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Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES) Hypersensitivity (2005-earlier archive)

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Post to this topic if you are concerned that you may be experiencing an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity) after a drug-eluting stent (DES) procedure.

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Archived Postings from 2005 and Earlier on This Page (83):

• I have had two angioplasties:

  1. Five years ago in early 2001 with 5 plain metal stents. No reactions that I can recall. I was on Plavix for six months in 2001 and again in 2003 for several months (not angioplasty related) with no reactions other than a few bouts of diarhhea and irritation to my digestive system treated with Pepcid AC.
  2. Two weeks ago I was treated with two Boston Scientific Taxus Express Paclitaxel eluting stents and one Cypher Sirolimus eluting stent. I am now on Plavix again. I had some loose bowel movements for a day or two.

I am on the same meds that I was taking before this procedure, and also my first procedure. Therefore it is likely that the symptoms I have experienced are solely due to the stents. I have experienced the following symptoms (which I have learned in my follow-up stent class at Kaiser are experienced by about HALF of all patients receiveing drug eluting stents):

  • Low grade fever for several days post procedure.
  • Itching and swelling of my hands along with vague difficulty breathing for several hours on the second night post-procedure. It went away after 2-3 hours and hasn't returned.
  • Repeated bouts of vague chest discomfort similar to mild angina.
  • Random brief pains and flutters in the heart area. Soreness in my center chest.
  • Mild fatigue.

I have done about five cardiovascular workouts this week, walking briskly to get my heart working at 30 beats/min over my resting rate. Though I still have some chest tightness when I do this, I have no at-rest pain as I was experiencing prior to the angioplasty on Dec 19th. I walked a mile today and about halfway thru I realized my initial chest discomfort had disappeared. I am convinced my symptoms are most likely allergic reaction to the stents. My doctors were aware that I had long-ago had fairly severe allergic reactions to some foods, but none in the past twenty years or more. I think my symptoms are lessening, but can't be sure yet as it's too soon to tell.
Dan A., December 30, 2005

• I would like to call attention to a study just posted on our Drug-Eluting Stent NewsCenter which is a must read for all posters on this Forum Topic. The stent allergy issue has now been verified by a team from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and their results published in the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The symptoms they note include rash, difficulty breathing, hives, itching and fevers. As we have noted throughout this topic, these reactions may also be due to other causes, most likely drugs like Plavix, but not necessarily. And taking a patient off of Plavix may result in an increased risk of stent thrombosis. We urge all patients who think they may be experiencing an allergic reaction to contact their doctors and also report these reactions to the FDA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 30, 2005

• Had a stent put in my anterior descending artery on November 15th, 2005. Since then I have had a chronic cough with little to no phlegm and an strong itching with a light rash. The itching and rash has been in my groin area, my armpits, chest, back of my neck into my hairline, with pinpoint itching on the palms of my hands. I tried oatmeal baths for enough relief to sleep and have since been controlling the symtoms with Benadryl. The cough has been explained as a viral type bronchitis, we tried a Zpack regimen, Rubutusin with Codeine, Muculex, and presently a Combivent inhaler three times a day. The doctor suggested the itching may be an allergic reaction to the Zpack which I have had in the past without a reaction. No one has made a correlation to the possibility of the Stent or the Plavix I have been taking since the procedure.
M.P., Maryland, December 28, 2005

• I am 42 years old. I had three Cypher stents placed in three arteries on December 12, 2005. I began taking Lorpressor and Lovastatin two days earlier and Plavix on the 13th. Three days later I developed a severe rash that covers my entire torso. It itches like crazy and on the 18th became quite painful. I was beginning to experience difficulty breathing so I went to the ER. Was prescribed prednisone and benadryl. While the rash has decreased some in two days, the itching has become unbearable, with me resorting to temporary relief from calamine, but who knows how long that will be effective. The brochure that I was given AFTER THE PROCEDURE says not to place the stents in patients who are allergic to antiplatelet drugs. Of course, my cardiologist never bothered to find out of I was allergic. Now I am angry and frustrated that my cardiologist has created a far worse problem and wonder when, if ever, my life will return to normal. I'm thinking of seeing a lawyer.
Christopher A., Georgia, December 19, 2005

• Update from Oct. 1st listing: My husband had experienced severe allergic reactions to plavix & ticlid post des, he was placed on lovenox for rx... It has now been 2 months since the stent placement and I am happy to write to you to state that he has been doing quite well. He was still having arthritic reactions while on the lovenox for aprox. 3 weeks; but on day 42 post des he woke up and all symptoms subsided. I can only hypothesize that all his allergic reactions were contributed to the des; I don't know if the stent delivers more medication when first placed and then delivers smaller amounts as time goes on; but it appears very complexing that my husband had allergic reactions to every med that was introduced as well as medications that he had been on for years.
Sue O., Massachusets, December 11, 2005

• i had two coronary arteries stented 8th august 2005. put on plavix and within a few days had appalling skin reaction driving me mad with itch and redness just wanted to be put to sleep. was taken back in put on high dose steroids and subcut clexane for a few days and stopped the plavix and put on ticlopidine. been on this for over four weeks and now going back into hospital as feel so ill on it, aprart from itching and burning hands and feet all day and night now feel sick, off food, not passing much urine, shakey and just ill, not sure what they can do. as plavix and ticlid with aspirin the only drugs that keep the stents open. have been feeling suicidal the past few days as quality of life just not worth it. perhaps warfarin altho not as effective might be an alternative
Martin G., MD, UK, November 29, 2005

• My husband had a Cypher Sirolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent put in his circumflex because of a severe blockage. The angioplasty and placement of the stent took place on 24 Oct 05. He was prscribed 4 drugs: Plavix, aspirin, Lipitor, & a beta blocker. Approximately 18 days after the procedure, my husband broke out with hives from head to toe as well as the swelling of his wrists, angles, feet, lips, & around eyes. He was examined by our family doctor & was diagnosed with having a severe allergic reaction. He was given a shot of cortezone & put on Zyrtec. In addition, he was taken off the Plavix & aspirin and put on Lovenox. He started feeling better the next day. But by Saturday night he started experiencing chest pains. I rushed him to the ER. He was treated for indigestion & acid-reflex since there was no problem with his heart. The hives continued to get worse as well as the swelling of various parts of his body. His cardiologist took him off all medication except a blood thinner called Hepbron.. An allergist was assigned to his case & prescribed prednisone for the hives. He was released on Wednesday & had to take prednisone for the next 5 days, each day being less medication. Plus, He was put on a different blood thinner called ticlid. On Sunday, 5 days later, my husband started to experience pain in his right hand, wrist, & lower arm. The pain got so bad that he could not sleep. The next morning I took him to the family doctor. He wasn't sure how to treat it so he sent my husband to the ER. He had to be prescribed with morphine to relieve the pain. The diagnose was acute joint inflamation similar to someone with acute arthritus. He was put back on prednisone for 10 more days as well as percocet for pain. He is to be seen be a specialist for joint problems. The swelling has gone down but he is starting to notice pain in his knees & his other hand. My husband was extremely healthy before he had this stent installed into his artery-no joint problems, no acid reflex, no indigestion problems. He is losing weight & his color is poor. Don't get me wrong for I am greatful for the advances in science that enable are loved ones stay alive. I am suspicious of this stent being the cause of all these problems. My request is for any advice or insight on this matter. Please forgive the spelling errors as this was written very late at night.
C. W., Pennsylvania, November 22, 2005

• My fiance had a stent placed in his artery 1 year ago. He is now having allergic reactions, i think after some research is related to plavix. He has had swelling of the tounge and lips, severe hives, difficulty in breathing, all of the warning signs. However, i am not sure about him developing a allergic reaction after a year of taking this medication. Is that possible to develop this reaction after a year of use? Any advice please??
Amanda T, Ohio, November 22, 2005

