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Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES) Hypersensitivity (2006 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 2006 (151):

• This topic has certainly become popular in the past year. It is sometimes difficult to sort out possible allergic reactions to the stents, or to the metal or to one of the many drugs used by heart patients. Awareness of metal allergies is not new. This has been known since stents were first used over a decade ago, and all package inserts caution physicians NOT to implant stents of any sort in people who have known allergies to stainless stell or nickel. Drug allergies, such as reactions to Plavix, are also well-known -- but sometimes they don't manifest immediately, and sometimes they may not be drug allergies, but a hypersensitivity reaction to the drug-eluting stent. Trying to sort this out is the subject of a research study now going on. As we have noted previously, Angioplasty.Org has teamed with a group of university-based researchers who have launched a significant study of this phenomenon, and they are looking for patients who feel they have experienced an allergic reaction after implantation of drug-eluting stents. For more information, email us at Your privacy will be respected and your email address will not be given out to anyone. We will send you more information about the study and a contact email, should you wish to pursue it. It is, to our knowledge, the ONLY study currently being undertaken to examine the area of drug-eluting stent hypersensitivity.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 31, 2006

• I finally found something that helps. Phosphytidylcholine (PC) IV therapy. This is not chelation, very different. My problem started the day after a DES was inserted in my LAD artery. Felt like an elephant on my chest the second day after my stent, and severe every day for many months. Fever of 101 for 31 days. Also severe nausea, extreme weakness, etc. I tried all drugs, calcium channel blockers, beta B's, anti-inflammatories, anti-histamines, hundreds of different drugs and supplements. Nothing worked. I had hoped for anti-histamines to help, but not helpful. I went to Thailand for a $30,000 stem cell heart surgery with Theravitae/Vescell; it did nothing for me whatsoever.

I then read about and took oral "Phoschol". Google their "Phoschol" site, go to their "library" on their site, and click the pdf e-book titled "Phosphytidylcholine as a Membrane Therapeutic." Many government and med school studies on Phosphytidylcholine for all diseases, and heart disease. Oral Phoschol is a nice product, but did not help me at all. Stent folks need PC through IV, and that worked for me to some extent. My MD gets his own IV PC bags through a pharmacy, custom made. But there is a company PLAQUEX that also makes it. Google the PLAQUEX site. Interesting studies, though some are geared to sell their product. Some are product neutral IV PC studies. IV PC takes about 40% of my pain away, not all my pain. And you have to keep doing it once or twice a week for several weeks. It is a 2 hour drip. Instead of feeling like I am about to die, I feel like one who has angina, nausea, etc. I still have to have a low stress life, etc. I still can't work. Everyone (including cardiologists) should read about IV PC, find an MD that does it. It saved my life, (and others I have met) though it is not a perfect treatment. It won't remove my stent, but it saved my life many times. I was in very bad shape. But every time it gets bad I go back and get more treatments. Even this improvement I am grateful for. It may help others more than it helped me. I do it once a week for a few months then stop for a while. Works far better for me than all the many drugs I have tried (and chelation was not effective for me). E-mail me if anyone else has had a good result with IV PC, Phosphytidylcholine or PLAQUEX. I would be interested. More doctors should make PC available, and order their own IV bags from a pharmacy, which is made for about $30 for doctors. Treatment with MD costs the patient about $135 each time. The result is impressive for one who is in trouble. I also believe it was likely responsible for my zero calcium score I now have, shown on my CT, and raising my systolic ejection fraction from 39 to 72, though I still have significant diastolic dysfunction. I have records to likely prove the EF and calcium improvement.

Also, see the new study that shows proof sirolimus on the Cypher stent kills cells, prevents collateral growth, stops necessary angiogenesis. A well known interventionist who reviewed all my angiogram CD's told me I now have far less microvessels everywhere below the stent all down my left descending artery, since my stenting. Prior angio CD's showed very healthy microvasculature. So my problem is likely this. Cypher polymers may also be a cause, but most likely it was sirolimus (a poison which stops cell growth) which drips downstream from the stent for 9 months. Thus the DES problem is worse than just an allergy, rather a permanent damage caused to nearby/downstream microvessels, perforators, collaterals, etc. Perhaps PC brings the remaining existing microvessels and perforators more temporarily back to life a bit. Though it is not likely that PC will help grow new ones.
Steve G, Florida, USA, December 30, 2006

Bob - I had a similar incident with itching. I had two Taxus 2 stents placed in July. About a week ago I got a case of itching all over my body. I couldn't get relief and had difficulty getting to sleep, having to get up every 5 minutes to scratch my back. The next morning it was gone and hadn't returned.
Kevin, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, December 29, 2006

• Hello I have been doing a lot of research on the topic of systemic allergic reactions to nickel and the way it interacts with other drugs. I am highly allergic to nickel but it didn't stop there. After discovering some drugs interact with nickel in ways no one understands I did further research on this topic and although I am not a medical professional in anyway this is what I think. It's just a guess. Some drugs bind with nickel. After initial exposure to the drug and the binding occurs your immune system recognizes this new bound antigen as that an antigen and your immune system kicks in. It's a very individual reaction and that is why you see so many different symptoms. I have hired a toxicologist to help me understand what happened to me after my nickel implant.
Sharon, Colorado, USA, December 29, 2006

DENISE, PITTSBURGH PA, December 28, 2006

• My father had three Medtronic drug-eluting stents inserted during an angioplasty procedure on Dec 1,'06. After about 25 days, he has started to get red rashes all over his body - back of the knees, back and arms. Also a bit of swelling on his tongue. At this stage, they are not especially painful or troublesome, but the rashes seem to be spreading. His cardiologist is not sure what may be wrong, and referred my father to a dermatologist, who has prescribed over-the-counter skin creams. My father was on Plavix for about 15 days, after which he has been on another thinner. He has been on aspirin all through. There has been no changes in his food or environment. Thanks for any ideas.
Nagarjun K., India, December 27, 2006

• To all posters in this topic about allergic reactions after drug-eluting stents, Angioplasty.Org has just teamed with a group of university-based researchers who are about to launch what will be a significant study of this phenomenon, and they are looking for patients who feel they have experienced an allergy to drug-eluting stents. For more information, email us at
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 26, 2006

• I had two Cypher stents placed on the back of my heart in April of 2005. I have had a burning between my shoulder blades since that time. Now, more recently, when I drink something cold, it burns more intensely. I did take Plavix until one month ago. I had begun to review this forum of information and then had a kidney stone "blasted" and definitely had to stop taking Plavix for that reason. I bruise too easily now, so I am not taking the Plavix. I do understand the increased risk of clotting when not on it, but I don't want to bleed internally either. Can anyone report on whether they have had this intense burning? Also, I did have severe hives when I went back on Plavix after the kidney stone procedure in late November. It took over one week for the hives/welts to go away and heal. My other information to provide is that I know I am allergic to stainless steel and my cardiologist did not ask about any metal allergies prior to the procedure. Thank you all very much.
Mike Averitt, Houston, Texas, USA, December 22, 2006

• Lois -- it is hard to say what the cause of your pain is. It could be a blockage starting to form in the stent -- a stress test will hopefully help answer this -- if there are questions you may need to have another angiogram and, if there is a problem, have the stent re-opened at that time. Doesn't sound like the typical allergic symptoms that others have been reporting, but this is a new and not very well-documented area, so please let us know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 22, 2006

• I am a 66 yr old female who had a Taxus stent put in LAD 6 weeks ago. I have been in cardiac rehab and doing pretty good for someone who had never exercised prior to this stent. I had a 70% narrowing, no heart problems but found this after a CT scan so the cardiologist felt the need to do the stent as a preventative measure. I take Plavix and aspirin every day. Yesterday I got very severe chest pains that were crushing and we went to the doctor's office where they said the EKG was normal and gave me Nitro for the pain. I have never experienced anything like this and now I am on 1 Isosorbide pill every day for two weeks when they will do a Treadmill Myoview Stress Test to see is something is wrong. At time of stent, all other arteries to the heart were fine. Has anyone experienced this unbearable chest pain weeks after feeling okay after the stent was put in? I am so depressed and scared as to why this happened as I thought I was "fixed" as my doctor said.
Lois, Las Vegas Nevada, USA, December 22, 2006

• Dawn in Michigan, I am responding to your posting of the problems you have been having with the hive-like rash on your chest, shoulders, back and face. Have you gotten any relief from your symptoms? My dad is having the exact same effects and had had them for over 2 years now. He has been everywhere for help. It has not actually spread to his entire body. None of the doctors know what to do for him. Please share any information with me that you can.
Sandy, Lincolnton, North Carolina, USA, December 21, 2006

• My wife had stents in July (three taxus drug type and one bare metal). She has since been getting progressively worse with many symptoms (burning pain, muscles spasms and general very poor health). She finally got off plavix and is feeling much better. She is still weak hopefully she will continue to recover. She is not on statins just BP and thyroid. She is taking aspirin for clotting,Ticlid was worse than plavix.We found a canadian medwatch mention of this and found the patient also got better going off plavix. We are concerned that aspirin will be sufficient for clotting control. Going to get aspirin resistance test. Also planning ahead with a surgeon in case she has a need for emergency surgery. I'm also seeking advanced life support training in case. All this for a case of stable angina. No previous heart attack.
S.M., New York, USA, December 11, 2006

• Gwynne -- we'll be sending you information about the stent hypersensitivity study.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 11, 2006

• I'm writing to obtain more information about the studies being conducted re: allergic reactions to DES. I have a Taxus stent that was placed in August of 2005. I posted a note on your forum page while I was in the midst of that reaction. My reaction lasted exactly 3 months. Therefore, my cardiologist, internist, infectious disease specialist, and I all FINALLY concurred that my reaction was probably related to the Taxol, and not to polymer on the stent. I want to participate in this study if I qualify. I also want to be able to have the information for future use, if I require a second procedure. I also want to pass the information on to my cardiologist.
Gwynne Hannum, R.N.,B.S.N., C.C.M, CHPN, St. Louis, Missouri, USA, December 8, 2006

• my husband had a Taxus stent implanted in May of 05. Prior to implantation he was asymptomatic. After implantation he had episodes of "feeling like he couldn't catch his breath", sweating, extreme fatigue. These symptoms are still occurring but with less intensity, especially after heavy physical exertion, like carrying objects from the car or basement, gardening etc. Is anybody else experiencing symptoms like this? Let me know.
Jojo, Ontario, Canada, December 6, 2006

• I have a Boston Scientific Taxus Express 2 in my RCA. I have not experienced any negative effects except for itching for 2 days. In reading some of your comments I saw this in many. I had itching over my entire body. After 24 hrs it began to subside and I had mild itching for a few days later. Since then it has not happened again. This was about 9 months after stent implant. It happened after I ate some microwave popcorn so I thought I had some weird reaction to something in the popcorn and a med i'm taking. I really don't know. Like many others I'm on plavix, toprol xl and altace. I'm also on advicor, so I thought maybe it was a niacin reaction. It's very difficult to discern what caused it. Before having the stent implanted I've had a few episodes of weird itching episodes but usually with rash. This recent reaction was itching with no rash. Other than that I seem to be fine.
Bob, North Carolina, USA, November 30, 2006

