Itchy skin Help please !!!: Hi all Im looking... - PBC Foundation

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Itchy skin Help please !!!

Hi all

Im looking for some advice for the itching the gp prescribed piraton which does nothing and im wondering if anyone can recommend anything that actually works either taken orally or applied to the skin i was diagnosed with pbc in october and get the results for my liver biopsy tomorrow but the itching us driving me insane and im tearing my skin apart so any help will be appreciated

Thanks xx

10 Replies

Hello Char_char1980.

I was originally prescribed Piriton pre-PBC diagnosis back in early 2010. I knew I could get it over the counter (I have to pay for scripts) and got some but they didn't make any difference but they did make me feel nauseous. If the itch is coming from inside and not an allergy then Piriton will make no difference. Some on this site have said they've bought the drowsy Piriton that helps them sleep but in by sleeping they don't then feel the itch.

The first line of defense for PBC with the itch is Questran (or colestryamine in the UK) but it seems from reading on liver sites that it is hit and miss, works for some, not for others. There are then other meds that are tried after this.

I started itching early 2010 but it's not vanished, just changed in frequency (tends to be late at night now, not good if you then want to go to sleep due to long day!). I have not yet asked for any meds to see if it can be lessened or eradicated but I can't say I will not in future, depends.

Being cool can help I find. A warm bath in the morning I find is better than at night.

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Hi Peridot

I tried to reply yesterday but an new to the site so it didnt post so apologies for late reply lol thankyou for the advice its very helpful x


Hi Char_char1980

Piraton never worked for me and the once a day anti histamine that I used to buy also stopped working, in the end I asked the GP for help and she recommended citirizine two tablets twice a day and for the most part it helps. If you are in the UK you can buy citirizine over the counter.

In between times try to drink plenty of water as it is reported that being hydrated helps reduce the itching (I guess it helps to flush out the bile build up) and keep your skin supple with a good cream.

Years ago I saw a posting somewhere that said to drink coffee (2/3 cups a day) which is said to help the liver.

Hope this can be of some help to you.

best wishes


Hi butterfly ei

Thanks so much for the advice i will give it a try xxx


Hellop butterflyEi.

Out of interest has this citirizine altered your bilirubin levels at all? Not heard of this citirizine so had a snoop online (posted the link below abotu it). If you were to scroll to 4.8 (undesirable effects) it mentions it can elevate bilirubin levels.

Last year my bilirubin went a point into abnormal having previously always been within normal range. I know in my case I wouldn't be so sure about taking these tablets.


Thank you Peridot I will look at the link. My doctor would not give me a breakdown of my last results. Will have to investigate further.


Just had a look at the point you raised:

"Instances of abnormal hepatic function with elevated hepatic enzymes accompanied by elevated bilirubin have been reported. Mostly this resolves upon discontinuation of the treatment with cetirizine hydrochloride."

My blood tests were taken in February this year. My new GP is very good and apparently her mother suffers with PBC so she knows a bit about it - probably a lot more than me - I feel she would have highlighted the bilirubin had it been elevated. I am sure I will be seeing her soon and I will be sure to ask her.

Thank you for your diligence.

best wishes


I know there are other meds that can raise the LFTs but thought this might be of some interst due to it just mentioning the bilirubin.

On the other hand, as we know sometimes the medical profession state that 'benefits outweigh the risks...' and go on to prescribe.


Hi Char_char1980

I've had the itch for more than 20 years, and have found that using a face cloth or a towel that I've soaked in freezing cold water on the area, works when the itch reaches the unbearable stage. I've tried all types of creams and antihistamines and so far i've not found one that takes the itch away all together.

I've got a few more creams to try over the next few months, so will let everyone know if I find one that helps.

Keep your chin up and good luck.

Gillan x

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Hi again char char. Can you please look at Peridot's comments b4 taking any action on citirizine and speak to your doctor first.

Best wishes


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