Hi everybody - I am a 56 year old woman living in the UK, I was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis about 3 years ago following on from NAFLD. Currently my cirrhosis is compensated and early stage.
I’m learning to live with the constant fatigue and exhaustion. However, the itching I’ve been having for the last 5 years or so ( since before my diagnosis) is now starting to really drag me down. I’m aware that compared to others on here, I’m lucky, but nonetheless it’s affecting my quality of life, especially since it seems to have increased in frequency.
I often have itching 3/4 times a week. Almost always in the evenings/ at night. Mainly I have itching on my feet, legs, back and hands. When it’s particularly bad I get it around my hairline and scalp. It lasts for 5-6 hours, in the mornings I am exhausted having spent literally the whole night scratching. Anti histamines help occasionally, but usually not. Calamine lotion gives about 5 minutes relief. It’s embarrassing if I have visitors in the evenings, or if I go out somewhere, as the urge to scratch is overwhelming. A small compensation is that severity of itching is not apparently a reflection of amount of liver damage.
Having done some research online I discovered the following drugs which can be given to relieve itching : naltrexone, rifampicin, colestyramine. Does anybody have experience of any of these? Will a GP prescribe readily? Whenever I have asked I have never been offered anything other than told to try anti histamines.
I’m desperate to find something, 5 years of this is enough!
Many thanks for reading, and good luck to all those struggling to live with liver disease. This forum is a godsend.