• After reading about the allergies and problems related to treatment with stents, I wonder if my 81-year old relative should get a stent as suggested by her doctor? She had a triple-bypass to take care of her angina 3 years ago, but she has angina again (pressure in the chest and sometimes chest and upper back pains). Her medication (Topro XL) has reduced occurances of angina. But, in the last few days, there is swelling in her angles and feet (signs of heart failure) in the afternoon and evening, but the swelling is almost gone in the morning; this cycle repeats. Thanks.
M, California, November 18, 2005

My mom just turned 70 in aug. When she was 49 she had a heart attack. Her main artery was blocked 100%. This past april she had a spell that put her into the hospital. they put five stents into her main artery. they put her on plavix and topiral. she was allergic to topiral. five weeks later stress test show something not right. did another heart cath. four of the five stents closed they replaced those with medicated stents. my mom has been so sick with her stomach and weakness and her teeth have her so much pain shes been in the er 4 times times this week. monday she is scheduled to have 4 teeth pulled with being on the plavix. i am so scared for her. on top of this my dad is having surgery on his bladder there is a mass we dont know if it is cancer. someone email me please.
Mary V., Ohio, November 17, 2005

• before anyone had these stents put in did you discuss with your doctors or did any of them find you possibly treatable by eecp? check www.vasomedical.com for info on the procedure
rich c., new york, November 15, 2005

• My sister-in-law had stents put in a few months ago and now everything she eats tastes like metal. Has this happened to anyone? What can be done? Is it possible that she could be allergic to the metal stents & if so, what can be done? (Editor's note: a new topic has been started from this posting)
Debbie, VA, November 14, 2005

• Update 2 - 11/12 evening - Breathing is still good with Cardizem discontinued. Still lacking energy. However, developed 2 other problems. 11/5 am, (60 hrs post angiogram #2) I had a dime sized blood red discoloration in pubic area. When disrobing after posting last message 11/6 at 2 am, found blood area of 8 in x 2 in going from pubic area thru leg crease into left hip. No pain or discomfort. Went to er, determined bleeding had already stopped by that time and was sent home. bp was 94/58 when I left (130/90 was great for me with all my meds). On 11/11 am, awakened due sharp shooting pain from entry site at left femoral artery. Upon feeling area, found mass about 3/4in diameter under skin. Dr. sent me to hospital (6th time in 3 weeks) for doppler study, which did not show any bleeding, aneurism, infiltration, or bulging of the artery. Mass source is unknown, but give periodic shooting pains of extreme intensity, in addition to tenderness in area and general discomfort 36 hrs after 1st occurance.
Fred C., New York, November 12, 2005

• My mother had an inferior wall MI on 22nd March 2005. Angiography showed two blockages - RCA 99% and LAD 70%. PTCA was done on 5th April 2005 with Taxus 3.5 X 30 in RCA and Cypher 3.0 X 18 in LAD. She was prescribed Clopidogrel 75 mg twice a day, Aspirin 150 mg twice a day along with blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs. After 3 months Aspirin 150 mg dosage was reduceds to once a day. After 5 months, around 4th Sept.,05, my mother had inflammation on the knuckles of the hands and the feet and was accompanied with severe pain. I spoke to the cardiologist and he advised that the dose of Clopidogrel 75 mg be reduced to once a day. After doing that, the pain reduced a bit but the inflammation was still present. I looked up in the net and came across two articles of BMJ.indicating arthritis like symptoms being induced by Clopidogrel and Ticlopidine. I informed the cardiologist about this and since he was not aware of any such side effect in any of his patients, he advised us to continue clopidogrel till atleast 9 months since PTCA. The pain would not go away and after consultation from two orthopaedic surgeons we were told that the symptoms are not the signs of any new joints disease and is most probably a side effect of a drug. We also saw two black patches under the skin one on the hand and one on the leg. We decided to discontinue Clopidogrel and observe. In a about 7 days after discontinuing Clopidogrel the black patches disappeared and the pain and inflammation reduced substantially. Apart from the small joints the pain had also started to occur in the right elbow and left shoulder before we discontinued Clopidogrel. After 7 days we started Clopidogrel 75 mg once a day. After 4 days of continuing this dosage the inflammation and pain returned and after the 5th day we stopped Clopidogrel. After 11days of being without Clopidogrel we spoke to the cardiologist who advised us to take Ticlopidine 250 mg twice a day instead of Clopidogrel. After 4 days of starting Ticlopidine the small joint pains increased a bit and I could see a small red spot of 3 mm dia below theskin of the left feet of my mother. I spoke to the Cardiologist and he asked us to continue taking the medicne and said that the joint inflammation is probably another disease. On the 7 th day of taking Ticlopidine my mother had pain in both her knees which was bearable. After 12 hours of this beginning of pain, the pain had become severe and my mother had to use a stick to walk (which she never had used). She took the one Ticlopidine 250 mg even at this stage. After 1 hour of this, she also had headache. This was post dinner and she could not sleep wel that night. We decided to discontinue Ticlopidine. The pain was there the whole of the next day and night. She had pain when she would be trying to bend her knees or trying to get up or sit down. The pain in her elbow nad shoulder which had started at the time of taking clopidogrel also turned severe. I also noticed a black patch under the skin of her right leg above the knee. After two days of discontinuing the medicine the pain started to reduce and today after 8 days of discontinuing Ticlopidine, the pain is still there but has greatly reduced. My Mother's age is 59 and she is 64 kgs in weight and 5 feet in height. It seems that she is hyper sensitive to both Ticlopidine and clopidogrel. The cardiologist says that it is very important to continue taking this drug till atleast 9 months post PTCA. Is there an alternative to Ticlopidine/ Clopidogrel which could be prescribed for my Mother at this stage. What would be the outcome of discontinuing these drugs? I would be greatly thankful if someone could find a solution to this problem.
Ramesh S., Mumbai, India, November 12, 2005

• On Oct 1st, my husband had a drug eluting stent placed inside of two metal stents that were placed in 6 years ago. Since Oct. 3rd he has developed allergic reactions to every medication that they put him on... First it was the plavix, then it was ticlid, he was on high doses of prendisone, benadryl and zantac to try to keep reaction subsided; but too no avail. His cardiologist has put him on lovenox injections bid and told us that to his knowledge there has not been any studies on the rx of lovenox post des and he hopes that this will prevent restenosis. I have searched every where to find information on this subject but can't find any. I would be very interested if anyone who has been on lovenox after des could write to me to let me know how well it worked. Presently, my husband has been on the injections for 3 weeks, he still has arthritic symptoms but not severe. I welcome any comments.sueoconnor21@hotmail.com
Susan O., Massachusetts, November 09, 2005

• Update - Sunday morning 11/6, I discontinued the cardizem. Sunday afternoon, my breathing returned to normal. Has been ok ever since. Had started antihistamine 10/24 when "normal - for me" allergic symptoms started to appear, sinus congestion, feeling of fullness like from overeating, itchy eyes, headache, etc... This is well known to me as the start of one of my reaction. I have probably suppressed a more severe reaction due to taking antihistamine. Cardiologist substituted Allegra for Claritin starting this morning 11/8 to resolve some of the residual allergy symptoms. Still unsure of the result of this. As of Monday 11/7 pm, Cardiologist now tentatively agrees with my analysis and decision. Will wait to see if my other cardiac meds are sufficient to control bp. Other than feeling a little run down, I would say I am back to normal. Guess it takes a little time to recharge my batteries after 3 weeks of poor breathing and sleeplessness, and overexertion of ribcage musles. Plavix is not a problem here as I have been taking it for over 3 years with no problematic effects (for suspected TIA issues). Been taking Cardizem for over 10 years, and no problem until 2 days after stents implanted. Some of the other effects are definitely a reaction to some stent components or durgs of either type, but cannot remove them. With my demonstrated drug sensitivities, I hope this does not impair my immune system. Allergist may be needed in the near future to determine how to live with this, but let's see the short term recovery first. Real question is how long will the stents be dispensing the meds? The original difficulty breathing started only 2 days before stent implantation, went away immediately after, and did not return until 2 days after in a somewhat different breathing aspect (gasping before vs. hyperventilating after, with exercise only before vs. continuous after). Will file reports with Taxus, Cordis, and FDA in a week or two once I see which way this goes.
Fred C., New York, November 08, 2005

• There have been a number of postings to this topics in the past few days, so I'll make the following comments to several posters. Remember, nothing on this Forum should be considered a substitute for medical advice from a licensed healthcare professional!

