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Author Topic: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!  (Read 4102 times)

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Offline jam77

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« on: November 17, 2009, 03:24:10 PM »
I started treatment with atripla 15 days ago. After a week I was quite happy since the side effects had subsided - no more drowsiness in the morning and almost normal sleep. This until day 12 when the dreaded rash appeared - first few bumps on my wrists. By the following day I was literally covered from the neck down. My back turned completely red - all the red spots coalesced together in a gigantic sun-burn like rash.
First I treated it with benadryl (it was a sunday and I couldnt see my doctor) wich helped somehow, but I was in a state of pain throughout all the day. Yesterday I saw my doctor and he commented that it's common and it's up to me to try go through it - or deciding to switch to other meds. This means that he doesn't fear complications and that he has seen similar situations. He didnt seem particularly impressed either. He prescribed me hydroxizine (an antihistamines) a skin lotion and oatmeal baths.
Now the last 48 hours have ben hell. I am itchy everywhere, unable to do almost anything, and the nights are just horrible - after taking my night dose of atripla I loose any sleep, I feel my skin burning and itchying like crazy, and I cant sleep more than 30 minutes at the time.
Today the redness seems to be somehow less intense in particular starting from the center of the red spots. The itchyiness and pain are still there - like being pierced by thousand little needles.
I just feel so miserable that I am tempted to give up.
I am wondering if anyone had experienced a similar situation, and how you got out of that. Really anyone sharing a similar experience, and making through it would be a big relief! I am afraid that another night will drive me crazy!
Thank you,
desperate in NJ

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,493
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2009, 05:08:30 PM »
Wow. Just sending best wishes and a bit surprised your Dr was "not impressed" it sounds very dramatic.  Can't you get a strong sleeping pill? I swear, some Dr.'s are a bit sadistic and you really need some tenderness and assurance and medicine to get you through this.
I had some rashing with Reyataz a few weeks after I started. It got so itchy I abandoned the drug but didn't miss a day of therapy, just switched over to another.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 05:28:46 PM »
I've never been on ATRIPLA myself but there's been a lot of threads on this you might find helpful to get an idea of where you stand.  Just search "ATRIPLA rash" and you will find a bunch (the search box is to the left and down).  Here's a couple to get you started:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26653.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=29337.0

And don't be afraid to keep calling the doctor to let him/her know how it is going.  Some rashes can indicate serious underlying problems, so you should never be afraid to call up the doc.

Hope you get some relief.


Oh, and welcome to the forums -- there's a bunch of us here who live in New Jersey

A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline tokyodecadence

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
  • A one room disco.
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 05:32:13 PM »
I was told by my doctor (when I first began taking Atripla), that if I developed a rash to go to the ER, as it could be that the drug triggered some sort of syndrome. I forget the name...wait...google! It's called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Here's a quote from the well project:

A life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Symptoms may include a severe rash, blisters, mouth sores, swelling, fever, and weakness.

I'm in no way, shape, or form saying that this is what's happening. But better safe than sorry, right? In any case, my doctor told me that I'd have to switch to something else, in addition to being treated for that syndrome. But alas, all went well, and Atripla and I are great. :)


I hope this doesn't alarm you or anything, I was just sharing the information, as it's obviously very important information to know.


Edit: Here's the link to the Atriple drug info page:
http://www.thewellproject.org/en_US/Treatment_and_Trials/Anti_HIV_Meds/Drugs_at_a_Glance_Atripla.jsp
[.Fodão.]

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 07:18:32 PM »
Yer, this happened to my man. It was terrible.

He also lost his balance but it turned out he was putting his contact lenses in the wrong eyes.

They key sentence in your messages is


Quote
Today the redness seems to be somehow less intense

This indicates the effect will subside.

The rash is from efavirenz in Atripla. Efavirenz is a really effective drug n when the initial side effects settle, easy to take. Since you seem to have no sleep disturbance maybe it will last a long time n be convenient, being a combination in one pill, Atripla.

Your doc can give you a short course of prednisone if the lesser drugs ain't helping. This often does the trick. Do refuse Amitriptyline or Haliperidol if offered, they don't work for this rash in my experience (tho the trip from them is interesting if you are that way inclined). Opioid painkillers eg codeine may also help (strictly shot term option, you will stop pooing).

Good luck

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline jam77

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 08:36:39 PM »
Thank you all guys - I really appreciated your comments - and it's good to know that I'm not the only one who went through this crazy side effect.
I must say that I feel better this evening - day 4 - the itchiness is still there but not as painful, and I was able to sleep throughout the day. I am still a little scared of taking my evening dose - it really makes all the burning much worse - but at least it seems that slowly everything will get better.
I am not worried of SJS having seen my doctor yesterday. I was more concerned of not being able to stick to atripla, but it seems pretty common that the bad side effects will subside in few weeks.
Thank you again i will keep you updated!
(less) desperate in NJ

Offline kforney72

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2009, 09:18:27 AM »
Hey there i went through this as well at about the 12th day. Red all over and itchy. my dr just gave me a script for atarax and some kind of lotion to use. The redness went away in a few days but the itching continued for another few day after that. I was afaid of taking my nightly pill as well but stuck it out and am glad I did.

Hope it gets better.