• Jeffrey -- thanks for your comments -- our only addition is that this information IS on the front page of our website -- we have a link to this Forum Topic on possible stent allergic reactions and if you Google "Stent Allergy" you will also come to this topic.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 30, 2006

• My post is in response to many sad posts I have read on this site. I wonder why doctors tell people there is no problem with stents, no rejection, etc., when the World Congress of Cardiology met in Sept '06 and the announcement was that drug eluting stents are dangerous, not useful, and should now never be used except in very unusual circumstances, tiny vessels only, and even then only rarely. They cited recent discovered severe problems. And the announcement was all over American TV news in September 06'. I wonder also why people posting on this site are not aware of this. The World Congress of Cardiology said bare metal stents should be used less also. They announced problems of thrombosis, clotting, rejection, allergy, etc., especially with the drug eluting stents. Some at the meeting suggested that these problems are all related. The suggestion of many at the conference: avoid PTCA, and if necessary just PTCA ballooning with no stent. And if stents are necessary, bare metal only. If you don't believe this, just Google "World College of Cardiology", and "drug eluting stent" and you will see the many articles. I have had nothing but severe chest pain, weakness, nausea every day since my drug eluting stent was inserted. Wish it was never done. H2 receptor blockers (e.g. OTC Pepcid) which are essentially antihistamines are a tiny bit helpful for me. And some (patients, cardiologists and scientists) have the theory it will limit histamine/immune related inflammation in the heart/vessels. Scientists are now studying this. H2 medicine has some side effects though. And stents cannot be safely removed. Mortally dangerous to try. So one is really stuck. I have tried every remedy possible. Nothing works. In case some wonder if my problem is esophagus (or GERD) related symptoms, I have tried proton pump inhibitors (e.g.. Nexium) and all possible related GERD medicine. Nothing helps but occasionally Pepcid, since the problem is not gastro caused but heart/histamine rejection/allergy caused. Recent interesting studies also bear out that PEPCID may be helpful for heart failure generally on its own. Pepcid is not a perfect solution, but may be helpful. Google these issues and you can learn on your own. The stent polymers never wear off, per the manufacturer, and if they did, the metal may also be a problem. No answer except to try to live as long as possible with the stent, its pain, and all of the other stent related discomfort and problems. If anyone has had success with gastro-antihistamine like Tagamet, Zantac or Pepcid, please post so we can read about it. Some informed cardiologists are now trying antihistamines (including Benadryl) on stent reject patients. Some cardiologists are even suggesting the more dangerous and less successful try of prednisone or celebrex, which are not a good idea. Surprised these things are not being posted or explained on this site. It should be on the front page of this entire web site.
Jeffrey G., Florida, USA, November 29, 2006

• My friend has been to the Mayo clinic for the past two days and no one seems ready to accept the fact that this is an allergy to nickel. She has seen another allergist, rhuemotologists (3 because they are curious) she had the nuclear medicine for her heart and the all exciting stress test which she lasted exactly four minutes and the Dr. came running into the room to get her off the treadmill and laying down and taking nitro. She had to lay there for over an hour while they determined if her symptoms were dangerous enough to be concerned about. So far the doctors at Mayo are all "frustrated" and have no idea what to do about her symptoms. All symptoms point to an allergic reaction, but since there is no "data" no one is willing to admit or acknowledge that these symptoms might be an allergic reaction to the stents. We are no closer now to knowing what if anything can be done for her. We see the cardiologist on 12/10 or sooner since they told her today they would be evaluating all her testing and possibly scheduling more appointments for her. The symptoms are the same as so many people on this forum, that I feel sorry for them because I know what this is like to live with, but from a second hand nature, I don't know what I would do if I was living this nightmare every day.
Cheryl Hein, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 28, 2006

• I had 5 stents put in in April and May 2005. Two in April were J&J Cordis DES and 3 in May were Taxus Express 2 from Boston Scientific. In addition had 5 previous stents from 2002 and 2003. Since my stents in May 2005, I have had long spells of chest pains lasting 2-3 weeks at a time, nausea, and episodes of low blood pressure (as low as 80/40). Just one more thing. I do get this strong pulsating (Fluttering) feeling in my thighs and it lasts about a second each time but leaves me very concerned. Has anyone else had similar experience. My doctor has no explanation. I am unable to work and trying to fight for disability. Any help!!!
Vijay Varma, Palo Alto, California, USA, November 25, 2006

• need to know if anyone has had the problem i am having. i received a taxus express stent on november 1 2006. now 2 weeks later i have broke out in a hive-like rash on my chest, shoulders, back and face. have been on plavix for years now, so that is not the problem. have used Benadryl and it subsides for a while then i get a new outbreak.
Dawn, Michigan, USA, November 15, 2006

• hi my husband had a heart attack in may of 2006. The day after he had a stent put in his heart. Then the cardiologist told us he would need 3 more. So the next month, June, he went back in and had another one put in, at that time we also found out that the 1st one had clogged up. That was why he was having chest pains again. In July 2006, he had 2 more stents placed. In August 2006, we were back to the hospital with more chest pains. ER docs told us it was an infection in his lungs, gave him antibiotics. Chest pain subsided for about 2 months. In October 2006, had to have another stent. Now he is having soreness and selling in his chest. Could this be a side effect of the stents? Or his meds, he is on plavix ,aspirin, lopressor, prilosec, glucophage, crestor, reglan? We are at a loss here. Husband can't work due to his illness. All he wants to do is sleep. I feel like I have lost my best friend and husband. I don't know what to do anymore. PLEASE HELP!!!!!
S. P., Pennsylvania, USA, November 12, 2006

• My husband age 69 just had three stents from bio [Boston] scientific placed in his heart. first couple weeks fine but weak, now itching, choking feeling, rapid change of blood pressure from high normal to really low, weak heart beat, flushed, aches, chest pains. He is a total mess and not dealing at all well with this.
Helen Senig, Lancaster, Ohio, USA, November 11, 2006

• Update to June 24, 2006 posting for Bill Blanton's Cypher DES. We are still trying to get test materials from a different avenue at this point. We may be able to get them. Bill's heart doctor told him last week that in January they will run some test that shows the stent by use of a camera. It should show exactly where it is and if it is healed. Depending where the stent is they may be able to take it out. If it is too deep in the heart they can't. It would still be very risky and also bypass would have to be done at the same time. Bill was wondering about this thinking that the polymer wears off in time. Most doctors don't think it goes away. Does anyone have any information on why or what makes some doctors think it may wear off? This has been mentioned on the forum. At this time, after 13 months, Bill's burning & pins and needles sensations are getting worse. Bill still has a sore throat and hoarse and has since the beginning. The sores on rectum and private areas have healed. No one really knows why. He still has sores in mouth. His energy level is good and he eats much more. Stomach doesn't bother him much anymore. This whole thing is strange. Looking forward to a reply and thanks to the forum for listening!
Terrie Blanton, Hamilton, Ohio, USA, November 4, 2006

• I had a Taxus Express Stent 2 put in 7/3/06. The day after,I complained of chest pain. Told by my cardiologist I shouldn't have any pain. According to him, I was good as new. I've continued to have chest pain I never had before the stent was placed. I've been to the Dr. almost weekly with the same complaint, chest pain. I've asked my family dr. & my cardiologist if I could be trying to reject the stent & was told that hasn't ever happened. Now I do believe that is exactly what is happening. Who can I contact or where can I go to get help for this very painful condition? They make me feel like I am crazy for even having that idea. I am allergic to surgical steel & nickel. I've just turned 44 (female) & don't look forward to a life of pain & more meds. Too many now as it is. I am so frustrated by all this. Any help?
Teresa Y., Ohio, USA, November 4, 2006

• I came across your forum by looking for information re: Nickel hypersensitivity after heart surgery. I was a healthy 53 year old 3 mile a day runner before my prophylactic!!! mitral and tricuspid valve repair 5 mo. ago. I was absolutely amazed to see posting after posting the same symptoms I have been experiencing. Hives, itching, chest discomfort, periods of stabbing or dull heart pain, peri clavicular and back pain, pressure on my throat when bending, SOB, nauseating dizziness, exercise intolerance, episodes of rapid pulse during rest, palpitations, no energy My sed. rate during one of my Hospital admissions was 100%. I had to have fluid drained from my right lung. My platelet count is twice as high as before the surg. I knew from day one I had all the classic symptoms of an allergic reaction. I was only on 325mg of Aspirin for a few weeks afterwards because it was done robotically. I'm on no other Meds!!! After requesting a copy of my surgery report I read to my horror that numerous Nitinol (Nickel/Titanium)clips had been implanted around both valves. I knew I was allergic to Nickel and had even told the nurse during my pre-op assessment. I have been running into brick walls ever since. Nobody wants to point fingers. The surgeon asked me" are you depressed?". No!!! But I'm getting there. One Allergist/Immunologist refused treatment the other wanted to treat me for asthma. My primary care MD calls it "post surgery syndrome" because she has no idea what to do with me. I made a copy of a manufacturers warning not to use their nickel containing device for patients with known allergies to nickel, to show to my cardiologist. He was well aware of it, he says it comes with all the devices he uses for stent placement. DOCTORS WHY DON"T YOU ROUTINELY SCREEN YOUR PATIENTS !!?? I want to scream it from the roof tops. Not that it would do any good, they can't hear us, their heads are sticking in the sand.
Gabriele Schnegg, Lakeland, Florida, USA, November 4, 2006

• The Mayo Clinic gave us great information today. We were told that my friend's problems may be renal and the toxins in her body are what are causing the "storms" she has. The joint pain and swelling appear to be something that with medication and monitoring can hopefully be treated and will make her life livable again. At least we were guaranteed that the stents can not come out and they would not ever recommend removal of them especially since her heart muscle is still very strong and healthy. I am not sure where some doctors get their licenses or their information, but is was very reassuring to listen to doctors who use actual data and statistics to make their diagnosis. She will still have tests that need to be done, but feels reassured that someone is finally looking at something other than her heart wanting to do surgery that certainly should not be done.
Cheryl Hein, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 3, 2006

• Thank you for your response to my post. My friend is going to the Mayo Clinic here in Phoenix tomorrow. Hopefully they will be able to help her with her health issues. She had the three stents 2 years ago and since then the complications and illnesses relating to this allergy have done nothing but increase steadily. The stents were all placed in the RCA and her cardiologist was fully aware of her allergy to metals, in particular nickel. She is experiencing excruciating headaches, extremely high blood pressure peaks, and continued muscle and joint pain. She has been on plavix since the beginning and doctors insist she stay on it. Have stents ever been removed successfully. Her cardiologist told her not to worry, it was only a little nickel. Regardless of the amount her allergist has stated that she is so allergic to metals that if she wore jewelry over time it would eat the tissue around the jewelry. The allergy test for nickel burned a hole in her skin within 24 hours. Her cardiologist was very aware of the allergy and in fact did not disclose the materials that stents are made of to her. She found out herself when she was home from the hospital and read the brochure from the manufacturer. I am hoping that the Mayo Clinic has some answers for her. The pain and suffering she endures is becoming more frequent and severe.
Cheryl Hein, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 2, 2006