Fred -- There are no reports that we've seen to the effect that mixing stent brands causes any interaction -- it's done not infrequently. As for the drug interaction, it's not so much that the cardiologists "deny" that the amount of sirolimus is low -- it IS low -- very small, probably too small to be causing any interaction; and according to the drug info sheet, it's not that Cardizem cannot be used with Sirolimus, but more that dosages should be adjusted. We can't urge our readers enough not to make adjustments to medications without talking to their cardiologists. If you feel the stent is the problem, you can call Boston Scientific for the Taxus or Cordis for the Cypher -- which one is the problem? And you can always file a complaint with the F.D.A. There are also other drugs that you're on, like Plavix, etc. which sometimes cause allergic reactions. Let us know how you fare.

Mrs. Borne -- Are you sure the rash is not connected to medications? Read the replies above and below. And -- I say this to everyone -- write back and let us know if symptoms gets worse, get solved and how. It will be of great benefit to others.

Barbara -- let us know what the cardiologist says and does and whether the rash, etc. changes. It's a topic everyone on this Forum is interested in. You may also want to check out the Forum Topic on post-stent medications (Plavix et al) which has some patients who have experienced allergic reactions. Most cardiologists I've spoken with tend to look at the medications and their interactions as the culprits The incidence of allergies to stainless steel is pretty low -- and most people have discovered this allergy by the time they are of age to have a stent. There is also the drug that is being eluted (although it's pretty low in dosage) as well as the polymer coating that contain the drug, but if you conclude that the stent is your problem after eliminating the various drug allergy possibilities, by all means call the manufacturer -- Boston Scientific (Taxus) has a toll free number. Of course, any adjustment to your medication should be done in partnership with your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 7, 2005

• MY HUSBAND HAD 2 TAXUS EXPRESS 2 STENTS PUT IN ON OCT. 17, 05. IT IS NOW NOV. 6TH, 05. 3 DAYS AGO HE WOKE UP WITH A RASH ON VARIOUS AREAS OF HIS BODY. HE GETS ESPECIALLY ITCHY ON PALM OF HANDS & SOLES OF FEET. RASH APPEARING ANYWHERE IT CHOOSES. ALSO NOTICED IT GETS WORSE IF HE GETS UP FROM A LYING POSITION AND WALKS AROUND HE TOOK BENADRYL FOR RELIEF. DAWNED ON US OVER THIS WEEKEND THAT IT MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE STENTS. HE ALSO TAKES PLAVIX,(DOESN'T EVERYONE WITH STENTS?) BUT THAT WILL BE EASY TO TAKE OUT OF THE EQUATION AS THE ALLERGAN WHEN WE SPEAK TO CARDIOLOGIST TOMORROW HE WILL PROBABLY PRESCIBE ALTERNATIVE. THEREFORE, WE CONCLUDE: IT COULD BE THE NICKEL IN THE STENT,THE POLYMER, OR THE MEDICATION? WHO KNOWS? READING ALL THE OTHER COMMENTS, I HAVE TO GO WITH STENT. HOW IS IT DETERMINED WHAT FACTOR IT MAY BE? ANYONE KNOW? SHOULD THE REACTION STOP AFTER 30 DAYS. (THAT IS THE LENGTH OF TIME MEDICATION IS RELEASED) IF IT'S THE NICKEL IN THE STENT, DOES THIS LEAD TO BYPASS SURGERY & THEN GO IN & CUT THE STENT OUT? OR DO YOU LIVE ON BENADRYL OR SOME OTHER DRUG THE REST OF YOUR LIFE TO COUNTERACT THE ALLERGY?
BARBAR C. New Jersey, November 06, 2005

• My husband had 2 Taxus Stents implanted 10-30-05. A rash started 11-05-05. Do you really think the makers will admit to the stents causing the problem? Think about it!
J. Borne, llinois, November 06, 2005

• On 10/21/2005, I had 3 stents put in in 2 arteries. To my shock, 2 of them were Taxus, and 1 was Cordis. Do you see any problem with this mix? Things were great for about 20 hours. Brisk walk 4 laps around hospital was fine, no pain, no breathing issues, or irregularities on the cardiac monitor. At about 30 hours, started to develop breathing problems. Mild at first, getting proggressively worse over time. I am diabetic and hypertensive. Upon checking drug info, found that the Sirolimus (Cordis) cannot be used with calcium channel blockers, Cardizem, which I am on for bp. On my med list in the hospital. I am also a highly allergic person, to a multitude of both drugs and foods. Surgeon and cardiologist both deny that there can be a problem since eluted quantities are so small. Claim drug interaction is insignificant, therefore keep taking Cardizem. Have most of the allergic symptoms claimed for Sirolimus. Was hospitalized again from 11/2-11/4 due to inability to breathe. Redid angiogram, verifying stent placement and being open. Had echocardiogram, V/Q scan, pulmonary stress test, all negative. Sent home, still unable to breathe. Oxygen helps tremendously (24/7 while in hospital) but my 98% absorbtion rate disqualifies me from having it at home. Their suggestion is to try cardiac rehab or anxiety meds. I had temporarely suspended Cardizem and added a Claritin in between hospital stays, which helped tremendously, until Cardiologist had me go back on the Cardizem. I am now going to start experimenting with suspending Cardizem totally to see if things improve over time. I am convinced that this is the problem. Or is breating not a requirement for a successful angioplasy. Am now breathing same as when I first went in for the procedure. Any alternate suggestions or ideas would be welcome. Also, Is there a place to report this to the FDA or manufacturers, or is it only reported via the Drs.?
Fred F. Cohen, Huntington, NY 11743, November 05, 2005

• You might want to read the informative article about some re-clotting problems with drug eluting stents that appeared in the October 21st issue of this year's Wall Street Journal. Some patients are having their stents get clogged when their doctors take them off of the Plavix or when the patient just forgets to keep taking it. At $150.00 a month at the local Walgreen Pharmacy, some patients just can't afford to take it for the rest of their lives and some may have problems when they try to stop the medication because of the prohibitive cost. According to the article these complications are seen in no more than 1% of the patients -- but of that 1%, there is a stunning 45% mortality rate associated with this small group. When you consider that 3,000,000 patients have already received drug eluting stents worldwide and that some doctors fear the patients' experiencing these problems may actually exceed 1%, you are looking at a minimum of some 15,000 unexpected deaths and perhaps a great deal more. I think it might be prudent for the cardiology community to to consider screening patients for sensitivity to the drug Plavix before rushing in to place the stent/stents. Once they're in there and problems arise in those unfortunate few, there doesn't seem to be much they can do about it. One doctor, who is associated with Vasomedical, the company that makes the EECP machines approved for treating angina, told me once that EECP helps improve the outcome of angioplasties. While he did not explain how or why that would be so, I do know that EECP treatments can help improve endothelial function in some patients. Mayo Clinic studies showed that to be the case. Improved endothelial function. by improving vascular system tone, might contribute to reducing vascular stiffness. It can also increase the body's producton of the enzyme, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which enables the body to convert arginine into nitric oxide (NO) which enables the vascular system to dilate, which increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to oxygen deprived areas of the body, which would include the heart and the walls of the vascular system. I guess help from EECP treatments would all depend on whether your endothelial system was dysfunctional or not to begin with -- but I guess patients need to ask their doctor about such things. And, I think doctors who need to tell them about such thing, in general, may not yet fully appreciate how a dysfunctional endothelium can upset vascular homeostasis and directly contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Gerald Oros, OrosCo Product Specialties, Collinsville, IL, October 30, 2005

