same problem. I needed heavy doses of Percocet for serious hand surgery and this is in Michigan with temps in the teens or single. I sweated like crazy, had hallucinatory dreams, totally lost my appetite, was constipated beyond belief, and yes, broke out in a weird rash on my torso with little red lesions. This was no heat rash. As soon as the pain got more manageable, I dialed way back and the symptoms all ameliorated. I was used to 5mg. The surgeon warned me it would be very bad after surgery and gave me 7.5 and also 10 just in case. They proved to be toxic for me.
  • LeeWLLeeW Posts: 1
    edited 10/08/2015 - 4:37 AM
    I have a history of bad side effects to pain killers fentanyl being the worst up until now. I was recently percribed Percocet because norco no longer worked for me and everything has gone down hill sense. Swelling in both legs and feet burning rash on the legs that without water pills wants to turn into cellulitis. As of right now I am two days taking Opana Er 10mg and the rash and burning is already going away ...also using a non narcotic pain patch for breakthrough pain.

    I had a spinal surgery and fusion in 2009 which helped with pinched nerves but the back pain sense has been a major issue
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
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