• I had a Taxus stent placed about a month and a half ago, and ever since I left the hospital, I have had a low grade rash under my eyes. It can get more or less red at different times, but remains constant. I am curious if it could be the stent or the plavix that they put me on at the same time that may be causing the reaction? Any advice? Benadryl does not seem to help.
Melodie S., Florida, USA, November 1, 2006

• My father has been battling Lyposarcoma for 12 years with relative success. He is 71, 6 ft tall and 130 pounds. After having a medicated stent put in in March of 06 he became very ill. The tumor which was 7 cm in March, grew to over 15 pounds 32 centimeters .He could not eat. They could not operate until July because of the Plavix and stent. He has suffered many complications and still is very ill. He cannot eat, has esophageal ulcers and confusion. While I am sure some of the complications are from the cancer, we believe that the stent was the final factor which made him so ill. What help is there for patients who need a stent removed? what are the risks?
Lynnmarie, CES, Mentor, Ohio, USA, October 31, 2006

• J.B. -- an obvious question, but was there anything else that occurred 5-6 months ago? New drug prescription, etc. that you hadn't taken in the previous 2 years? While it would seem that an allergic stent reaction, or a reaction to a drug you've been taking would not take two-plus years to manifest, there is some thought that, as the polymers on the stents are slowly broken down by the body, the hypersensitivity reactions only then begin to show up. It can take a year or two before that process even begins. Let us know.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 29, 2006

• Need information. Cordis stents. Sweating, cold, after taking toprol, or Nexium. Have 2 stents 1/29/04 installed. Found that after taking benadryl feeling of sweats and cold started to diminish and then were gone. Is there anyone else out there that has had a problem like this? This problems just started in the last 5 months. HELP.
J.B., Illinois, USA, October 29, 2006

• I had a cypher stent put in on 9/15/06. I have had 3 prior bare wire stents 2003 2004. My dr is normally reliable, but this time he put in the coated stent, with "Sirolimus" and polymer coating. Problems from day 1. I AM ALLERGIC TO MYCIN DRUGS. He was well aware of this and admits he made a wrong choice, and is now under pressure to find a fix for problem. I am short of breath, suffering muscle spasms, have BP running 140/75 to 202/98 without activity. Also have a pacemaker from 2003. The Mycin problem is killing me slowly, and Johnson and Johnson has no history of problems with improperly used stents. Anyone that can help?? Please.
Ken F., Florida, USA, October 27, 2006

• I have been reading these postings with great interest. I am 50, had an acute MI in 12/2004. Fixed with a stent. Now I have 3 Taxus DES, 2 Cordis, and 2 Guidant DES's. On a different note, I have a great cardiologist, my stents have given me none of the problems listed and I feel very lucky. However, I was wondering if you have any info on the growth of scar tissue posing problems with restenosis? Thank you and I am glad I found your web site. Lynn Jackson
Lynn Jackson, Columbia SC, October 23, 2006

• Thank You Forum Editor for your speedy response. I have been on Plavix now for 26 months for the first 3 DES stents and 17 months for the last stent. I want off Plavix soo badly. I feel a lot of my "not me feelings and itching" may be coming from the Plavix. I hope someone somewhere can tell us just how long we need to be on this drug and when it is safe to get off. I did have a blood clot 9 months after the first 3 stents which resulted in the 4th DES stent. But, I never got off the Plavix to warrant this blood clot. They were going to send me home from ER but decided to take one more set of heart enzymes. The last set, Troponin was elevated 5.0 (peak) and so was the CK-MB. The heparin was then started. They wanted me on 2 months of Coumadin but since I was on Plavix they changed their mind in fear of hemhorraging. Thanks so much for this forum. It is a God Send.
Lise, Texas, USA, October 23, 2006

D.T., Washington DC, USA, October 22, 2006

• Glad to see that the FDA now recognizes the fact that some people are either allergic or hypersensitive to the metal in stents. So, what are possible complications of having 2 in the cardiac arteries? I've read somewhere that the components of stainless steel can cause liver damage? And what do I do now that I've learned the cardiologists ignored the warning on the manufacturer's package? Is there anything I can do short of having a bypass? I don't want to have more surgery, but I don't want to die either - I've already lost too much of my life thanks to the cardiologists and vascular surgeon.
Carole, Atlanta area, October 17, 2006

• Lise from Texas -- the itching you describe in your earlier post may be a reaction to Plavix. This can't be determined without taking you off Plavix long enough to see if it stops and then, if it does, putting you back on to see if the itching returns. To do so, however, is not recommended because you need to stay on antiplatelet therapy. An exception would be switching to a different antiplatelet drug, such as ticlopidine -- although it has its own set of allergic or adverse reactions. Talk to your interventional cardiologist about this. As for "covering" your drug-eluting stents with bare metal stents, there'd be no reason. You'd only be adding more metal and more chance for a reocclusion or blood clot. This whole issue has been very confusing to patients (see our "Patient Advisory") and more information about drug-eluting stents is going to be coming out in the next couple of weeks. It's important to put headlines in perspective -- the new drug-coated stents are not filled with "toxic materials" and they have been shown to reduce the amount of restenosis seen -- this means less repeat procedures. They have also been shown to cause a slight but nonetheless significant increase from bare metal stents for stent thrombosis (blood clotting) which means that this can be prevented by keeping patients on antiplatelet therapy longer than the FDA has recommended -- currently 3-6 months. This is something cardiologists have been doing for a while, and certainly more now are aware of this -- most cardiologists now prescribe Plavix and aspirin for a year or more for drug-eluting stent patients.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 16, 2006

• To: Forum Editor. I recently posted below. Do you know if there is any way that Bare metal Stents can be used in conjunction with the DES stents? I am wondering if they can place 4 BMS inside of or on top of the 4 Cypher DES. I know I am not alone in my thinking ever since the news came out on the DES and toxicity and DES and long term use of Plavix. My doctor is not talking. Sad indeed. Thanks soooo much for this forum.
Lise, Texas, USA, October 15, 2006

• Nora -- the Driver is not a drug-eluting stent, but a bare metal stent made by Medtronic. It is not made of stainless steel, but a Cobalt alloy which allows it to be very strong, but with very thin struts, making it less susceptible to re-closing. Medtronic states in their Directions For Use (DFU) "Persons allergic to cobalt, chromium or nickel may suffer an allergic reaction to this implant." Does your husband have any of these allergies?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 14, 2006

• My husband had a Driver stent put in in May. In June he started pains in his groin and legs. He came off the lipitor and plavix, no improvement. He is hardly able to walk he is in so much pain. All tests come back negative. Last week a neurologist said it was arthritis in both hips. How come this started right after the stent was installed and getting worse by the day. Does anyone have any answers.
Nora, Canada, October 10, 2006

• I have had 4 Cypher stents placed 5-6 months apart. I am on Plavix and a Beta Blocker and a statin and baby aspirin. Every since these stents, I have had left breast discomfort. I asked the Stent doctor if he had to use the defib on me during the procedure as this is how bad I hurt. His answer is NO. I am also itching...itching where I have scratch marks all over my body. I KNOW it is either the Toxic material they claim is in these DES stents or the Plavix. I also have low serum Globulin and a high Globulin/Albumin ratio and low Ferrtin. This was never seen before these stents and Plavix. Doctors have no clue. I want these DES stents gone now. Give me the bare metal. )-:
Lise, Texas, USA, October 10, 2006

• Dan A. -- thanks for the followup. It's really important for patients to read stories like yours. Yes, there are problems and complications. Even allergies. But perspective, especially over time, is very helpful. A cardiologist recently told me the importance of figuring out about these allergic reactions is not that anything in particular can be done once the stent is in, but to give patients the understanding of what the cause is, and that it is not permanent -- he believes the allergic reactions will subside as the body breaks down the polymers on the stent. In any case, whether or not you had an allergic reaction, getting back on the horse, or in your case, the bike, is so important. And we're very glad to see that you and your cardiologist were able to discuss your problems and help resolve them together, as partners, with understanding as well as medical care. Thanks again for the post and happy biking!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 10, 2006

• Follow-up to my first post of 12-30-05 -- I originally reported possible allergic reactions to drug eluting stents as described in my post below. As time passed, those symptoms largely subsided, but two symptoms appeared which persisted for a time and required medical attention:

1) occasional unexplained, sharp localized pains in the area of my heart. I swear I could feel the heart muscle and the pain was right there. These were transient and have largely disappeared over the 10 months since my procedure.

2) PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) also commonly known as "skipped beats." These have also largely subsided.

I sought and received consultation and monitoring for the PVCs. My cardiologist explained that the symptoms I'd been experiencing were not uncommon and were understandable as the body is acclimating to the insertion of a foreign body in the critical heart area. These symptoms are also known to be related to stress, so one must be careful about blaming one cause or another. The 48-hour monitor test showed a peak of something like 250 PVCs per hour, but none were sequential or repetitive. The doctor said this was not sufficient to intervene, but that if symptoms persisted I was to notify him.

As the months have passed since my procedure, I have been extremely faithful to my exercise routine, walking 1/2 hour or bicycling around a local path that includes some long grades. I have found biking to be a superior workout, and as a bonus it has much lower impact than walking. I really enjoy it. I recently had an incident that still goes largely unexplained. In early August I began experiencing pain similar to that which preceded my Dec 2005 stent placement. The pain was accompanied by cold sweats, heat flushing and light-headedness. After a couple days of this I spoke with my doctor and he suggested I go to hospital for tests. Upon checking in I was observed to have a fever of 100.7 F. I was given a nuclear scan stress-test (my 5th in 6 years) and the results were very good. My exercise had paid-off: it was the best observed response since testing began at the beginning of my heart problems in 2000.