• Oh my God, I just had a Taxus stent put in on Wednesday and Thursday evening I started with a rash. It's not terribly itchy, yet. My doctor thinks it is the Plavix. Now I have to take a benadryl one hour before the Plavix. My doctor said I must take the Plavix or I'll have a heart attack. I also feel like I'm on the verge of an asthma attack. That I blamed on the Toprol. This is ridiculous...I'm only 48!
smm, youngstown, ohio, October 09, 2005

• My husband had two stents inserted on 9/2/05. He hasn't felt well since the procedure, starting with lethargy, heavy feeling in the chest, heartburn, hiccups, almost daily new symptoms appear. For over a week now he's become very itchy, particularly the palms of his hands and bottom of his feet (hives show up wherever he scratches) (he had been taking Tylenol PM on occasion for back pain which contains diphenhydramine and may have unknowingly been relieving allergy symptoms prior to last week). He hasn't taken any Vytorin in 3 days (at the dr.'s suggestion) and also reduced his aspirin dosage to 81 mg/day(the dr. will put him on a new statin if the itching goes away by the end of the weekend). He is still very itchy today. By process of elimination we're trying to determine what drug might be the culprit. If it's not the Vytorin or aspirin the Plavix will be addressed. I've been reading about drug allergies all week and thought today as a longshot I'd check out if possibly he may be allergic to the stents. After reading all these responses I'm very curious if they may be at the root of his problems. Thank you for this forum...it may very well be that there are many patients reacting to these stents and not the drugs, but we'll cover all the bases and get back to you! BTW, his stents are CYPHER Sirolimus-eluting stents made by Cordis (Johnson & Johnson).
Ellen Prince, York, Maine, October 07, 2005

• Are any of you suffering 'allergic' reactions to stents etc. also by any chance on heparin? If so check out the side effects of this.
dee, england, October 5, 2005

• I had stenting in mid August 05 and within a week developed a rash similar to Gayle Moore and a number of other people on your site. I would be grateful for any help and advice. Can they test to see if I am allergic to the metal in the stents or paclitaxel? Is there any info about reactions to the stents. I have been quite unwell since my stenting and would be grateful any info or advice.
Philip Moody, Newtown, Wales, UK, October 5, 2005

• Pat -- we're not quite sure what you mean about going "down the back of his heart". We are pretty sure that whatever is wrong is not a stent allergy. Without knowing your father's medical situation, we can't really say much more. Maybe your father's doctor could see you and him together -- or refer you to someone who could explain things more clearly. We find it hard to understand a doctor "saying nothing" about a patient who is coughing blood -- he/she must have said "something".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 3, 2005

• I talked to my dad. He said after he has the stents put in it feel like a pinch in his chest. He talk to the dr. but he said nothing. Also the coughing of blood came after they went and put the stents in the Dr. went a week later down the back of his heart to see if there was blood there. That,s when the blood started coming when he cough. I have call the Dr. and my dad has went and talk to him but he has done nothing.
pat Newell, Bedford, tx. Tarrent, October 2, 2005

• I'm guessing that since exercise doesn't increase the ache is good -- probably means it's not heart-related, but what then is the problem -- given that it began immediately post-stenting. We don't have the answers here, but it's possible that this phenomenon has simply not been discussed or documented -- we've gotten a number of submissions of this type of feeling but there's nothing in the medical literature about this sense of tightness or congestion in the chest. Any thoughts from the clinicians out there?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 2, 2005

• I had a mid RCA stent in July 2004. Since then, I've had daily mild muscle-ache and congestion (in the chest area) and a groin and head-area rash that wont go away. My doctor says that that they are not related. Exercising (mainly jogging) doesn't increase the muscle-ache. I continue to have a chest congestion feeling. What is this?
AT, Milpitas, California, October 2, 2005

• Pat -- coughing up blood is a relatively strong symptom of something, but not a stent allergy that we know of. You should definitely call your father's doctor and see him as soon as possible, because something is clearly wrong. One quick thought is that he may be having an allergic reaction, possibly to a medication -- for example, ACE Inhibitors (used to control blood pressure) sometimes have coughing as a side effect, but there could be any number of reasons. Call your cardiologist immediately and please, let us know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 30, 2005

• my father had 3 stents put in Aug 9 2005. Since then he has a cough and cough up blood. Dr. can not find what is wrong. Could it be coming from the stents my dad said it started after he had them put in.
pat newell, bedford texas., September 30, 2005

• In 1997 @ age 25, I had a pacemaker implanted for a heart issue. Shortly after the implant I began having extreme swelling & hypersensitive pain in the area of the swelling. Typically my middle fingers swell 3x & turn colors then it bounces around to the big toes then back into the hands etc. I once was hospitalized for 7 days it was so bad. I was misdiagnosed with (sp) flexosynortenovitus. An infection in the tendon sheath once. I have been to multiple ER docotrs, Family DR. RA's, Nurologists etc. I have had every test from Lymes to gout. The cost to date exceeds $20,000.00 I still have major pain & swelling & refuse to be bandaided with pain medications. The only help when the swelling gets extreme is about 16-18 injections directly around the bone of a steroid & lydocaine. Then the swelling & pain will dissapate usually within 24-48 hours. But it always comes back somewhere else & my doctor says this is doing damage to my tissues. I am at my witts end & need serious help. I have suggested the metals in the leads & the pacemaker are causing this & I'm always told there's no way! I no longer have the condition for which the pacemaker was implanted & have requested several times to have it removed, but no one will. HELP!!!
Charisse Parton, Galena Missouri USA, September 22, 2005

• Responding to the posts below, we can only repeat what we've said before -- heart patients tend to be on several drug regimens: some to deal with high blood pressure, antiplatelet drugs to keep post-stent thrombosis from occurring, statins, etc. Any of these drugs can cause allergies and while those who are allergic are small (relatively) in number, none of these dismissive statistics are meaningful if you happen to be the allergic one. The best advice we can give is to promptly report these reactions to your physicians and see if there are alternative medications. As for allergies (or hypersensitivities) to stents, or to the drugs they are coated with, again these reactions are few in number, but not unknown. Metal allergies are known to exist and all stent manufacturers warn in their literature that stents should not be used in patients with known allergies to stainless steel, etc. We have seldom heard of pre-testing patients for metal allergies before stenting, but if you know you have such an allergy (something you might have learned from rings, jewelry, etc.) by all means let that be known. What is clear to us, from this topic and also from the topics on vascular closure devices, is that there seem to be a pattern of patients having a procedure that involves an implant of one sort or another, and suddenly experiencing symptoms (swelling, burning, etc.) where they never had them before. We encourage patients to continue posting these stories and also to communicate with their health care professionals and the F.D.A. Also, if you find that a specific drug was the allergy-producer, please let us know that as well -- it may help others.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 21, 2005

• In June my husband had a TAXUS STENT, put in. Almost immediately, within a few days he started breaking out into huge hives. He has a disease called pressurized edema, so we thought maybe they were caused by the blood pressure cuff, and where the IV had been. However, the rash continues to get worse as time goes by. Hes had the regimines on prednisone, benadryl and atarax. The rash will go away while on the medication, but as soon as hes done, he gets hives again, worse than before. Being a nurse I thought maybe he was having a reaction to the stent. All we keep hearing is , (That is not likely, there is no documentation of allergy reactions to the Taxus eluding stent). He has chest pain and swelling in his arms, hands and legs. The doctor said yesterday, that he might be allergic to Plavix, so changed his medication to Ticlid. Today he is broke out all over again after just spending two days in the hospital for this rash. It is driving him crazy. He has become very short tempered, hard to discuss things with, says he feels like he is losing his mind. I had him in the ER 5 times in the last 3 weeks. If anyone else is having these similar symptoms and "losing of the mind feeling" please let me know. I don't know what to do from here.Oh, he had the feeling of his throat closing off, they said his tongue was swollen. Help Us.
Loretta Craft, Kansas City, Mo., August 26, 2005

