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Gemzar Rash


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Geesh...yet another thing to keep me up at night. I have now had two rounds of gemzar infusions. The second one did not kick me as bad in terms of nausea, fatigue and flu like symptoms. But it seemed like all of a sudden I had this red burning itchy rash on my stomach and on my lower legs. I have given up reading about any potential side effects before going on any drugs. But sure enough when I looked this one up it appears to be from the gemzar. The recommendation was to use hydro cortizone cream and that is what I have done. It seems to take the edge off the burning and itchiness although it needs to be applied liberally and often. If anyone else has good products they use for the same I would love to hear it. Small tubes of hydro cortizone are expensive and I have just about used one up already.

On top of the rash I have also recently acquired significant swelling (edema?) in my lower legs and feet. The swelling is because I am retaining fluids from all the darn pain meds I am on.

And oh crap...how the heck am I going to keep my legs all nice and shaved!! Darn these cancer side effects..they wreak havoc with our beauty regimen!!

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I have to sit now and then to pace myself through packing for a trip and frankly I am bored silly. The boards here and on cancergrace are very slow. Anyway, I saw your post and thought I'd go check it out on cancergrace until someone here with experience with Gemzar comes on board for you.

Re Dr West on Gemzar:

I have had just a minority of patients who have had a rash if they've taken decadron premedication. If it's mild, I recommend benadryl....

I don't know about Canada but OTC generic benadryl is really cheap here. I wouldn't stop what you're doing just yet but try adding the benadryl. The worst thing about it for you I'm sure will be that it causes drowsiness, but you could start it at night. And maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones that get the opposite side-effect. I've know a couple of people that get reved up on benadryl. It could happen to you. I know you'd prefer that to drowsiness!

Judy in Key West

P.S. Don't know a thing about decadron.

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Well you are a good friend Judy. Thank you for researching for me I have posted a few times on cancergrace.com but to be honest haven't got all that familiar with it yet and should. Trust me to be in the minority but I didn't even have decadron...just stemetil as an anti-nauseant. I will stock myself up with a bottle of Benadryl today....drowsiness at night I could use, trust me.

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As far as the leg shaving, well, my "ugly leg" is still rearing its ugly head and there are times when its peeling that I cannot shave it, either. So.......wear jeans!!! I have worn them all summer because of the redness and sometines the forest!! :lol::lol::lol:


Patti B.

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Hello Sandra,

I am writing this for Ron as we found a cream that has worked wonders for his "rashes".

Throughout treatment and even today if we let up vigilance for very long, Ron has had more trouble with his skin and constantly evolving rashes than from the lung cancer and treatments combined.

I routinely used Life brand hypo-alergenic cream yea so many times a day and Hydrocortisone cream (small tubes) but other than keeping his skin moist, the rash continued and sometimes he would just want to crawl out of his own skin.

Then the Doctor tried Benadryl but he hated the way it dried his mouth out.

Then they tried Hyderm 1% Hydrocortisone Acetate but that really didn't make all that much of a difference as the rash kept mutating. Then they tried Hydrocortisone 1% in Clotrinaderm and it helped a bit better.

The "magic" potion came later and we say that because it nails the rash no matter what face it puts on. Blotches, acne type, raised shingles type, welts and on and on I could go, and yes even psoriasis patches.

Our new Family Physician prescribed Diprolene Cream 0.05% Betameth Dip (GlYC),(DIN 00688622) and you have to use it very very sparingly but once the rash starts to come under control, it is a matter of nailing the little areas that still to this day pop up, back, neck, cheeks of face, feet, legs from the knees down, upper arms, and so on.

He also uses a mild tar based shampoo for his hair as the rash hits on his scalp as well.

Non scented dove baby soap, non scented vasaline intensive care lotion for super dry skin for his feet.

Ron hasn't been able to wear his Saint Christopher's medal since starting treatment as where it comes into contact with his skin, he gets outbreaks.

Not sure if any of this helps but for Ron, finding something that could actually keep his skin somewhat under control was what gave him finally some peace of mind in this new life of his. That was tangible relief, something that he could see and feel respond and he actually doesn't scratch so much in his sleep any more either. Everything else including the Vaccine is a Deperate Hope, or Belief, but to just be able to feel comfy in his skin again was almost like a reward and we still have to keep on top of it today. Within two weeks after every Vaccine, it seems to pick up strenth again just waiting for us to get lax in our guard.

Hope this helps

Ron and Sandy

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Sandy, I was thinking the same thing that Sandra posted. I wonder if this cream is generic in that it would apply to rashes from a number of causes. I will go look up remedies for Tarceva rashes when I get a chance and see if it's listed there.

Judy in Key West

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