My symptoms were suggested by doctors at the hospital to have been a virus. The pains were likely muscular rather than angina. A month later I met someone in my age group (55+) who had an almost identical experience to mine at exactly the same time in the same hospital. I do not know if he is a stent patient. They told him the same thing: a possible virus. I take aspirin and Plavix daily and haven't had any unusual reactions to it that we know of. I had taken it in 2001 for 6 months after my first angioplasty (bare metal stents) with no problems. I also took it for several months in 2003, which produced gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, so I have been on Pepcid AC twice a day since then. My second procedure in December 2005 allowed my surgeon to examine the bare metal stents and all five were clear, about which he was very happy. The recent news about late stent thrombosis is of concern, but as my recent tests have shown marked improvement in exercise tolerance, I am happy to report no significant problems of late.
Dan A., California, USA, October 7, 2006

• I had a drug eluting stent placed on July 18th in one of the arteries with 99% blockage. I am not sure of the manufacturer of the stent. I do get intermittent mild chest pains on the side. I also feel sensations like burning spots and popping nerves all over my body. I am on Plavix, baby aspirin, Toprol 25mg and Vytorin 10/20. Now I know that this is not in my head. This site is of great help. I can [give] specific questions to my cardiologist when I visit next time.
P. N., Texas , USA, October 3, 2006

• Hi. I wrote earlier about negative reactions to the stents. My husband has since gone to a naprapath who found he was overly sensitive to nickel, Zocor, and other things that were causing his allergic reactions. He is being treated and the night sweats have gone away and it seems to be working. Others with allergies might want to look into it if nothing else is working.
Heather, Vail, Colorado, USA, October 2, 2006

• Cheryl -- Where were the stents placed? Were they drug-eluting stents (probably not, unless they were coronary)? Most stents are made of surgical stainless steel which contain nickel. All of the DFUs (Directions for Use) for these devices contain warnings, required by the FDA, to the effect that they should not be used in patients with a known allergy to nickel or certain metals. The problem comes when such an allergy is not known about beforehand or, if it is known, it has not been communicated to the cardiologist. We have heard that steroids have been used to quell temporarily some symptoms. We would also suggest consulting another immunologist -- did yours actually say your friend would die a slow painful death? It may be that when the stents become covered with endothelial cells, these allergic reactions may subside. The period varies, but should be in the first six months. By all means report this to the FDA. They need to know about these adverse events. Maybe it will force them to publicize the metal allergy aspects more. Meanwhile, we'll do what we can to inform patients.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 1, 2006

• I have a friend who is highly allergic to nickel and has had three stents inserted. Cardiovascular surgeons have told her surgery to remove stents is always fatal. Her bad days are outnumbering the good due to joint swelling/pain, "metal storms" that cause blood pressure to spike 180/110 on medication that rest of time maintains blood pressure. Her allergist assures her that her death will be long and very painful without the stents being removed. Is there any surgical procedure that can be done to remove the stents or any further treatment for her pain. Her quality of life is beginning to deteriorate and in this day and age I can't believe something further can't be done for her.
Cheryl Hein, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, September 30, 2006

• My wife had four stents in July 2006. She also took plavix. She has had severe burning leg pain and some arm burning and back pain since August. She went off plavix to ticlid and her pain subsided some. Doc put her back on plavix for safety reasons and now is miserable with pain. She is also on neurontin for pain. When will medicine be honest and up front before people buy into unproven medicine. We asked before if there were any complaints about plavix and we were told nothing major. We also were told you don't need CBC tests done on plavix only ticlid. Both can give you TTP. A neighbor got TTP from ticlid a few years ago. almost died. Doc told him his case was one of ten world wide. Believe that and I'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
Rick F., New York, USA, September 30, 2006

• Email sent to the FDA: I am writing you about a coated stent that I had placed in my heart in March of '06. Since the placement of it I have had all kinds of medical problems starting with vomiting 2 weeks afterwards, then elevated histamine levels, taken off plavix put on ticlid given prescription allergy meds off aspirin back to plavix off allergy meds then my bladder started spasing, kidney on the left hurting. Took blood test found blood and infection on antibiotics 2 weeks later flu like symptoms muscle aches, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, headache. 3 weeks approximately later another UTI was sent by family doc to an Urologist who ran test found slightly elevated bacteria trace blood. Gave me antibiotics July 13th I doubled over in pain and had a lot of blood in my urine. Called the family doc saw them went back to urology doc who did more tests and incidentally found a mass on the pancreas. Placed me on a low dose of antibodies (which I am still on) Sent me to a gastroenterologist who did a magnetic scan in which they found a 9mm cyst on the pancreas and several smaller masses that are two small to characterize on the left lobe of the liver as well as the left kidney. She was concerned of Pancreatic cancer but are unable to examine this due to the plavix that is required because of the stent and chance of blood clots. They are monitoring the growth of this. I will be seeing them on Oct 18 again. I have vomiting every 5 to 7 days for a day. constant pain in my left area including the kidney the bladder and what I will describe as something Jagging me that is sharp around my Pancreas area. There is something wrong. The flu like symptoms appear every few days for about 12 hours. The last week I have felt as if the heart is closing and there is pain developing around the Left breast near the lymph node under the arm, The top middle of my back to the left shoulder blade hurts. I have told all who will listen that I think my body is rejecting this stent. From the cardiologist to the gastroenterologist All of them, I will see him this Thursday October 5th at 9am. I have had my family doctor get in touch with another cardiologist and I will be making an appointment to see him in DC. I know that this is an allergy and it needs to come out even if this means open heart to by pass. Please remove these until further test is done I don't want others to go through what I am going through. I am 48 years young with a active lifestyle and a 10 year old son and this is kicking my ass I can't imagine if those who are not as healthy as I am having this done. Thanks for your time. If any questions Please feel free to contact me.
Cynthia Maley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, September 30, 2006

• My husband had 3 stents placed in the circumflex artery in April. He has night sweats quite severely. He also can't focus, is fatigued, has headaches and muscle cramps (including back aches). We don't know which stent but know it is a drug stent. He is on Plavix and Zocor. Is only 52 and was quite active but is now quite frustrated. He doesn't have the itchy rashes that we hear others have but something is definitely wrong. All the blood tests were inconclusive. Thanks for any ideas.
Heather, Vail Colorado, September 24, 2006

• I just saw this topic on allergic reactions. I have 4 DES, 3 Cyphers and One Taxus. Last stent was in late 2005. I take Plavix. Recently, I have been itching all over the body. No rash but redness where I have dug at the skin. I have never been allergic to anything. I am wondering if I could have a late reaction to either the coating in the stent or the Plavix? I have also had a wheeze constantly for over a year like I have ASTHMA. I never had this before the stents or the Plavix. My doctor is of no help. he cannot be bothered with female complaints )-: Just wanted to share this information.
CeCe, Texas, USA, September 16, 2006

• My name is Annie, I feel the same way that Bill Dudley feels. I had a stent put in the LAD in July and I haven't felt better at all. I keep getting pains in my chest and short of breath plus the shakes and I'm always nerves. I feel that it is the plavix. Also what symptoms are there if I'm allergic to the stent. I just feel bad all the time. But my doctor tells me to continue to take the Plavix. He is going to do a echocardiogram in a couple of weeks to see if the pains are coming from any thing having to do with my heart. I still say it is either the Plavix or the stent. This is really got me down.
Annie, Parkton, Maryland, USA, September 11, 2006

• It is 3:35 AM EST. once again I am awake-itching, itching, lips and tongue burning, throat feels clogged. I am on Ticlid-which I suspect is the problem ( I am allergic to Plavix.) It seems when I stop it for a day, the symptoms subside-I am very uneasy to even do this, but I get so miserable. In fact, the whole experience with the placement of the Taxus II drug eluting stent has been miserable. I have chest pain, SOB, that odd heart beat that sent me to the cardiologist in the first place again and my stress test is abnormal still. Apparently my stent is mid LAD and in an area that is very small, intersecting another artery so a second stent is not a good option. I wish the stent had never been placed and I suspect I am echoing the sentiments of many patients. The thing that is troublesome to me is that the possibility of a stent was never discussed with me (although there was a full year from the time of an abnormal echocardiogram to the cardiac cath to do so: I received a call from the hospital on the initial scheduled date of my procedure informing me that the equipment had malfunctioned so my procedure was delayed and it it took me some time to get up the nerve to do the procedure, given that I had some odd symptoms that presented after a heart cath in 2001-joint pain, muscle pain, muscle twitching problems swallowing, various DX-Polymyalgia Rheumatica, Guillian Barre, Lupus-left me unable to work for two years: I literally begged my current cardiologist not to do anything that would set off my immune system again) nor did I agree to a stent: I agreed to an angioplasty. now I am in a position that I cannot return from- I am very concerned that I will go back to that terrible pain and loss of functioning again. I am in my early fifties, I was enjoying being with my grandchildren, I has returned to school to get my master's, was working and life was returning to normal-here we go again. How can a procedure, with no return, like this be done without serious communication and informed consent along with use of more conservative measures first? Does anyone else feel violated? I guess I wouldn't be so put off, if I had not told my doctor about my odd immune responses in advance. I have a real problem with medication sensitivity-I have since I was young. I am not the only one in my family with atypical immune responses of which my doctor was aware. Can any of this be changed other than a high risk removal of the stent and wouldn't this still require the use of either Plavix or Ticlid? It makes me sad to see myself and so many others trading our quality of life to exist like this.
Robin S., Ohio, USA, September 11, 2006

Rick, Nebraska, USA, September 6, 2006

• about the right renal stent that was put in 2005. my allergic reaction happened right away...from the moment it was over i had this awful burning and stinging in my back. i did tell the doctor, and no remarks were made..he also saw the sores on my legs which he thought was the altace. i have since been tested for nickel, negitive..however thirty five yrs ago i had gall bladder surgery and was stitched up with stainless steel wire sutures.. they were removed seventeen yrs ago, it took me that long to find a doctor who listen to me..the pain , the burning it was the same, as today. that is why i believe its the stent..but I'm having trouble again, because this is all so new and not much information.
Sue W., Texas, USA, September 4, 2006

• Hi All My name is Bill - male-60 yrs. old-was very healthy I thought But-June 1 -06 had drug coated stent installed after going to ER with chest pains - Think it was the left LAD First couple weeks felt pretty darn good - little weak. Now for last 30 days or so my chest area is very sore at times or when I move in bed just right. I stay nauseous and weak most all the time. Blood pressure floats from 117/60 to 135/69 throughout the day. Food now makes me sickly feeling, as a matter of fact my tastes have totally changed. Meds are Toprol-25mg-Altace-5mg.-Plavix-Aspirin-lipitor-40mg - Doctor took me off Plavix and Lipitor for three days to see if made any difference , but really didn't. If I work outside any or exercise any the chest area around heart hurts-not big pain-just very sore and begin to get very jittery-shakey feeling. About 2-3 weeks ago had ECG and 8.5 min. Stress test and both were good. My doctor says he does not know what is wrong but to get checked out by family doctor to see if something else is wrong, that might be unrelated to stent procedure. If anyone else is having such problems as these or have found some answers be glad to talk to ya , as I need some help - as my world is turned upside down now as is so many here. LOVE this site - my email is By the way I have no insurance and this is costly. WOW.
bill dudley, retired, montague, texas, USA, August 30, 2006

• So, it's been 10 months since I had 2 Cypher stents and an ICD put in. I have finally convinced my PCP to give me a referral to get allergy testing done for the materials that compose my stents and ICD. When we finally got around to talking about it specifically, she said she was hesitant to request the testing because she said "it would be a dead end". My final argument was that at least there would be a written record of my allergies. What she was implying though, is she doesn't want to do anything with the information. No one wants to assume the responsibility of taking all this stuff out though I am the person who would be taking the risks. To me the risk is worth it because the quality of my life would drastically improve. At this point with the misfiring of my ICD in April (10 times in 20 minutes and i was in sinus rhythm when it went off)I am afraid to do anything, including nothing.
M.J., Washington, USA, August 28, 2006

