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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6747
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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I had itching all over body n had a gallstone in my common

Customer Question

I had itching all over body n had a gallstone in my common bile duct and elevated liver enzymes. Had MRCP after an abdominal ultrasound which showed gallstone was gone. Due to having type I diabetes 2 doctors ( my pcp and a general surgeon) recommended having gallbladder out which I had done yesterday. I also had been taking simvistatin and Edecrin which I stooped both about 5 weeks ago. Liver enzymes are back to almost normal and I am very itchy since having gallbladder removed yesterday. Any advice
JA: How long have you been dealing with this? Does anything in particular seem to make the itch better or worse?
Customer: Since mid September. Worse at night. Coolness makes it better for a few moments
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: Allergic to oenicillin and sulfur and levoquin
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.


Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. My name is***** and i am reviewing your question and will get back to you with a response ASAP!!!

Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.

Well from what you are describing there are a few things which you can try. Since the gallbladder has been removed and the liver enzymes are decreasing the itching should start to subside within a week to ten days at the most. This is because the bile salts which had accumulated in your body would be excreted and the itching would decrease. In the meantime you can use a couple of things to counter the itching. First of all you need to ensure that you dont get teh skin dry. This can be done by avoiding soaps for teh time being and using an emollient solution that hydrates the skin. Creams or lotions should be stored in the refrigerator to enhance the cooling effect on application. Heat should be avoided as it enhances local blood flow and exacerbates itching while cool temperatures lower the itch threshold. Consequently soaking in a tepid bath or shower will temporarily reduce itch. After bathing skin should be patted dry with a soft towel and talcum powder and deodorants should be avoided as they may exacerbate itch. Oily calamine contains 0.5% phenol and is an effective antipruritic. bed linen should be washed in mild detergent and fabric softeners should be avoided. Loose fitting cotton clothing is more comfortable than woollen or synthetic fabrics.

Now the drugs which can be used to treat the itch include the following,

1) Antihistamines like benadryl, zyrtec, claritin all can be very effective here

2) If needed you can have your doctor start you on bile acid binding resins like cholestyramine or colestipol

3) Sertraline which is a SSRI has also shown great efficacy in managing itching due to this cause. An effective dose can ne 75-100 mg/day.

4) Gabapentin (neurontin) has also been found to be very useful here at doses of upto 2700 mg/day.

I would recommend that you discuss these options with your doctor and im sure the oily calamine and the antihistamines can be used quite effectively here.

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