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1477811 tn?1321390053

Sun exposure while on tx

I seem to remember a post on this forum where someone talked about avoiding the sun while on tx. I can't find that link. Is that actually true? I went to the Ribavirin site and did not see a precaution about sun. I'm asking this because I was in the sun for a short time yesterday, hanging out at the local park, and I am SOOOO burnt today. Who knew a person could be this shade of pink. Very unusual for me to begin with because of my latin roots. Anyone have any info about sun exposure if it indeed is problematic while on tx?

Much thanks,
18 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi June..
There has been discussed here about sun exposure and Ribavirin. Don:t know if you saw this article or not. Be careful.....good luck


1477811 tn?1321390053
Thank you Will. This was very helpful. Yesterday, here in San Francisco, it was partially sunny/foggy. I was only out for a short time. I don't have a history of burning because I'm Puerto Rican so this was kind of a surprise. Ouch.
Avatar universal

  Interesting  I am up here in Canada..and at Christmas time I went to Florida for a week or so.I   usually don"t have much problem with sunburn either but I was treating then  and I must say I burnt a little more than I thought was normal,so i guess there is something to it.

  Yeah ouch..

148588 tn?1465782409
From the linked article:

Although it is not categorized as a common medication, the antiviral drug ribavirin may cause or enhance photosensitivity. As an integral part of the prescribed treatment for Hepatitis C, some individuals develop a rash from ribavirin – and this side effect can be exacerbated by exposure to intense sunlight or other UV light, such as tanning beds. In addition, consumers are urged to be aware of the greater potential for a photosensitive reaction when combining ribavirin with one of the above listed drugs known for increasing sensitivity to the sun. For those especially sensitive, a photosensitive reaction may also be triggered by indirect sun exposure, such as light reflected off pavement.

Protect Yourself
Although the skin burns or rashes characteristic of photosensitivity can cause pain, itching and misery, combination therapy for Hepatitis C needn’t keep you confined indoors (unless advised by a physician or pharmacist). For the majority of individuals on photosensitive medications, several extra precautions can help prepare for sun exposure.

The following five tips will help you reap Vitamin D from the sun, even if you are on Hepatitis C medications:

1. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight during the high intensity hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

2. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, preferably 30 – which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Although most sunburns are caused by UVB rays, some photosensitivity reactions are triggered by UVA rays.

3. Use at least one full ounce of sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.

4. Wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and sun-protective clothing such as tightly-woven, long-sleeved shirts and pants or clothes with a high SPF rating.

5. Women who wear makeup should use makeup containing a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.

Since those with chronic Hepatitis C are likely low on Vitamin D and sunshine helps produce it, the arrival of warm, sunny weather is especially embraced. However, those being treated with ribavirin must understand the additional photosensitivity risk of sun worshiping. By being reasonable with your sun exposure levels and properly protecting your skin from radiation, Hepatitis C treatment need not stop you from frolicking in the light."

Thank goodness. No need to stop frolicking.

Avatar universal

  There you go June...just turn some lights on and 'Frolick"   lots of fun and no burn!  :)
1477811 tn?1321390053
I've decided to go and sit (frolick) in a dark movie theater today. Between the other sides I'm having this weekend and now this, I'm just one hot mess. Ugh. Maybe just to be on the safe side I'll wear sunscreen, a hat, and a long-sleeve shirt to the theater.
Avatar universal
"some individuals develop a rash from ribavirin – and this side effect can be exacerbated by exposure to intense sunlight"

I can vouch for this.  I've been keeping the rash in check with triamcinolone ointment.  The drug mostly keeps it dormant and non-itchy.  I still see redness, but have no breakout or discomfort.  With that background, I went for a long weekend holiday to Phoenix, AZ at the end of February.  It was beautifully clear and sunny, and the temps were mid to high 70F.  I was coming from a rainy, cloudy location and hadn't seen sun since October.

When that sun hit my bare skin--it felt wonderful at first--in about 10 minutes that rash was back in full itch.  After a couple of hours, raised bumps and deep color.  (I've had the rash on my forearms since about week 10 or 11.)  

I spent the rest of my weekend under umbrellas and overhangs while the spouse enjoyed the pool.  

Ribavirin has a fair half life; I'm somewhat anxious about how long I'm going to have to avoid the outdoors, as I'm about to end treatment.  It's threatening to get nice and actually turn in to spring here back home.  Standing by...
1477811 tn?1321390053
I have a rash as well; have had it for a couple of months now. It migrates. Currently it is wreaking havoc on my torso, scalp, and is encroaching onto my face (oh great). I swear I have it on my tongue as well, which has felt raw for a couple of months. Spices send me through the roof.

As for my sunburn, yes, I'm sure it's tx related. Way too unusual for me to burn like this and that fast. My boyfriend told me that I look like a strawberry. When I bury him in the backyard later today, I will make sure to wear a hat.

Do you think Riba rage would work as my defense in a court of law???
Avatar universal
Don't bury him.  Make him start taking Ribo's for several months.  He'll come around.  Turn your Riba Rage into Riba Revenge.  Mwahahah....
Avatar universal
"When I bury him in the backyard later today, I will make sure to wear a hat. Do you think Riba rage would work as my defense in a court of law???"

Ha Ha  - pretty darn funny June!!  I am already red being of Scottish decent so I can't wait to see what happens when and if the sun ever comes out in this godforsaken place.  Maybe I will turn brown!!!!!

Sorry about your nasty rash but at least you HAVE a boyfriend.  Try getting one with HCV  red skin, and  a nasty rash  --- oh, and no hair.  Well, I do have hair but had to embellish the complaint.

Avatar universal
I'm fair skinned but tan easily and I am already tan this year from gardening.  I wonder if getting a riba rash would indicate that one is likely to be more sensitive to the sun.  I've only had two small rashes and they cleared quickly...

I do hope that you get to enjoy some sun.
1477811 tn?1321390053
I embellished too. I don't have a backyard. I live in the city. My bf should fit nicely under the back stairs though.

I'm surprised I still have a bf! Why he hasn't run the other way screaming, I don't know.
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