To Mickie, Tennessee, USA "Allergy doctor, arthritis doctor, heart doctor say it is the stent but don't know what to do about it. help ANYONE." Mickey, why is it that so many millions of patients are not having such a problem with the stents? Could there be something wrong with your vascular system which is reacting to the stent? This could be caused by inflammation, constriction and what is now being referred to as a pre-existing state of endothelial dysfunction. Correct that and your body maybe able better tolerate the stent. Seek out diets which fight inflammation. Also check out a non-invasive, FDA approved, CMS reimbursed, outpatient treatment option called Enhanced External Counterpulsation or EECP. It not only may help grow new collateral blood circulation to the heart, it may also restore normal endothelial function which decreases the possibility of restenosis. These are unique patient benefits not realized from invasive procedures. Visit and read as much as you can. Then, seek out the experiences of other patients using or trying to use EECP which is a topic on this forum. Now, physicians often will not mention EECP as a treatment option because, IMO,they are not fairly reimbursed for the time and service they render to deliver EECP. But if the patients ask for it and demonstrate that they have a knowledge of the advantages of the treatment, the physician will almost always oblige them if it is at all possible. Good luck.
Gerald O., Illinois, USA, August 25, 2006

• Sue -- pretty sure that the Express stent in your renal was not a drug-eluting type, so if it were causing the problem, it would be due to a nickel or other metal allergy and most likely would have shown up relatively soon after (you didn't say when your symptoms began). A possibility is a reaction to one or more medications -- we've read of purple spots, etc. with Plavix. Look up each drug you're taking (including any over-the-counter non-prescription meds) and see if you find an adverse reaction that fits -- although don't change or stop any meds without consulting your doctor! Let us what you find.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 23, 2006

• In 2005 I had a right renal express stent put in because of blockage and high blood pressure. I am on 50mg of toprol, 10 mg altace 2x day, Hydralazine, zyrtec, lipitor have these awful red sores, and itch. Upon healing I'm left with big purple spots. My biggest problem is the heat spots or burning in my back. To date getting worse, cant sleep, work. as I always feel I'm on fire...pain little below waist feels like burning and nerve ends. Nobody even my doctor understands this or why it's happening...ANYBODY ELSE HAVE THIS?
Sue W., Texas, USA, August 22, 2006

• Thanks to all who've been writing in. A couple quick notes. To those taking over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines such as Benadryl, we urge caution. Benadryl is a vasoconstrictor -- it narrows the blood vessels -- which for those with high blood pressure can aggrevate the condition. Also, if you've had a procedure to open up a blockage, narrowing the vessel is the opposite of what you want. We're not saying don't take it, but we urge you to discuss this (and ALL OTC medicines) with your cardiologist or other doctor.

On a second point, this is a particularly complex issue and, for those patients who are having what they feel may be allergic reactions post-stenting, a very frustrating one. Not much is known about this issue and very little has been written in the medical literature, but Angioplasty.Org is one of the few (if not the only) places on the internet where patients have been discussing these potential allergic (hypersensitive) reactions to drug-eluting stents since they were introduced a few years ago. To that end, we will soon be announcing some interesting news and urge our readers to continue posting and check back to this topic over the next week or two. Thanks.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 21, 2006

• My name is Mickie. I had the coated stent 5-23-06. I have had all the bad things happen to me too, and I get no answers from my doctor -- rash, hives, temp, RA factor went up to 240, was put on steroids, sugar went over 500 at times -- take up to 5 shots a day now going crazy trying to find answers. Allergy doctor, arthristis doctor, heart doctor say it is the stent but don't know what to do about it. help ANYONE.
Mickie, Tennessee, USA, August 18, 2006

• I am 37 yr old, male. My mother had a CABG done at the age of 55.. I do not smoke, but had high cholesterol which was under control on Crestor I was off Crestor for last 2 month because of high cpk(500). I experience chest pain on 25th may while attending a conference. Fly back to home other day and went to ER. Two sets of cpk and troponin were negative, not sure about the third one. Next morning 9hr after being in the ER cath was done , showed 90 % lesion in LAD, and a 2.5mm Cypher stent was placed. During stent placement I woke up with the pain, probably when they were deploying stent. After stent since I was complaining of substernal chest pain, two cath were done one on the same day of initial cath and one after two days. Both times, stent was found to be patent. I was discharge on following medication:

1. Plavix
2. Baby aspirin
3. Lipitor
4. thyroxine.

While at home, I continue to experience chest pain, which is constant in nature. Common locations were left sternal border, close to 2nd and 3rd rib, axillary region radiating into left arm, tip and medial border of left scapula, with tingling sensation on the anterior surface of arm and radial and ulnar borders of forearm. Also have itching in left axillay region. While walking on treadmill, it do get more pronounced. I had a stress cardiolyte test done after two weeks, which did not showed any ischemia, I was able to do it for 10 minutes, peak heart rate of 190, but test was stopped secondary to fatigue and shortness of breath. No significant increase in chest pain and there were no ekg changes during the test. CBC was normal, no eosinophills. ESR and C-reactive proteins were normal. Normal ANA and factor V.

A CT angiogram was done after 4 weeks which was also read as negative. Although the intensity of rest pain has decreased, but chest wall pain, or pain at back around base of scapula get pronounced on treadmill.

I have my second nuclear stress test done after 8 weeks, was also normal. I went to see a top cardiologist at Mayo, who after reviewing my records ruled out ischemia as a cause of my pain. Did not give any satisfactory explanation of chest pain. When I raises the possibility of allergic reaction, he said its extremely rare and there is no way of knowing if I am having allergic reaction. He also recommend L-arginine. After coming back from Mayo clinic I started my self on Benadryl I notice decrease in severity of pain. I still have soreness, but the punch of pain has gone. I am not sure why I am having this pain, what should I do about it. Could it be stretch pain? Am I having allergic reaction? If I am having allergic reaction, what can I do? Can stent come out?
R.A., Louisiana, USA, August 17, 2006

• I am Male 53, who thought was in good health until I experienced MI in May 2006, although I did smoke, until the day I had heart attack. I was treated with drug eluting stent to one artery 90% blocked, I am unsure of which stent was used, although I do know I am included in a special trial of a new stent. I have been back to my cardiologist 3 times complaining of fatigue, some chest pain, lack of energy, etc. I feel much worse than I did prior to the MI and subsequent treatment. Subsequent tests indicate echocardiogram is normal, nuclear X-rays of blood flow in heart is normal, and EKG appears almost normal, with one small spike in the signal. My cardiologist says I had a very mild heart attack, with miniscule damage to the heart muscle. I did walk into the emergency room on my own.

Drug therapy includes, 75 mg plavix, 81mg aspirin, 50 mg Toprol XL, 40 mg Lipitor, and 10mg Lisinopril. Doctor changed Toprol to Coreg 6 mg twice a day on my last visit, but it made me feel worse and I went back to the Toprol. Chest pain has since subsided, but I have otherwise continued to feel much worse. In the past few weeks I began experiencing itching, starting with inside of nose and mouth, some sores in the mouth with the itching being the roof of my mouth. The itching has since spread to back, arms, hands, feet, face, especially forehead, and genital area. My hands are ultra sensitive to the touch of leather, paper, and other smooth surfaces. I had a similar reaction several years ago to niacin, prescribed for high cholesterol.

I went out of town last weekend and accidentally went without my medication, so I missed Friday night, Saturday morning, night, and Sunday morning regimen. I had up until this time thought I was depressed, causing the fatigue, lack of energy symptoms.

However, after having missed medication doses, I felt much better by late Sunday afternoon. I resumed medication on Sunday night when I got home, Monday morning and by late Monday all of the symptoms were back, with itching seeming to be much worse.

I made an appointment to see my cardiologist this Thursday afternoon (tomorrow)as soon as I could get the appointment. My question is: how much risk would I be taking to stop my medication for the next two days, or could I skip one or more of the medications short term without risking restenosis? I think my reaction is due to the plavix, but of course I am not certain of that. I do know that one of the drugs is causing the itching, even if the other symptoms are due to another problem. Thank You.
Steve Shirk, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, August 16, 2006

• Hi, My wife has a carotid artery break but is highly allergic to nickel...does anyone have an option for her or know of stents without nickel in their composition?
Chris Bradley , Encino, California, USA, August 2, 2006

• Update to June 24, 2006 posting re: Bill's possible hypersensitivity to Cypher Drug Eluting Stent. Bill's allergy Doctor called and canceled his appointment to be tested for allergic reaction to the stent because Cordis and the manufacturers of the materials for the stent refused to send the materials. This doctor said he exhausted every avenue available to get these materials. No one would help! He said he cannot get them. I think he contacted Boston Scientific also. He could only get the Sirolimus from a drug company but it would be around $1,000 and the insurance would not cover it. In my opinion this is not a show of good faith; it's more a show of not caring. Has anyone else had any luck with this? Bill went back to his regular doctor last week because of more skin problems and he told Bill he thought he was hypersensitive to the stent and told him, "if the medicine I give you doesn't work we can't heal you." The doctor told him he is in a minority and we cannot please everyone. Bill told him that doesn't matter -- someone needs to help us that are [in a minority] -- he didn't answer him. Has anyone else had sores in the mouth, on privates and rectum? If so, were you treated successfully? Bill and I thank the Forum for all that it is trying to do for all of us.
Terrie Blanton, Hamilton, Ohio, USA, July 20, 2006

• My husband had a Taxus Express 2 Paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent placed 4 weeks ago. He was placed on Plavix, Aspirin, Metaprolol, Lipitor, and Protonix. After 3 weeks, he broke out in hives necessitated his first trip to the E/R. He received a shot of Benadryl and a burst of Prednisone. He continued with a severe rash and was back in the E/R less then 24 hours with the reaction threatening his airway. We contacted his cardiologist the next morning to report the event. He took him off all meds except Plavix and Aspirin and added a regular regimen of Benadryl and Prednisone. As if things weren't bad enough, now he had severe joint pain and swelling and the rash coming and going in waves,strangely worse at night. Trip 3 to the E/R with the addition of Oxycodone for pain. Over the next 3 days the joint pain and swelling became so severe he could not even lift himself up to stand. Finally he had an appointment and Plavix was removed and Ticlid took it's place. He also added the rest of his meds except Lipitor. It's been 4 days now and he's just starting to feel a little better. We're hoping it was the Plavix causing the allergic reaction. We're praying it's not the stent and the Paclitaxel it contains. I hope this helps someone out there as in this period of time 4 doctors told us they've never seen a reaction to Plavix this severe.
John N., Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA, July 18, 2006

• Shirley in Kansas -- there are many possible reasons for negative reactions after any medical procedure. If you read through the many postings on this and other Forum topics, you'll see many similar reactions. Possibilities are: reaction to one of the several drugs prescribed for heart patients -- statins can cause muscle pain, Plavix can cause rashes, blood pressure medications can cause a range of etc. Secondly, more research is being done into possible allergic (hypersensitive) reactions to drug-eluting stents -- this can be from the drug being eluted, sirolimus in your sister's case, or from the polymer material that coats the metal stent, or from the metal in the stent itself. There is also the possibility of a psychological reaction, usually depression and fear, that can come with any serious procedure. All of these are real and should be treated. From our many postings, it would seem that not enough emphasis is put on possible allergic reactions, and too much on psychological explanations (e.g., "it's all in your head") -- however, the mind is a very powerful medicine and can trigger very physical reactions or vice-versa (for example, Dr. Dean Ornish successfully treats his heart patients with relaxation and meditation, as well as diet). There's no question that a person who had been unaware of any health problem, and who suddenly finds that they have a chronic disease like atherosclerosis that requires an intervention, can become depressed and distraught. Who wouldn't?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 18, 2006