• I had a Taxus Express 2 Paclitaxel-eluting stent placed on August 4, 2005. I was feeling great until August 7, when I began having fevers, a slight burning at the top of my sternum, nausea and loose stools. I had and ER work up done on August 8, and was diagnosed with a viral infection, as my CBC, Sed rate, CXR, EKG were all normal. The GI symptoms have resolved, but the fevers persist. I had a similar reaction to monopril last year, which took 8 weeks to diagnose. I have a history of drug reactions that are unusual. I cannot take statin drugs, as they all give me some intolerable side effects. I questioned whether I could be reacting to the stent, but my cardiologist says he's doubful, as reactions are rare. I've reported my symptoms to Boston Scientific, and they acknowledge that some of the symptoms I have can be related to the stent. In doing further research on this topic I ran across this post in a Google search, so decided to post my concerns. When I asked Boston Scientific about treatment options for stent reactions, I was referred back to my physician. After looking at some of these posts, it appears there is no clear approach to stent reactions, or even much acknowledgment by cardiologists that this could be a problem. Seems as if there needs to be some pre-screening protocols for these drug eluting stents, particularly in patients with known drug reactions, and metal allergies. I do not want to become a patient with chronic vague symptoms that cannot be explained with testing. After talking with Boston Scientific, there are no real tests that can be done because the drugs are not detectable in serum, and there is no way to determine what kind of localized or systemic reaction the stent has on an individual other than maintaining patentcy of the stented vessel. I would appreciate any information regarding physicians who have dealt with stent reactions, and how they have proceded to treat their patients. I would also like to get more information on the centers/physicians that participated in the clinical trials for these stents, as they may be a resource for determining a course of treatment for stent-related reactions.
Gwynne Hannum, R.N., B.S.N., C.C.M., private individual, St. Louis, Missouri, USA,on Thursday, August 11, 2005

• My husband had 5 stents inserted into a blocked artery after suffering a heart attack. The first stent inserted caused the artery to collapse within 2 days. They inserted the other 4 overlapping stents in order to keep the artery open. This weekend (just 2 weeks after the procedure) he developed a rash in his groin area, under his armpits and along his hairline. He is now on prednisone but the rash has spread to his hands - they are swollen and very itchy and his face is puffy. He is just 47, no known risks for heart disease and was in great shape prior to all of this (played soccer and hockey). He still has another blocked arter (90%) that they are waiting to put another stent into (end of August). They are saying that it is the ace inhibitor that he is most likely allergic to. I'm thinking it's the stent and another one is just going to make him worse! What can we do?
Maria Sypek, Belchertown MA, July 25, 2005

• My husband had 2 coated stents inserted on June 9th. He had an allergic reaction and was taken to the E.R. They blamed Plavix and put him on Ticlid. With benadryl and prednisone the allergy was relieved. Within days he developed excruciating pain in his shoulder that then went to his groin and then to his right ankle/foot. He was treated with percocet but the pain still persists and is now moving to his left foot. The pain seems to move at random. His doctor took him off of the Lipitor, then put him on Lescol. He has since stopped the Lescol and is now on Zetia since they were supposed the culprits. I see others are having pain in different locations. Has anyone found relief or reasons for pain? I don't believe his cardiologists has it figured out yet and is just eliminating and trying different meds. We are open to all suggestions/opinions. Thanks.
Patricia Shinn, Oxford, Pennsylvania, USA, July 12, 2005

• Dear PS, was this a drug-eluting stent? Taxus or Cypher? There have been reports of allergic reactions to drug-eluting stents, rare but they exist. Boston Scientific (Taxus) has a hotline for questions about this at 1-877-829-8741. Cordis Corporation (Cypher) is in Miami, Florida -- don't have a hotline for them. However, there are a number of drugs that stent patients are put on that can also cause allergies. You should discuss this situation with the interventional cardiologist who did the procedure -- you shouldn't self-diagnose or go off any of the medications prescribed without medical advice -- for example, antiplatelet meds like aspirin and Plavix are very important post-stent.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 5, 2005

• My Dad had an Angioplasty two weeks ago (21st June, 2005) and had a stent placed on the artery at the left ventricule. He was discharged on 23rd June and 4 days later he had rashes all over his body and it was way too itchy. The rashes went away in two days but yesterday (4th July) his hands started itching. He had his stress test today (5th July) and he told the nurse practioner about the itch in his hands and she said he could take benadryl for that. Later in the evening his hands got all swollen and there seems to be a little bit of swelling under his left eye also, which looks more like an insect bite, but rather long n filled with fluid. We cant contact the clinic right now as it's after 5pm, but is there anything he could take to get calm down the itchiness and swelling? Please email me at prats23@gmail.com if anybody can help.
PS, Vancouver, WA, USA, July 05, 2005

• In answer to Joyce's concerns from 24 June 2005. Just a shot in the dark but was your brother put on statins (cholersterol lowering drug) back in December? If so, it might be worth asking about adverse reactions to these - muscle weakening and progressive loss of muscle tone is a well documented side effect of statins. Hope it helps. David.
David Pegg, UK, June 29, 2005

• Bill -- you didn't mention which stents were implanted, but probably drug-eluting stents which would be the Taxus or Cypher. Both are polymer-coated stainless steel stents. Stainless steel does contain nickel, so that may be the cause of your allergic reaction. Read comments from our February 8 post about what the device manufacturers post regarding allergies. Let us know how you fare.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 27, 2005

• At the end of May I had three stents implanted- one a rather long one. About two weeks afterwards I had hive like symptoms-several swollen areas including hands,feet and started on arms. Also feeling like there is something in my throat. Prednisone has temporarily relieved hives type symptoms but still feeling like something in throat. One cardilogist feels that it is Plavix causing "hives" (and wants to switch me to Ticlid) another one not- neither seems to really have a good guess about the throat sensation. Have a known allergy to nickel.
Bill K., Raleigh, North Carolina, June 27, 2005

• Joyce -- does he experience this pain in both legs? Which leg was used for the catheter? An allergic reaction to the stent would usually be indicated by means that can be measured, such as lymph node swelling, etc. Have they tested to see if the coronary blockage is still open? Can you tell us what type of stent was placed? Is he on medications, especially antiplatelet, like Plavix and aspirin -- and is he taking them?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 26, 2005

• In Dec. of 2004 my brother who was a healthy construction worker had a stent placed in a 90% blocked artery, in the last 6 months he has gone steadily downhill, & at this point is unable to walk without the aid of a walker (he is 56) and has excruciating muscle pain. He recently spent 10 days in the hospital as they tried unsuccessfully to find what the problem is. His legs are so weak they just give out. He keeps getting worse, anyone with any thoughts on what might be causing this please respond.
Joyce Verdin, Chanute, Kansas, June 24, 2005

• I would like to correspond with anyone having had adverse reactions to the Boston Scientific TAXUS Express 2 stents. My husband recently had six (6) implants at once, and has been sick ever since. The doctors are saying it can't be a reaction to the stents because the inflamation is not localized to the arteries involved, but is migrating from area to area. He has been tested for every auto-immune disorder, Lyme, and several other things. All have come back negative. Has anyone had similar experiences? If so, what has been the outcome, and what type of physician was able to help?
Peggy Barley, Newark, Delaware, USA, June 24, 2005

• My husband is taking Ticlid and was on Plavix but is having a reaction which he feels is this medication. He has cold sweats, pins and needles coming out of his head, thinks he is going out of his mind. The doctors say there are no other options since these two drugs are the only ones and he could get a blood clot and may have a heart attack. He is so bad he can not function at all. Do you know if he has any other options. Looking for some help.
Ann Mertens , Towson, Maryland. Baltimore, June 22, 2005