Offline jam77

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 10:29:14 AM »
Update... at day 5 after the rash started I slept pretty much all night - with the usual crazy dreams - the pain is gone and the rash is fading away, pretty itchy but bearable.
It was horrible (i definitely didnt exepect anything like that!) but I'm so relieved that the worse is over.
Thank you everyone for the support - great job guys!
 - feeling better in NJ

Offline tommy246

  • member
  • Member
  • Posts: 435
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 02:16:20 PM »
I definately wont sleep tonight  on atripla   no side effects tonight is the 12th night i got itchy just reading that thread, glad to hear things are getting better.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline jam77

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 06:16:43 PM »
Update - maybe someone will find this useful...
After a week since it started, the rash is definitely going away. Skin still reddish, but going back to normal color. It has been pretty itchy for the last two days (much more annoying at night, right after taking the atripla - the tingling made it hard to fall asleep and I woke up several times scratching myself), but it doens't bother much during the day. I feel much better, although a little tired. I've been on antihystamines all time, now I'll reduce the dose since they make me feel quite groggy.
Overall, it was a pretty scary experience - but hopefully worth enduring.

Offline jm1953

  • Member
  • Posts: 262
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 04:56:51 AM »
I started treatment with atripla 15 days ago. After a week I was quite happy since the side effects had subsided - no more drowsiness in the morning and almost normal sleep. This until day 12 when the dreaded rash appeared - first few bumps on my wrists. By the following day I was literally covered from the neck down. My back turned completely red - all the red spots coalesced together in a gigantic sun-burn like rash.
First I treated it with benadryl (it was a sunday and I couldnt see my doctor) wich helped somehow, but I was in a state of pain throughout all the day. Yesterday I saw my doctor and he commented that it's common and it's up to me to try go through it - or deciding to switch to other meds. This means that he doesn't fear complications and that he has seen similar situations. He didnt seem particularly impressed either. He prescribed me hydroxizine (an antihistamines) a skin lotion and oatmeal baths.
Now the last 48 hours have ben hell. I am itchy everywhere, unable to do almost anything, and the nights are just horrible - after taking my night dose of atripla I loose any sleep, I feel my skin burning and itchying like crazy, and I cant sleep more than 30 minutes at the time.
Today the redness seems to be somehow less intense in particular starting from the center of the red spots. The itchyiness and pain are still there - like being pierced by thousand little needles.
I just feel so miserable that I am tempted to give up.
I am wondering if anyone had experienced a similar situation, and how you got out of that. Really anyone sharing a similar experience, and making through it would be a big relief! I am afraid that another night will drive me crazy!
Thank you,
desperate in NJ


I noticed a rash on my back early January, but there had been no med changes for a few years.  The doc took a biopsy and it came up Grovers Disease.  It sounds from the other posts you are experiencing the side effects of Atripla, however the rash you describes is almost identical to that the presentation Grovers gives.  It sounds like your rash is clearing, thank goodness, but if it comes back for no reason say in six months, you may want to check to see if you have Grovers. 

Grovers usually lasts six months to a year, and I'm on a skin cell forum with a lot of sufferers.  I don't think this is what you have, believe me you don't want it, but you might ask your doc if it persists.  Or I would suggest changing meds if it really gets miserable. 

Just an FYI!

I hope everything clears and you are fine on Atripla.

Best,

jm1953
Positive 25 years. 7/21/2012 Current CD 4: 780 Viral load: less than 50. 38 to 40%
Current drug regimen, Isentress, , Emtriva, Sustiva Wellbutrin, Klonipin, Allegra, Ambien, Testosterone, Nandrolone, Vicodin, Benedryl, Aspirin, lots of vitamin supplements.

Offline w_b1973

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2009, 11:31:40 AM »
I started atripla on November 14, two Saturdays ago. This past Tuesday I woke up with a rash. It's gotten worse everyday so far. I'm not going to Thanksgiving today with my family because I don't want to freak everybody out. It's on my face, neck and really bad on my chest and back. I'm only on day three so I guess I have about another week before things get better. I called my doctor and they told me to basically suck it up and it will go away. Any thoughts on how long it will take to go away?
Any positive comments will help. Thanks

Offline jam77

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Severe rash with ATRIPLA - HELP!
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 11:22:21 PM »
Hi All,
I stopped posting because after about 10-12 days since it started the rash was practically gone, as my doctor, and many people on this forum predicted.
@ w_b1973 - I don't have any specific suggestions, except seeing your doctor, and if he's ok with that trying to get through it. If you feel really bad try some more powerful medicines for the rash. I first tried benadril but it didn't work at all. Doctor prescribed hydroxyzine, and that worked much better, although despite using that, during  the peak days (3-5) I felt really horrible. I just stayed home, I took  oatmeal bathes 1-2 times a day (not sure they really worked except that they kept me busy), and I walked around like crazy when I was too itchy and tingling to do anything else. I didnt sleep much for a couple nights.
Overall I felt quite itchy for about a week after but every day i could see improvements. As people pointed out here you should start seeing some improvements after few days - that's the good sign that it's going to go away.
I hope you feel already better!
@ jm1953, thanks for the info. The rash now is gone, so it was probably the usual atripla rash - but i will keep an eye on my skin!

 


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