• Consider investigating an allergy to metals or NICKEL. I've had the T.E.S.T. patch test which showed definite reaction to nickel. It's hard to find an allergist who does this test but keep looking. It's not very expensive especially when one considers the fact that you'll have some answers. Most stent manufacturers warn against inserting them into persons with sensitivity/allergy to metals. Many doctors don't believe in metal allergies although there are studies supporting this. So far my doctor won't deal with this. The horrible itch can be controlled but the medication puts me to sleep.
Carole Wright, private person, Atlanta area, USA, July 15, 2006

Shirley D., Kansas, USA, July 13, 2006

• I have had this stent, not warned about reactions, and started getting stopped nasal passages first night, next morning had almost completely lost my voice, losing my breath when trying to speak, and a feeing of being choked. A few days later, i am getting progressively weaker and tired. I have lost all sense of taste, and some hearing. I need to know if this med will diminish any in the 9 months i am told it will continue to leach into my system. I am also nauseous, and have a terrible "medicine like taste" in my mouth.
Byrlanne Hatcher, Lynns Fine Jewelry, Branson, Missouri, USA, July 12, 2006

• Thanks Forum Editor: I stopped all medications on the advice of my Physician Associate's advice in the absence of my cardiologist. I went to my regular doctor who put me on Lipitor only to have the same effect on me -- it felt like my esophagus was going to close up -- they told me it was anaphylactic shock. Another issue I am having with my doctor is the fact that I had seven blocks. Two have been corrected and the cardiologist said that's all we are gonna do. I said oh no, you have at least five more -- two are in a hard to reach place and are very small. They were pushing for a bypass but i feel since my heart is in such excellent condition why should I get a bypass when a bypass is usually for a non-functioning or severely damaged heart. Isn't his being reluctant about unblocking the others doing to hurt me in the long run? I just don't want a bypass at this time I am still in very good health. He even commented on the excellent shape my heart is in.
Jay, New York City, New York, USA, June 27, 2006

• Just wanted to chime in here to strongly caution patients about taking or stopping medications without discussing such changes with your cardiologist -- and this includes over-the-counter meds as well. First off, Jay, from NYC -- as we have stated in numerous articles, "Don't Stop Taking Your Meds" -- clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin are extremely important to continue after stenting to prevent stent thrombosis, an extremely serious event, should it occur. If you are having an adverse reaction, discuss it with your cardiologist. There are ways to desensitize patients, or to switch to ticlopidine (Ticlid) another antiplatelet drug. But don't just stop (see our recent news article about this problem). As for antihistamines, again any medication should be discussed with your physician. Antihistamines are vasoconstrictors -- they narrow the arteries -- quite the opposite of what you want, as a patient with coronary artery disease. And some drugs like Allegra have a pseudoephedrine component, and that is contraindicated for heart patients. Finally, the likelihood of stent allergy is probably greater than is reported -- one would have to conclude that from the many postings here -- but there are many possible reasons for problems, and these should be discussed with your doctors for two reasons: (1) it helps you; and (2) it helps your doctor to better understand that some patients are in fact experiencing less-than-optimal outcomes, and perhaps this can reveal and help solve this problem.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 26, 2006

• My God. Reading through all of these is phenomenal!! I have had the same trouble as most of you. Especially the itching but with no rash. I am on Plavix, 88 mg aspirin and Tricor as well as Toprol. I just quit everything accept for the 88mg of aspirin and I feel great. I still have light heart burn though. When i was registered at the hospital they had me under pressure to get French Stents but, I don't know I am having some problems with the regular ones. They said the french stents are the rave here in the States. Please help French or American stents.
Jay, New York City, New York, USA, June 26, 2006

• Anybody have any success with antihistamines: Allegra or Zyrtec. Studies show that these are the safest two for heart people. I tried Benadryl (strictly at nite) had some slight success, but perhaps not the safest for heart folks (some say it is, some say it is not). Also, Allegra and Zertec are either non drowsy or limited drowsy. I have bad angina and other symptoms known to be stent rejection, but no flow problem at all, no narrowings, all via many studies, and a zero calcium score, and an EF of 72. Obviously a stent rejection problem.
Steve G., Florida, USA, June 26, 2006

• I just received two stents on June 16, 2006. I am 40 yrs old and diagnosed with coronary heart disease. I have 7 blockages with two that have been corrected with stents. Ever since my stent insertion I have had a mild case of low grade heart burn constant thru out the day. I have had itching from my groin down to my feet up to my chest and basically thru out my entire body. I went to the emergency room and was given a prescription for prednisone. I was wondering to if I was allergic to the medicated stents.
Jeff, New York, New York, USA, June 26, 2006

• Update to April 12, 2006 posting about Bill and his cypher DES. Bill went through immune system tests and they all came back normal. His mouth is the same with a lot of pain, sores and burning tongue with a white overgrowth. They gave him prednisone again -- helped a little with the pain but broke his private areas out. Bill's other symptoms are the same coming and going. His doctor has scheduled him with a allergist to test for Sirolimus. Even though it has been 9 months they say it can present itself for as long as several years. Also the allergist is contacting Cordis to get samples of the metals in the stent to test him for that also. We will let you know how that goes. Has anyone else had these problems? I know Rabil's father had pain in his mouth. His doctor doesn't think it is hypersensitivity but he said he could be miserable the rest of his life and didn't know really what to do. Bill's doctor does think it is stent related but has tested Bill already for other conditions caused by stents such as peripheral neuropathy, arthralgias, etc. and have found nothing. His doctor said some people can be desensitized to drugs such as plavix, aspirin, etc, so they can take them without problems. I asked him about the prognosis for people who are hypersensitive and he said the stent will close and the outcome is probably death. The doctor quoted 5% of people are. That is one out of 20-sounds high to me. I also asked the doctor about the stent metals being sealed off after it was healed. He said that is true with a bare metal stent but DES because the polymer is porous can still bleed through to the blood stream. If you get a infection in a polymer you can't get rid of it either because the germ will harbor in it and the antibiotic can't get to it. We had this happen to our son 30 years ago with a procedure. We would not have chosen this because of that. A stent is listed as a option by Cordis and even in some of the AMA literature. This either needs to be rewritten or patients need to be given an option. I asked the doctor if some one was allergic to nickel and other metals and had trouble with aspirin, What would you do? He said I would put a stent in without nickel and put them on plavix. Polymers, nickel, and all these other metals have been around forever and the medical profession and the FDA knew people had problems with them. Really people having problems with this stent is not any surprise. It would have had to been expected and predicted but no one seems to have any answers. I would like to hear from Darrell and some of the rest of you about how you are doing! Better I hope.
Terrie Blanton, Hamilton, Ohio, USA, June 24, 2006

• I really have a bad reaction for 2 years now, from my one big stent sandwich (2 cypher stents in one, sandwiched Jan 28 at Cleveland Clinic, first little stent May 04'). I did not know this was the problem, until I just thought of it some months after recent angiogram and CT confirmed: completely open vessels, zero calcium score, and 72 EF. Yet severe angina pressure type pain all nite and in the AM, then less severe throughout the afternoon and eve. Coronary Endarterectomy is the only way to remove stents. Very tricky and dangerous surgery. I will see if it can be done via the Da Vinci robot at Cleveland Clinic. My symptoms are not simple things like hives. I have pain signifying a life threatening situation. I am developing inflammation throughout the heart whenever I try to exercise, and other times. I was previously very athletic. I also have nausea when it happens, and tingling all over my chest and upper extremity, and burning in the heart, and some arrhythmia, and a feeling like you have an infection but you don't. Also exhaustion. I had fever for 30 days each time stent was placed. All my drugs were researched and excluded by me over and over again. I tried many things to at least lessen inflammation of myocardium, other heart tissue, etc. Tried many medicines, supplements, to no avail. Turmeric a tiny bit helpful, but be careful, a strong antiplatelet (blood thinner). Also rubbing arnica cream on chest over and over a little helpful. Toprol XL very necessary. I like to try these less nasty remedies. I know many other people with the same medical story I have. Correspondence with anyone welcome. Just post a response.
Steven G., Florida, USA, June 24, 2006

• Dear M.J. -- without getting into your specific case, we'd just like to point out that the reason angioplasty (and often stents) are done when a heart attack patient presents is not just to prevent a re-arrest, but to literally stop the infarction in its tracks. Angioplasty is THE recommended treatment for Acute MI with ST segment elevation (STEMI) and the use of it can save precious heart muscle (time is muscle). The AHA/ACC guidelines states that angioplasty and/or stenting are not recommended for blockages of less than 70%.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 24, 2006

• Carole -- sorry if you interpreted our information as an argument. There really is none and we wholeheartedly agree with your comments about patients and physicians working together. This also applies to M.J.'s comments about not being "sue happy", but just wanting to serve as "a change agent". We call to your attention an article that appeared last month in the New England Journal of Medicine (it's on our news page -- scroll down to the May 25, 2006 article "Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece of Medical Liability Reform" by Senators Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama) which offers some of the same advice. The quote we pulled was: "Studies show that the most important factor in people's decisions to file lawsuits is not negligence, but ineffective communication between patients and providers. Malpractice suits often result when an unexpected adverse outcome is met with a lack of empathy from physicians and a perceived or actual withholding of essential information." We can't make recommendations for medical care, but let us know if you find a doctor who is able to help you with your particular situation.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 20, 2006

• Editor - I'm not interested in trading barbs with you. I have a serious problem which has cost me a lot both in terms of a life and money. I'm trying to find a doctor who also shares the belief that doctors and patients can learn from each other. Maybe if we worked together, some of these problems can be solved, but only if a dr honestly listens. I'd hoped that I might find such a doctor from this site.
Carole W., Georgia, USA, June 20, 2006

• Dear Editor, Your advice is well noted about going to an "Interventional Cardiologist". I have finally been referred to a Heart Failure Specialist (same thing). With testing, it has been determined there is no infection, which was a symptomlogical concern. The next step is an ultrasound to determine the content and density of the pocket the pacemaker is in and also ELISA testing will begin at that time. These are the least invasive procedures and part of their process of elimination. That said... I have been told and done research as to the reason for putting the stents in at the time a person is admitted to an ER in cardiac arrest. Implantation can stop the immediate risk of re-arrest by opening up blocked blood vessels. Mine were not totally blocked and blockage was NOT the cause of my arrest. There was no reason to put the stents in at the time they were, other than it was convenient because everything was in place to do so. It would have been just as viable, though more time consuming to "cut away" plaque build up or to implant just a balloon, till the person is fully conscious and able to make a qualified decision. I am angry but not sue happy and hope that I can become a change agent to this process which I feel violated my freedom of choice and my right to give informed consent.
M.J., Washington State, USA, June 18, 2006

• My 83 year old stepmom has been complaining of nausea, severe aches, and an overall feeling of achiness, fatigue and just feeling awful. She had a medicated stent put in within the last year and was put on Plavix. I am trying to help her through this process and am brand new to this particular problem. Specific questions 1) Can she ask to have the medicated stent taken out and a non-medicated stent put in? 2)From the little bit I read in Forum, it sounds like Plavix and the medicated stent can produce similar symptoms. Is there any way to pinpoint which source her problems are coming from? Would appreciate your input.
Carol L., New Jersey, USA, June 18, 2006

• Carole -- you've sent a number of postings into this Forum and, as we've written, we sympathize with your problems. And yes, we edited your previous very-long post to make it easier to read. We also edited the post below for the same reason (we ask our readers to be concise and we state on the submission page that we might edit long posts for readibility). We also must take exception to your assumption that this site is "monitored" by the medical profession and/or industry (I believe you mean "censored"). Angioplasty.Org is an independent educational site. We know of few places on the internet that make it possible for cardiology patients to share these types of stories. We hope that by sharing these experiences, patients and physicians can learn from each other and become partners in solving these health issues.