• Colleen, we suggested you check out this topic on allergies when you posted to the Forum Topic on Plavix. Let me just say a few words about the choice of drug on the stent. You are correct that paclitaxel is a drug used in chemotherapy. But the dosage on the stent is extremely low. Let me call your attention to our profile of the Taxus stent. In that article, we state "Additionally the proprietary polymer used on the Taxus allows precise control over the dosage and time-release characteristics for paclitaxel, permitting elution of a sufficient amount of the medication to inhibit cell accumulation around the stent and prevent restenosis, yet still allow a thin cover to form. Importantly this low and very localized dosage does not impact the patient adversely the way that a high dosage systemic course of chemotherapy would." The Cypher stent, made by Johnson & Johnson / Cordis uses the drug sirolimus, a very powerful immunosuppressive drug used in kidney transplantation, etc. Again both these drugs are eluted from the stent into the blood in very small doses and their effect is to reduce restenosis significantly. Both drug-eluting stents have been shown to be very successful. Both stents (and more are on the way) have been in development for quite some time and the FDA has reviewed them not only as medical devices, but also as drugs, and has concluded that they are safe. Now, that being said, there certainly can be adverse reactions or hypersensitivity. It is important to do what you did, i.e. call Boston Scientific to report the rash. It is also possible that the rash is from some other drug that your mother is taking (heart patients tend to be on several). Again, these reactions should be reported by you or your physician to the manufacturers. As for Plavix, it is necessary to take Plavix for 3-6 months or a year no matter which stent you have. The idea is to prevent platelets from coagulating around this foreign body (the stent) and forming a thrombosis, which can be fatal. We are currently working on a feature about the subject of Plavix, thrombosis and drug-eluting stents. We will post the link in this Forum when it's online. If you want to be informed when this happens, I suggest registering with us for our newsletter. Good luck and let us know if you find out more information.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 29, 2005

• My mother had a drug eluting stent (paclitaxel) implanted the end of Feb. 2005. Two months later developed terrible rash in several spots. Very raw on her arm. Cardiologist thought maybe from plavix, but doubted from stent. I researched and then found out about the "different types" of stents and was quite angry that paclitaxel, which is a chemo drug is used on a stent. I was told that a small amount always remains even after it stops emiting or eluting. i would guess that this is supposed to keep platelets from forming, but come on...give me a break, why would they use chemo as the choice drug with a stent of which goes into people who are mostly senior citizens, whose immune system is compromised due to the natural aging process alone. To implant a chemo drug, unaware to most patients until you have a reaction and do investigating on your own and THEN find out the different types of stent that there are. I am very upset, to say the least. She had an EKG a month after the stent and her EKG came back not good. The doctor said"oh I guess your EKG is just always going to read like this from now on." I recently read that one of the other side effects of stent is arthymia (spelling?). It seems as if the doctors don't want to say all these side effects everyone is experiencing is from stent. I also read that you should not have the Boston Scientic stent implanted if you are allergic to plavix or paclitaxel. I called B.S. and asked them, "how are you supposed to know if you never had to take these drugs before?" Just pray for one another. What's impossible with man is possible with God.
Colleen T., New Jersey., May 29, 2005

• My Father who is 76 years old had a Taxus and Cypher stent. both medicated put in the LAD In Sept '04. He started having angina in Feb '05 and had ECG changes suggestive of MI, angio showed that the Taxus stent had blocked. A medicated Cypher stent was put in. He started having fever and cough from April, all tests came normal. A repeat CT and Echo showed small amount of fluid in the pericardium. He was put on steroids and his fever and cough improved in 2 days. All his tests including bone marrow, bone scan and bronchoscopy are normal. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
Dr. S. K. Nakra, India, May 19, 2005

• This is a follow up to my last post. For any of those who have the Boston Scientific Taxus Express stent, there is a toll free number to call and request information on a potential allergy to the stent. The nurse will take your information and pass it along to the staff. You will need the lot number from the stent, which is located on the card the cardiologist should have given you when the stent was placed. The phone number is: 1-877-829-8741. A lot of the symptoms the nurse told me are the very symptoms I am experiencing.
Trena C., Pennsylvania, May 04, 2005

• I had four Cypher-sirolimus stents inserted on Dec. 22, 2004. After which, I was constantly dizzy, pain in chest, throat closing, could not eat and generally felt horrible. I felt it was reaction to the stents, but the doctors didn't agree. I need to add that I was feeling good before the stents and my blockage was only 70% in one place and about 50% in the others - no symptoms of heart or coronary problems. I had gone for a pre-op check prior to spine surgery and in the process ended up on the cath table. I am 72 years old. To conclude the stent story, on or about March 21, I started to regain my appetite and to feel better with no apparent reason or treatment. I still feel it had to do with an allergic reaction to medicated stents?
BYS, Leesburg, FL, May 01, 2005

(Editor's note: this is a follow-up posting to one that the writer made below, on March 19, 2005)
I am concerned about a possible adverse reaction I have had to a recent implant of a TAXUS Express 2 Paclitaxel-Eluting Stent, and need feedback from others to see if the symptoms I ve had are matched by others. An angiogram on 3/29/05 showed that the stent had in fact restenosed, which was resolved with brachytherapy on 3/31/05. The other symptoms of fevers and sternal pain continue. I believe that the stent, the polymer and/or paclitaxel has caused the problems I referenced [below]. I need feedback from other stent implant patients to see if any one has had any of the problems I have noted above, and what was done to resolve them.
Ken Bachman, Sarasota, Florida, April 28, 2005

• I had a Taxus stent placed in the LAD in December 2004 and began experiencing chest pain immediately. Was recath the next day to make sure it was still open and it was. Was hospitalized again 28 days later for chest pain that nitro wouldn't relieve. At first I was diagnosed with pericarditis and then costochondritis. I asked the doctor about allergy to stent and was told it was possible, but the stent only elutes the drug for 3 months. Chest xrays and CT scan shows nothing. I believe it is an allergy to the stent.
T. Czuba, Pennsylvania, April 27, 2005

• I too have has serious problems due to stents I believe, from rashes to swelling to fainting. I would like to share my story with who ever is having the same problem maybe we can get together and do something about this cause we care.
Patty Priore, Staten Island, April 18, 2005

• I had three Cypher sirolimus-eluting coronary stents inserted on March 28, 2005 as 99% artery blockage. I had an earlier heart attack in November 2004 and received angioplasty in December. I had chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia for some 15 years prior to this. I noticed within the first 48 hours of being stented that I began to experience the weird feeling in my chest. It is the "heart in my throat sensation" like " feeling of lump in chest." It is worst after I eat.
Marie J, Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, March 31, 2005

• I had a quintuple bypass re-do in November, 2002 (the original 4xCABG was in 1979). I am 62 years old and in good physical shape and am an avid bicyclist. After the healing process from surgery, I experienced pain in my right upper chest at heart rates above 120-125 bpm that the doctors concluded related to the healing process and prior surgeries. It turns out via angiogram two years later that the cardiac surgeon missed a 95% occluded arterial blockage in the LAD just below the down-leg of the new bypass graft that was installed to bypass the original bypass graft. The solution was the implantation of a TAXUS Express 2 Paclitaxel-Eluting Stent in early January, 2005, to prop open the occluded artery. I had two weeks of pain-free bike riding, and then started experiencing a tightness in the center of my chest upon exercise. Three weeks later I started having fevers and a right-side pleural effusion. 500cc of fluid was removed March 4. Blood and fluid tests came back negative. I continued to have fevers and fluid accumulation, with 500cc of fluid removed March 15. The second round of blood and fluid tests showed elevated levels of eosiniphils. I was started on a course of prednisone, which almost immediately eliminated the fevers and restored comfort to my right chest and abdomen. The cause of the inflammation is still unknown since all factors appear to be negative, including cardiac drugs like coumadin and Plavix which I have been on for many years. The stent is highly suspected due to the problems occurring so shortly after its implantation. Are there other cases out there that may be similar? One added footnote. Since I have been feeling better the last three days, I went on a bike ride this morning and experienced right side chest discomfort similar to the pain I was experiencing prior to the stent implant, only at lower speeds and heart rate. I suspect something has gone wrong with the stent which is the source of my chest inflammation and the re-occurrence of chest discomfort from exercise. I need help. Can someone provide input to help resolve this mystery?
Ken Bachman, Sarasota, Florida, USA, March 19, 2005

