Oxycodone Itching: People who use Oxycodone often experience itching. Itching is a common complaint among people who take Oxycodone. Research has shown that opioids can bind to nerve receptors that activate them. Although itching can sometimes be resolved by continuing to take Oxycodone as directed, there are not many effective treatments for itching that is opioid-related.
Most people take Oxycodone to relieve pain, while some use it for its euphoric properties. The popular Opioid can cause itching and other unwanted side effects.
Does Oxycodone Make You Itchy
Itching can occur in up to 10% of people who use oral opioids. This is because itching is more common with higher doses. Itching is most common on the face. However, some people experience itching all over their bodies.
It was not clear why opioids cause itching until recently. Science is now shedding light on this frustrating phenomenon.
What Makes Oxycodone Cause Itching?
We worry about allergic reactions when itching occurs with the administration of medication.
Although Oxycodone can cause an allergic reaction, these are rare cases. According to a Pharmacy Times article, they are found in less than 2% of patients.
Opioid-related itching is usually a side effect of opioids and not a danger.
Oxycodone Itching: Allergy to Oxycodone
Although it doesn’t mean that you are allergic to Oxycodone just because you have itchy skin, it could be.
Any opioid, even Oxycodone, can trigger an allergy. However, allergies are more common to codeine, meperidine, and morphine. Another type of hypersensitivity reaction that opioids can cause is called pseudoallergy. This is typically less severe than an allergy.
True opioid allergies can cause severe symptoms such as a rash, headaches, difficulty swallowing, and lips, tongue, and face swelling. In extreme cases, the person may experience a severe case of throat closure, blood pressure drops, and even death.
On the other hand, pseudoallergies can cause mild itching, flushing, and hives. Although pseudoallergies can cause elevated heart rates, low blood pressure, and asthma-like symptoms (though these are uncommon), they can lead to life-threatening reactions.
The time it occurs is another crucial distinction between true allergies and pseudoallergies. A true allergy is triggered by repeated exposure to the drug. A pseudo-allergic reaction may occur as soon as a person has taken a drug.
Itch receptors and Oxycodone
Itching is a side effect of Oxycodone’s nervous system effects and can be harmless but irritating in most cases.
For a long, scientists have known that opioids block pain signals by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. However, scientists have discovered that specific opioid receptors can also cause severe itching.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that MOR1D, an opioid receptor, triggers itching. The scientists were able to block MOR1D in animal studies to relieve the pain of opioid-related itching.
“When we blocked MOR1D mice that received morphine didn’t need to scratch anymore, and they still got the same level of pain relief,” Zhou-Feng Chen (director of Washington University’s Center for the Study of Itch) stated in a press release.
How to Get Rid of the Itching from Oxycodone
Itching-free painkillers may be possible with a better understanding of opioids. There are not many effective treatments for oxycodone-induced itching.
Sometimes, itching caused by opioids is treated with antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine. However, these drugs can be dangerous and cause dry mouth and excessive drowsiness. Some people may find relief with capsaicin, a topical cream made from chili peppers.
Naloxone can be used to relieve the symptoms of opioid-related itching. However, it can also reduce or eliminate Oxycodone’s painkilling effects. If someone is dependent on Oxycodone, they may also need to be given naloxone in an emergency.
In a 2016 study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain, a synthetic opioid called Nalbuphine outperformed diphenhydramine (and other medications) in relieving opioid-related itching. It was “superior” and “should be used first-line” in this case. According to the study, Nalbuphine — also known as Nubain or Nalpain — can reduce nausea and vomiting.
Itching, like other side effects of Oxycodone, may subside as long as the person continues to take it. Itching after a single dose of Oxycodone will disappear once the body has metabolized and eliminated the medication. Oxycodone addicts may find it difficult to stop using the medicine.