That being said, the issue of metal allergies is well-known by surgeons -- most surgical implants have some metallic component, usually surgical stainless steel. It may be that in your case you were not asked, as others have reported here. This is why we have this topic -- to call attention to this issue to both patients, their families and physicians. And we hope that yours and other stories will do just that.

On the flip side, literally millions of patients around the world have had stents implanted without the kinds of allergic reactions you've experienced, and many have had their lives bettered, if not outright saved. The procedure has been well-established as a treatment for over two decades now. Which is not to say there are not problems which need solving, or that your experience is any the less painful. Perhaps a specialist who treats allergies could help you. Maybe your symptoms are not from the metal -- it would seem important to verify this. Speaking of specialties, you refer to vascular surgeons -- do you mean interventional cardiologists? We're assuming you had a stent placed in your heart's arteries. We hope you find some answers and, if you do, please let others know by posting here -- concisely, please....
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 17, 2006

• Editor-- Just read my edited post. 1)Yes, a vascular surgeon told me that there is no such thing as an allergy to nickel. Yes that is shocking, especially since the promotional information of a stent manufacturer was in plain view, not 3 feet from where he stood. Then saw another vascular surgeon who knew that some stents are not to be inserted into people with NICKEL allergies. He he didn't realize that stainless (or surgical) steel is not an entity unto itself, but is a composition of other metals. I am in terrible pain, and have been for years. Drs from several specialties agree with me "off the record" yet the vascular surgeons deny there is a problem. Like the other lady, neither I nor my family were EVER ASKED for any information as to whether or not my body would tolerate a metal stent. I didn't ask for these stents. I wouldn't have ever taken this chance if I had had the opportunity to investigate them - there were alternative, MORE PROVEN, alternatives to my problem. No one gave me that option. So, is there a website NOT MONITORED by the medical profession or device manufacturer, as this site must be, at which other victims can share information?
Carole W., Georgia, USA, June 17, 2006

• My fiance, who is only 35, has just had a stent put in because of a blockage in his aorta that caused loss of blood flow to his foot which caused pain & discloration in his foot. A few days after the stent has been put in his foot will look like it is getting a normal coloring back, but then might look darker & more discolored an hour later, is that normal?
K., Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, June 13, 2006

• Dear Angioplasty.Org Staff, Thank you for posting my first blog and realized after reading your response and re-reading what I had submitted, that I left out a key piece of information which is that I was unconscious when the decision was made to put the stents in or I would have never agreed to them because my reactivity to nickel is near toxic with actual burns developing with dermal contact within the first hour of contact. It is possible the polymer coating and immune suppressing drug reduced this initial reaction but on the other hand, I have never found anything which will create a barrier to nickel isotopes and my skin. Another angiogram is in the offing as I am having symptoms consistent with restenosis and as I said before, potential bypass surgery to remove the stents.
M.J., Washington State, USA, June 10, 2006

• Dear M.J. -- we sympathize with your problems. The companies, however, don't seem to be witholding the information as you state (see last month's posting from W.S. -- a list of all the materials used in their stents, supplied by both J&J and Boston Scientific). The ICD can be removed, although it's a bit tricky and definitely. like all procedures, has risks involved -- although it's not open heart surgery. Stents cannot really be "removed", although your surgeon may be talking about bypass surgery for other reasons. As we've stated many times, allergy to stainless steel or other metals is listed in all stent manufacturers' Instructions For Use (IFU) as a contraindication, for bare metal stents as well as drug-eluting stents. The question is whether your symptoms are actually being caused by the metal in the devices. Check out other postings -- Mr. King from North Carolina reports that a prednisone shot helped him. Let us know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 10, 2006

• I had J&J Cordis Cypher stents put in November 2005 as well as a St. Jude's ICD. I was unconscious when I was admitted to the hospital. My daughter swears up and down she told the emergency room personnel that I had severe metal allergies. Years ago I was tested for reactivity to surgical stainless steel and nickel. I was later informed that my arteries were not completely occluded and not responsible for my MI. It never occurred to me that anything other than plastics or plastic coated products would be used internally and so did not realize the stents and also an implanted ICD were composed of metals which were in direct contact with my tissue. I have had problems consistent with an allergic response since I became cognizant of my surroundings; swelling in my left chest region under the clavicle, up the left side of my neck and frequently my jaw aches. My left shoulder is locked up and I'm unable to fully use my left arm. there is mild discoloration to the skin, it itches yet is painful to touch. There are other things also but because of the side effects to the medications I am on it is uncertain where one thing begins and another leaves off. The team of doctors I am now working with are trying to determine the extent of my immune response to the various metals. I have been told, that potentially, I am looking at open-heart surgery to remove the stents and the ICD, well that subject hasn't been broached yet. It frustrates me that J&J are so proprietary over their product, they will not provide samples of the material the stents are made from. Like with any research topic, Confidential Disclosure Agreements are common and binding. If signed by doctors receiving the materials to be able to perform testing, J&J would benefit by receiving more complete and conclusive information regarding their stents.
M.J., Washington State, USA, June 8, 2006

• I would like to thank the Forum for its existence. Regarding possible stent allergic reaction -- I posted my concern on June 27, 2005 after I had been stented with 3 Taxus2 drug eluting stents realizing that I had a nickel allergy. (Frankly, the cost of stenting vs. open heart was a real consideration.) I had developed hives. After a shot of Prednisone these did go away. (Long term Prednisone use would not be a pleasant option because of very real posibility of mental side effects). I did consider possible drug allergies and decided to stay on [Plavix] because Ticlid seemed to have a larger number of possible side effects. The hives have not returned. From what I am reading it seems that the long term possibilities of the nickel reaction would lessen. It would be interesting to know how many people continue to have reactions after the drugs are changed, or if people do develop reactions after having the stents in for a long period. I personally hesitated posting again as I wanted to see if the reaction would resurface in the near term.
B. King, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, June 7, 2006

• Dear W.S. -- we ran an article about stent allergies and the study published by Dr. Bennett back on December 29, 2005. We also have spoken with Dr. Bennett and applaud the work of the research team. As you can tell from the fact you found this Forum topic (currently almost 140 postings), our site is one of the few places where this stent allergies are discussed. That being said, we are impressed that you have gotten all the information below and, moreover, that you have found a way to test for all these posssible allergies. Please keep us informed as to the results. You are right about nickel -- all stent manufacturers include a warning in their IFU (Instructions For Use) that cautions physicians not to use stents in patients with known allergies to surgical stainless steel (nickel is a component). Of course, as you can read below, there are definitely cases where the information about a patient's allergy is either not known, or not communicated.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 2, 2006

• My mother needs to be tested for stent ingredient allergy before the procedure. Received stent ingredients from J&J's Cordis Cypher Sirolimus Stent and Boston Scientific's Taxus Drug Eluting Stent. Ingredients from each manufacturer Spring 2006 are as follows:

J&J Sirolimus Stent: 316L stainless steel which is made up of: Carbon 0.018%, Chromium 17.23%, Copper0.13%, Manganese 1.73%, Molybdenum 2.66%, Nitrogen 0.036%, Nickel 13.57%, Phosphorus 0.02%, Sulfur 0.001%, Silicon 0.56%, Iron 64.04%, Rapamycin (Wyeth drug on Stent), Polymers (Medical plastics) which is made up of: Parylene C, Polyethylene-co-vinyl acetate, and Poly n-butyl Methacrylate.

Boston Scientific Taxus Stent: 316L stainless steel which is made up of: Carbon 0.018%, Chromium 17.23%, Copper0.13%, Manganese 1.73%, Molybdenum 2.66%, Nitrogen 0.036%, Nickel 13.57%, Phosphorus 0.02%, Sulfur 0.001%, Silicon 0.56%, Iron 64.04% Paclitaxel (Bristol M/Squibb Drug on Stent, Translute Polymer Carrier (plastics) which are made up of: SIBS [ poly(styrene-b-isobutylene-b-styrene] which breaks down into, Styrene, and 1,3-di (2-methoxy-2-proply-5-tert butyl benzene) isobutylene units.

I found an allergist who is willing to test my mother; however, I am having great difficulty getting medical samples from Johnson & Johnson. Boston Scientific is helping more and I may actually get some samples from them. Other things I have found out on this arduous journey is that nickel may be the culprit in some allergy cases. Interesting article on allergic reaction: Dr.Bennett who is listed in the article has met with representatives from Johnson and Johnson as well as other companies and is a champion for stent allergy test kits. I hope this helps anyone who is looking to be tested. Good luck! We need it.
W.S., USA, May 24, 2006

• Carole -- if you read through the postings on this topic, especially our reply to C.M. on April 27, you'll see that contraindications for patients with metal allergies ARE noted by the stent manufacturers in their package inserts (required by the FDA). So no patient with a known metal allergy should be getting a stent. Fortunately these patients are few. But since there is no routine testing for metal allergies before stents are placed, it seems to be the working assumption that patients with an allergy to metal should already know that they have this problem. And then, are they routinely asked this specific question? You don't mention how you have found proof of your allergy. And we'd hope that a doctor wouldn't really say that "there's no such thing as an allergy to metal" -- perhaps the doctor was saying that he/she didn't think that an allergy was the problem in your case. As for removing the stent via vascular surgery, that's not really practical or even possible. The stent gets covered over by the inner arterial lining within a few months -- at which time the metal is no longer in contact with the bloodstream, so allergic symptoms should also subside.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 23, 2006

• I've had several angioplasty procedures. Now I have proof that I have an allergy to metals, including the components of stainless or surgical steel. My doctor ignores me and my problems, another says there's no such thing as an allergy to metal. So, does anyone know of a vascular surgeon near Atlanta, who will get this metal out of me?
Carole W., Georgia, USA, May 22, 2006