• I'm interested in the "feeling in the throat" that several contributors have referred to. I had six stents placed during a single angioplasty (three of these being needed to repair damage caused by the procedure itself). My immediate sensation after the procedure was as if I could feel something small and hard in my throat (almost as if one of the stents was poking through!). The latter is unlikely so I'm wondering if this could be analogous to 'referred pain': i.e sensation of the stent but with the sensation at a distance to its actual physical source. I wonder too how common is this 'feeling in the throat' phenomenon amongst angioplasty/stent patients.
John Gosling, Malaga, Spain, March 19, 2005

• 1 week ago my father had a stent put in an artery to his heart that was 95% blocked. That night in the hospital he had a fever then the next morning his blood pressure was really low. Also, he has had a rash that has been driving him crazy. The Dr. put him on prednisone, but that hasn't completely stopped it. He's also had a more difficult time urinating. I don't know if I should be worried for him.
Mary K White, Lexington, Kentucky 40504 USA, March 06, 2005

• Most stents are made of stainless steel, 316L stainless steel to be precise. This alloy also contains nickel. Some newer stents are made of a cobalt chromium alloy. There are individuals who are allergic to some of these metals. Manufacturers of bare metal and drug-eluting stents have published warnings in their patient and professional labeling that metal stents can cause allergies.

Here are some relevant quotes and citations, first from Boston Scientific, manufacturer of the Taxus stent: "Potential adverse events, which may be associated with the implantation of a coronary stent, include...allergic reaction to the metal used to make the stent (stainless steel)..." (published in their "Patient Information Guide"). Johnson & Johnson / Cordis, maker of the Cypher stent also states in their literature: "Persons allergic to 316L stainless steel, polymers (plastics) or sirolimus may suffer an allergic response to this implant. It is important to notify your physician if you have any known metal, plastic or drug allergies." (published in their patient booklet, "Is The Cypher Stent For You?"). A third warning from Medtronic, maker of the cobalt alloy Driver stent: "Persons allergic to cobalt, chromium or nickel may suffer an allergic reaction to this implant."

While the percentage of people that are allergic to these metals is small, it's big enough so that warnings of these allergies appear on company patient literature and professional labeling (required by the F.D.A.). We also include a question about allergies in our "Questions to Ask Your Doctor" article. Considering the number of letters we've gotten at Angioplasty.Org, we're going to put together a feature article on this topic in order to raise awareness. Thanks to all the patients who have shared their stories.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 08, 2005

• I am allergic to metal, and recently had an angioplasty with insertion of a stent. During the procedure, the doctor told me he was going to use a stent. I asked him if they were metal and he said they were. I then informed him that I was allergic to metal, and he replied that no one ever has had a problem with them. I subsequently spent 4 days in the hospital due to extreme pain in my chest which they couldn't manage and then began spiking a fever, which they never did figure out. I truly believe that the metal stent is indeed causing problems with my body. My skin is ultra-sensitive now, more so than it was before, and I am constantly plagued with a post nasal drip. Additionally, they have me on atenolol and lisinipril to lower my blood pressure, which was normal to begin with, and now I am suffering from chronic fatigue which I believe to be caused by trying to operate on a very low blood pressure. I should be feeling peppy and energetic after opening up my artery. Instead, I am always tired, having very little energy. Is it really healthy to have a blood pressure of 98/56? I used to run about 120/76 or so. Any comments or ideas?
Gail, Minnetonka, Minnesota, February 08, 2005

• I had two stents placed (one after each heart attack), but severe chest pain continued. After my troponin levels elevated, the next angiogram showed a severe case of Prinzmetal Variant angina (aterial spasms) that causes complete loss of blood to the heart. Because I have Lupus, the doctors think my body might be reacting to the stents with spasming. I also have the "lump in throat" feeling (the doctor says that is probably esophogeal spasm), and pain in my back, arms and legs that makes me shake badly at times. I was told that this condition can be deadly if they can't stop it, as it can trigger stroke as well as MI.
Laura Whitney, Glendora, CA, USA, January 19, 2005

• I have two stents put in since may 03. The first had something growing in it in March so they went in and took care of it and also placed another stent in another place. A couple of weeks ago I started to get a rash. It is now all over my body. Could this be caused by the stent?
tom bole, San Antonio, Texas, December 16, 2004

• I am an allergist in Cleveland following a patient with a severe allergic reaction after stent placement with a paclitaxel coated stent. I have stopped all his other medicines and he continues to have the reaction. I know that there are theoretical concerns with allergy to coated stents. Can someone please email me if they are also noting this problem? My email is trambasek@cox.net Thanks Todd
Todd Rambasek M.D., ENT Health Services, Cleveland OH, September 29, 2004

• Wed. March 31,2004 I was taken to hospital from work. I am 61 years old and have a very physical job. I was having mild chest pain and leg pain with hips really feeling like bolts of lightning going through them. I had a hernia with colon caught up in it. Ended up with 2 taxus stents in my heart and holding on hernia operation for 4-6 weeks. Unlike you all, I had the leg pain before the stents and at this point its feeling better by the day. I too have been through Drs. who look at you like your a silly old woman. It took a near death experience to get some one to listen. I hope some one can help, some where. Don't give up.
Nancy Stack, , Batesville, Indiana, USA, 17 Apr 2004

• My husband had a stent procedure in May of 03 he is 50. immediate swelling and severe pain in legs, shoulders, arms, hands. ANA test done and was very high. dr. diagnoses lupus. duke dr. diagnosed connective tissue disease "unspecified". he was put on hign doses of prednisone and now on plaquenil. something sounds very wrong here. for him to have been building homes before his heart attack and now to have full blown lupus is too wierd. he suffers still horribly and we don't understand. has to be a connection with the stent????
Alice Sloan, Wilmington, North Carolina, 07 Apr 2004

• I had a stent put in, and another artery ballooned on Jan. 13, 2004. Came home on Jan. 14. On Jan.15 started breaking out some on body, then awoke on Jan.16 broke out all over, eyes swollen, lips swollen the whole nine yards. Went to ER at local hospital, was admitted, had been on Plavix since day of catherazation, doc's thought this might be the problem or the contrast they used while doing procedure. Put me on Ticlid, stayed in hospital 4 days, taking predisone, and many other drugs to fight this problem. Then on Feb.4, started breaking out again, went to doc on Feb. 6, still don't know what is making me break out. My doctor's are puzzled as to whether it is the Ticlid, the contrast, or just don't know if it may be the stent itself. Mine is stainless, so we were told. I am allergic to nickel, so as of today, I am back on predisone, and other meds trying to get rid of all this breaking out. Has anyone else had this problem with stent, med. or anything that could be of help to me. I am ropes end! Thanks for all info.
Gayle Moore, Madison, North Carolina, USA, 07 Feb 2004

• I received a new stainless steel, drug-eluting (Rapamune) stent made by Cordis on May 14 2003. Within 12 hours after the procedure, I developed severe pain in my 'back' (high, between shoulder blades). That pain, in various degrees of severity, has been persistent since then, necessitating 2 hospitalizations, and I have a 'high' pain threshold. Nothing has been able to relieve the pain for any length of time (NOT Nitro, morphine, fentanyl, nor demarol). The only relief to some degree has occurred through taking anti-inflammatories. Also, following that stenting, I have had a persistent metallic taste, as if I was constantly sucking on a coin (I have had no dental fillings for the past three years). Last week, I was taken in for another heart cath. and was told that there was no evidence of re-stenosis. I continue to have the pain, and the metallic taste in my mouth. Also, the Troponin-I blood levels which they have performed on me are always elevated (generally 0.2, with the normal range being 0.0 - 0.04). How can allergic reactions to a stent be ruled-out, and might I have symptoms of such a reaction? Please respond.
Alan Siewert, Wauseon, Ohio, USA, 17 Jun 2003

