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Any CURE for brachioradial pruritus? (besides ice as relief)

Thousands of people are suffering with Brachioradial Pruritus, including myself, in my tenth year. It is the most maddening disease and I have learned of no cure. Ice is the ONLY thing to provide relief, and acupuncture has not been effective for me. I have tried all the expensive prescription and steroid creams to no avail. I am losing sleep, and my sanity, b/c it keeps me up all night. I am staying out of the sun, but every year, this persists until December or January. I have read countless articles and blogs about BRP, am sure that is what I have, but have yet to find a cure, and therefore some hope that I don't have to suffer with this every year for the rest of my life. Any new ideas/solutions/cures??? PLEASE?!!!!
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Avatar universal
I have just started with this itch on my upper arm and I have scratched my skin so bad it looks horrible!!!!   I keep ice and topical creams on at night and gel/cream during the day but the itch does not stop.  It's much worse at night.  This just started two months ago and I have no idea where it came from or how to stop it. :(

If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it!
Avatar universal
I had a lot of relief with gabapentin.  The neurologist prescribed it to me and I started off with a low dose (100 mg) per day.  The maximum benefit, for me, was when I took 300 mg 4 times per day.  One in the morning, at lunch, around 6 pm, and right before bed.  It took the itching away for a good while (at least 6 months).  I'm not sure if I built a tolerance to the drug but, I've read that the most benefit is experienced at some point and then it tapers off.  I believe that 2400 or so is the maximum dose.  Anyhow, when I started itching again, I continued my search and found an article that gave me my next idea.  Since all of us do have some sort of bulged disc in our cervical spine, I went to a pain managment doctor (an anesthesiologist).  I requested an epidural steroid injection in between the C5 and C6.  First I was sent to get an MRI of the cervical spine.  Once my bulge was confirmed I got an injection.  On about the 2nd day after the injection I had intense itching (this is a normal side effect for pain sufferers so I guess it's the same for itching) but then nothing for 3 weeks....we shall see how long this lasts.  I was told that I could get up to 3 shots per year but that's it.  Another option the doctor suggested was trying some sort of neurostimulation device that can be implanted to block the itch signal to the brain.  There's a 5 day trial period at first.  If it works then you can get it implanted.  This is much more invasive than the injections but the itch is so crazy I think that all of us are willing to do anything to get rid of it.  It is a horrible itch!  Also, since I've been in a few car accidents, my neck is straight (I've lost the natural curvature of the neck), and my trapezius muscle is tensed up.  My shoulders are like bricks.  The pain management doctor is going to give me some trigger point injections to relax the muscle.  Maybe this is an issue that other BRP sufferers have?  I hope this helps.  If anyone has a cure, please let us all know.  
Avatar universal
I HAVE A SOLUTION (a couple actually)

I suspect I have BRP as I also have SLIGHT bulging & herniated discs from a car accident but all who have seen my MRIs suspect it is not enough to cause this?  (I beg to differ!)   While my BRP does seem to be triggered by explosure to sunlight I never had anything like this before the accident!  

NOTE:  I am NOT a doctor or health care professional.

Last year my doctor prescribed DOXEPIN (generic for SINEQUAN, Doxepin is available via prescription only and is on the discount $4 prescription list at walmart.)  
I take it at bedtime.  It really knocks me out but it starts to stop the itch in about 20 minutes and all into the next day.  The original dose was 100mg but now as I am also on prozac (medication interaction) I am now prescribed 25mg.  works just the same.  apparently each of these drugs amplifies the effect of the other.  While Doxepine is classified as an antidepressant, the anti-itching is a powerful SIDE EFFECT that gets the credit for the relief.  Apparently Doxepin acts as a very, very powerful antihistamine (which explains the drowsiness).

ALSO:  This an alternative regimen I came up with on my own before my doc prescribed the Doxepin:  
1.) clean affected area with rubbing alcohol.
2.) wet a styptic pencil (like for treating shaving cuts) with water and apply liberally to area.
3.) allow to air dry - do not remove residue.
4.) apply benedryl extra-strength itch-stopping gel to area liberally, blot dry after letting soak in for 1 minute. (2% Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride;  available over the counter at walgreens).
6.) apply Lanacaine maximum strength anti-itch cream to area and rub in thoroughly.
(20% benzocaine, available over the counter at walgreens)
7.) I would take anywhere from 50mg - 200mg benedryl orally, 3 to 4 times a day as part of this ant-itch regimen.

SEE YOUR DOCTOR to determine if the above regimen is safe and proper for you, especially the oral benedryl as the dosage is above the recommended amount.  Do NOT do this regimen while taking Doxepine also.

Partial relief should begin within 5 minutes, complete relief when the combined effect of the oral benedryl kicks in (20-30 minutes).  Relief from the itching should last approx 3 to 6 hours.  All the benedryl WILL make you sleepy.

NOTE:  sometimes the lanacaine alone works pretty well but for best results consistently I had to do ALL the steps EXACTLY as I described.  My doc said it was a pretty ingenious regimen I came up with and had nothing bad to say about it.

ALSO I had been prescribed NEURONTIN - but I much prefer the Doxepin.  The Neurontin upset my stomach, had to take it 3 times a day, it took a LONG time (hours) to take effect and was unforgiving if I missed a dose or was  late - had to wait hours all over again for it to kick back in.  The upset stomach really did me in though.

I hope this helps someone else.
Avatar universal
I have had this for over ten years now and it is MISERABLE! Im going crazy. Right now I use a very rough scratch pad for pans. I scrub my arms as fast and as hard as I can while showering. I have also gone to other extreme measures...like a dog brush. It didnt do a very good job. A meat tenderizer, if the blades stayed out it might have been effective. I have thought about sand paper. REALLY! I literally dig my arms bloody. I always have scabs along with many scars. On top of being miserable it is embarrassing. I am thankful for all these comments and remedies. I do have bulging discs in the c5-6 ad c6-7. Smething has to work or I am gonna lose my mind. I cannot take it anymore.
Avatar universal
I am a landscape gardener,I have had this debilitating condition for almost two years , I say almost as the condition appears to improve during the winter months.i am interested to find that this irksome condition has a name other than itchy arm , I believe that exposure to sun and use of heavy hand held machines has been the cause of my nerve damage and has led to the itching.i will visit my chiropractor next week and see if that helps but would be pleased to hear if any homeopathic solutions are available  asi don't like taking prescription meds.love from the UK x paul
1 Comments
Did the chiropractor help?
Avatar universal
I also have this and just went on gabapentin , it's the only thing that has helped.  I actually jus t slept through the nights 2 nights in a row since I started it two days ago. Hardly any itching,  give it a try
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