• My husband recently had a stent and is experiencing discomfort and a burning senstation that sounds very similar. We are also wondering if it could be an allergic reaction. Is there any information on this or how to resolve it?
Mora, USA, 25 Jan 2003

• I also had angioplasy and a stent put in my right groin area on Aug. 28th of this year. I have not been right since. I have constant pain in my groin area and sometimes it goes down my leg. My doctor did some research recently and he says he found that there have been a handful of cases where patients have been found to be allergic to the nickel that is in the stents. I have found that I AM allergic to nickel. My doc is trying to reach the company that makes the stents to find out what the other doctors have done for their patients that have been found to have this allergy. I wasn't aware that you can't just TAKE OUT the stent like it was put in, you have to have bypass! Wish I would have known this before.
Katie, Baltimore, Maryland USA, 28 Dec 2002

• My Mother had a stent placed in her "largest artery" which was "90%blocked" in july of 2001. from that moment until this, she has lost her verve, she has lost 15% of her body weight within first 3 months (to which her doctor asked how she was feeling), she is confused and on a holy host of blood pressure medicines, none of which could she tolerate prior to july of 2001. her wellbeing is abysmal: the medical community is looking to depression and "ensure" to treat her currently. she had been in excellent health, save random wildly-beating heart episodes, one of which took her to the doctor. she would much prefer her wildly-beating random heart episodes.
Dale McDonald, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, 29 Oct 2002

• My Mom is scheduled for a PTCA in a few weeks. She has had severe reactions to metals in the past, including stainless steel staples repairing a laceration she received about a month ago. Is there any preventative measures that she can do if she does in fact have to have a stent placed? What are your recommendations?
Anita Anderson, Covenant Health, Knoxville, TN, 20 Sep 2002

• On May 28th. my wife had a stent. Almost immediately her platelets dropped to a count of 4. She felt lousy. The operating doctor said she had an allergic reaction to the medication applied to the stent so as to reject plaque accumulation. After 1 extra day in the hospital she was released with a platelet count of 37.5 She continued to feel lousy and went to her doctor that was treating her lupus as she thought that might be the cause. Blood test ran on June 26th showed that her lupus was ok. July 2nd she was in the emergency room with a blood pressure 237/129. The empergency room got her to a Kidney specialist who diagnosed her problem as "Cholesterol Embolism Syndrome", a cyrstalization of the plaque in her arteries that have clogged the arteries and veins that lead to her kidneys. Recent tests indicate that her kidneys have shut down. As a result the doctor is admiting her today to the hospital. As a result of this crystalization process her legs are in severe paid especially her toes which have turned blue. Does anyone have information on treatment for Cholesterol Embolism?
Jack Quinn, Columbus, Ohio USA, 15 Jul 2002

• I had an angioplasty and stent placed one inch from my aorta. One week later my feet began to swell and were so painful I could not walk. No explanation was given for this and at this time, three weeks later, my feet are in more pain than ever before.
LouS, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA 20 Mar 2002

• I had an angioplasty with one stent inserted. A while after the procedure I had the "lump in the throat" feeling, and eventually (6 weeks later), it went away. Now I experience it only mildly and occasionally. I tried deep breathing. Deep breathing may have helped or it may have been coincidental.
CherylT, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA, 1 Mar 2002

• John Baldock You ask a great question John! Why indeed? Could it be that the EECP procedure is so much less expensive than the invasive procedures and is therefore much less profitable to the physician and hospital? Sadly, your situation is not uncommon. Something must be done. Lets all just wake up and "smell the coffers" in this situation. Suggest that you log onto www.vasomedical.com and request the free Larry King Video on EECP to learn about why EECP works so well, then pass it on to a neighbor.
Gerald Oros, Collinsville Illinois, USA, 21 Feb 2002

• I had quintuple (5) coronary by-pass surgery. Because of failed grafts shortly after surgery had 3 additional angioplasties. Placed on beta-blockers, nitro and other drugs to no avail. Thought my life was over until I found out and went through 35 EECP treatments. Life has returned to a semi normal existence. EECP gave me great results from a non-invasive procedure. Why didn't medical science offer EECP to me first, and save my native arteries and all the scars and pain associated with surgery?
John Baldock, N/A, Reno, Nevada, USA, 13 Feb 2002

• I have had two Stents inserted on 2nd October 2001 and have a similar occasional feelings or awareness of the stents in my chest. I don't have any allergies that I know of, I feel the above must be normal.
Gordon Mchugh, Ascension Island, 17 Nov 2001

• I had a stent placement in August of this year & have had severe swelling of hands, fingers & feet & was wondering if it was a possible allergic reaction to the stents? My stent was placed in the groin area.
Diane Guarrieri, Albany, Ohio, USA, 27 Oct 2001

• My "significant other" just had Angioplasty w/ Stent. Since having the procedure he complains of aching in his arms and chest...no pain...just an achy sensation. His medications were increased and he is on a heavy duty Beta-Blocker. We are looking for answers too.
Sheila Quinlivan, Bernardston, Massachusetts, USA, 6 Jul 2001

• My wife is experiencing something very similar. She had a stent put in about 3 years ago and has been in for all sorts of tests. All negative. She too has been tested for Hiatal Hernia. She is experiencing severe stomach pains along with the chest pains. Currently, the doctors have put her on anti-depressants in an attempt to remove the pain, but its only effect is to reduce it. In the last 6 months she has begun to experience pains in her hips too. If you get anywhere please let me know, as our doctors have admitted they cant find anything wrong and don't seem to be able to effectively treat her.
Colin Williams, Crowthorne, Berks, England, 11 May 2001

• I also had problems after a stent placement The doctor said that I did'nt have pain because of good test results. I went and saw another doctor and started EECP Enhanced External Counter pulsation and solved all problems
David Zemaitis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, 26 Dec 2000

• I had an angioplasty with 95% blockage in two places. One stent and one balloon was put in. I have had the same symptoms and been tested for same as you. Even had 24 hour monitor and event monitor. I think my doctor feels I'm neurotic at this point. Still no explanation. I do get back pain in mid back and get that "heart in throat" feeling. All the doctors say is that it is muscle pain. I am presently in cardiac rehab and physical therapy. The back pain continues as does the "weird lump in throat feeling". Still no explanation but EKG looks ok. So, I'm going on with my life and hope it is not a problem. It does cause discomfort and some nervousness. Didn't have this feeling before the stent and I, too, wonder if it is an allergic reaction as I have many allergies both to medicines and airborne. Cardiac rehab is an excellent way to build yourself back up and very supportive. Good luck. Let me know if you find out anything.
Evelou, South Carolina, USA, 3 Jun 2000

• Two years ago, this may I had an angioplasty and stents were placed in my illiac arteries because they were blocked. Since then, I have been in chronic pain and the doctors don't know why. My legs and feet feel like they're on fire, and paid meds don't help.The procedure went fine but about three days after the surgery, I started feeling the pain. Could I be allergic? Has anyone had this happen to them?I want my life back. Can anyone help?
D.D. King, 16 Apr 2000

• I have had two angioplasties with stents. The first, followed a heart attack, the second, a series of angina attacks. After both procedures, I have experienced a "feeling" in my upper chest into my throat and occasionally down my arms. Also have frequent heart flutters (I think from Meds.) All my tests are normal and have been tested for Hiatal Hernia, etc. I keep asking if it possible to be reacting to the stents. (I have many allergies.) Does anyone else have this type of problem? I never had these feelings before the original heart attack. Help!
M. Sterriker, Englewood, Florida, March 23, 2000

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