• In January 2006 I had a Taxus Express2 placed in my RCA, since then I have experienced periods of swelling in belly, hands, face, legs, I am on Plavix and now 81mg of aspirin, prior 325Mg, I am wondering if any one else has had this problem, along with throwing up blood.
Jim S., Pennsylvania, USA, May 16, 2006

• My angioplasty was less than 3 weeks ago. I have a drug-eluting stent and today I was shocked to see red splotches on my legs and stomach that are itchy. At first my wife thought they were mosquito bites. I remembered reading about some side affects reported for drug eluting stents. Could I be experiencing this? I did have some unusual back pain yesterday, which I didn't think was related, and otherwise just had a check up which everything looked great. My blood pressure is 120/66, and I've healed perfectly at the incision site. My breathing has been relatively good, but some shortness of breath occasionally. My cardiologist said it was normal, and that I'm doing well and should begin my normal excersize routine. I plan to resume playing tennis and walking everyday. Has anyone else experienced these itchy splotches?
T. D., Los Angeles, California, USA, May 13, 2006

• Diagnosing an allergic or adverse reaction like the ones being reported below can be challenging. There are people who are allergic to the metal in stents. It's surgical stainless steel and contains nickel. Interestingly Dawn, your old AVE stent is made of this material, so the fact that you haven't previously shown reactions is interesting. Then there's the polymer plastic coating on the new drug-eluting stents, as well as the medications embedded in them. The number of proven allergic reactions to these is very small, however, it's widely agreed that stent allergies are under-reported. Still, the wide range of medications that stent patients get put on all have some side effects associated with them, again very small. But when there are so many possible sources the chances that a given patient may have an adverse reaction to at least one of them is likely. We're not doctors, but a suggestion to patients is to sit down with each medication you are taking, both prescription and any over-the-counter, and look at all the known side effects. For example, some ACE inhibitors cause a dry cough, Plavix has been known to cause a rash, statins can cause muscle pain. And depression after a heart procedure, especially in women, is a known "side effect" and is something that can be treated. One of the purposes of this Forum is for patients to post experiences and trade stories. And maybe help each other deal with these complex issues and help their doctors (who have very limited time) as well.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 28, 2006

• My mother had 2 medicated stents (not sure of which medications) inserted on Feb.14, 2006. She had been a vibrant, fun loving woman prior to the procedure. Since the procedure, her life has been a nightmare. Dr. placed her on Toprol, plavix, altace, lipitor, and an aspirin. She immediately began to experience terrible side effects which include: anxiety, confusion, sleepless nights, dry cough , rash-like appearance on her cheeks, stomach problems, trouble swallowing (feeling as if there is a lump in her throat, trouble concentrating. Needless to say we have been back and forth to the doctor's office more times than I can count. Dr. blamed Toprol and she was weaned off. Symptoms have not disappeared. Of course Dr. now suggests she should speak to a therapist. She had never experienced problems prior to all this medication, so I am sure this is a direct result of all this medication. Thank you for this web page. I am at my wits end trying to figure out how to help my mother become the woman she was before this procedure. Had we only known, we never would have had the procedure done. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have exhausted all avenues.
lori pacchiano, brooklyn, new york, usa, April 27, 2006

• I had my 1st stent in 2001 in RCA area. Afterwards I felt better than I had for at least a year prior, (bouncing off the walls)with so much energy.The stent used was an Ave. Never appeared to have any problems with the area and it is still open and working. In August 2002 I had a stent placed mid LAD, did not feel well from the time I was released. I was having problems and they did a brachytherapy on the stent 3-4 months later and then back in to have another stent butted to it in June 2003. Both stents done to LAD were by Cordis, 1st not medicated, 2nd was. I ended up switching cardio clinics and ended up having triple by-pass January 2004. I am 48 now and still continue to have problems. I am very allergic to metal (nickel). The hospital was notified of allergy before procedures and I do believe that is what has caused all of my problems. I found out last July 2005 that the lower by-pass is closed so now take imdur to keep chest pain away. I have not felt right since the Stent that was done in 2002, I tire very easy, metal taste periodically, rash on both hands they call Granuloma Annular(it is under the skin and forms along the veins) and the Dr's say they don't know what causes it. I have had infections affecting tonsils at least twice in the last year, my lower legs will itch horribly and get a heavy feeling/ache, my skin on arms appear to have a rash sometimes and lower arm darker discoloration and sun sensitive. More sensitive to jewelry that contains nickel than I was before. The number of times I ended up hospitalized and ending up with by-pass surgery has been so frustrating, even more so because I cannot say I feel good still. I have given up contacting the Dr's, they say they don't think it is allergy related to the stent and I believe they don't want to hear it, yet they don't know what is causing my problems. I am only 48 years old and worried about how things are going to progress. I can relate to the frustration of so many at this site. I feel that even though we might be the minority of stent receivers that have issues we are still important and deserve strait forward answers. The different symptoms I have had are not imagined, they are real, I am concerned about my future.
Dawn Reich, St. Paul, MN USA, April 27, 2006

• C.M. -- all stents carry warnings in the package insert that their use is contra-indicated in patients who are allergic to surgical stainless steel or nickel. This doesn't mean that it never happens -- as you can read in this Forum, it happens...and the effects vary with the person. Unfortunately, once implanted and expanded against the artery wall, a stent can't really be removed. How do the wrong patients gets these stents? Sometimes patients don't know that they're allergic; sometimes the caution is overlooked and the patient isn't queried. But this is a small minority and most people have no problem with the metal. After all, there are many prosthetics used in the body today, from knee and hip replacements to stents to bolts holding broken bones -- most made of metal. And all medical devices have to be tested in human trials before they are approved. By the way, doctors do not handle this site -- we provide a Forum, resources and information for our users.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 27, 2006

• My response is really a question for a medical person, such as the doctors who handle this site. What happens if a person who has allergies to metal, particularly nickel, has metal stents inserted? No one is born with metal parts, so how do we know it's safe to put metal in later? And, are stents tested on human beings or animals before an FDA approval?
C.M.,April 27, 2006

• I had 3 Cypher Stents placed on 03-02-06. Since then my life has been a nightmare. I came home from the cath with extreme swelling in my hands and ankles with severe joint pain, unable to even hold myself up. Then I started to have an allergic reaction to both Plavix and Ticlid. I lost muscle control, couldn't walk, lift my arms and legs I was so weak. I have chest pains which I never had before, a weird tightness in my chest and my blood pressure now jumps to 180/110 at times. I have a rapid pounding heartbeat and chills, infections, tremors, diarrhea cannot stop taking the Plavix as they tell me the stents will clog up.This has been going on 2 months now. I don't know if it's the stents or the Plavix. I think both. They have ruined my life.
Lisa Mccall, Easley, South Carolina, USA, April 25, 2006

• hello Terri B.: have you considered having your husband see a naturopathic doctor? there are certain protocols that may offer some promise. trouble is though, the patient usually has to bear all the expense when going the alternative route. anyway, wanted to send this thought your way, wouldn't hurt to look into. sharon brumbaugh
sharon brumbaugh, oregon, April 25, 2006

• Rabil, if you look through these posts and also over at the topic on Plavix and Aspirin, you'll see that Ticlid (ticlopidine) is sometimes used as an alternative to Plavix if the patient is allergic. Ticlopidine, however, has its own set of side effects which sometimes are better, sometimes worse. Mouth pain is not something we've heard before as a reaction to Plavix. Is he on other drugs, including over-the-counter meds?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 24, 2006

• My father had 3 cypher stents put in on April 6, 2006 and was given Plavix. We believe the Plavix is causing him to have pain in his mouth. He feels like is mouth is going to come out of his face. His doctor says there is nothing better for him to take than Plavix. We do not know what to do.
Rabil, Ohio, April 24, 2006

• Once again a update to February 05, 2006 posting about my husband Bill and his cypher Sirolimus-eluting stent. Bill went to another cardiologist the end of February 2006 and he took him off the plavix immediately. The only medication Bill has been on since is aspirin and Lorazepam. He still has the burning sensations but not as bad. Energy level is better. Still has soreness in muscles but not as often. Muscle wasting has seemed to stop. Still has ringing in ears, eyes bother him, sometimes he feels like he is going to fall when walking but doesn't. One week after off the plavix Bill developed pneumonia and was put on antibiotics and prednisone. He then developed ulcers in the mouth. He has red ulcers and white bumps in his mouth. Doctor said it was thrush caused from the prednisone. He did get over the pneumonia but can't get rid of the thrush. The doctors did a MRI for MS and it came back normal. No sign of MS, stroke, tumor or anything. Now he has to go to a ear, nose and throat doctor for this. The doctor thinks it is some kind of allergy due to a compromised immune system. Could the sirolimus bring something like this about? He has been tested for just about everything and they have found nothing except he all of a sudden has Carpal Tunnel. I am beginning to believe they have messed up his immune system with this stent or he is hypersensitive to it. Our doctor said if you are hypersensitive to the stent there isn't much they can do about it. Does anyone know what happens to these people who are? Do they just suffer or do they die or what? Any information about this would greatly be appreciated! I don't think the doctors will ever admit to this and at this time I am to the point What else could it be? He was fine before this stent.(They originally did the MRI because they thought all his problems were due to some form of neuropathy. He has been given every drug known for thrust and nothing has worked) Thank You.
Terrie B., Ohio, USA, April 12, 2006

• Kevan, like I said, the tests for Lyme disease are notoriously inconclusive -- I had a friend who clearly had Lyme, complete with full-blown symptoms, fever, bulls-eye rash, etc. and the test showed negative for Lyme. She was treated with long-term antibiotics (at least 30 days of heavy dose doxycycline or amoxicillin) and she recovered.
B.C., New York, April 10, 2006

• I was tested 3 times for THE TICK problem, the same doctor that was big on that blamed my dogs and pet deer or deer in the area which we have none. My current doctors can not give a reason for the results and the on going infection.
Kevan Holmberg, Mound, Minnesota. USA, April 10, 2006

• This is just a quick thought from a lay person (note: I am not a doctor). The lessening of your joint pain, etc. during antibiotic therapy is interesting. Have any of your doctors considered Lyme Disease, a tick-borne illness? Again, this may be way off the mark, but I live in a high Lyme disease area and have seen many friends suffer from somewhat mysterious but similar symptoms. Tests sometimes reveal Lyme, but often they are inconclusive.
B.C., New York, April 10, 2006

• I got a rash within one week of the Boston Scientific [Taxus] stent and started with muscle and joint pains soon after. I have been a mess ever since October 2004. I have been unable to work due to being unsteady on my feet. I have developed short memory and have been hallucinating past 90 days. My muscle and joint pain have been crippling. I have been to over 15 doctors due to the lack of any answers or treatment. I have good insurance and have been trying to resolve this problem weekly since Oct. 2004. The past 90 days I have been at the University of Minnesota who started to go after the stent idea. I have been off all medications even aspirin for over 6 months. Most doctors would not entertain Lipitor or anything would be the reason or never consider the stent as the problem thinking I must be depressed and cannot explain my high blood pressure which I did not have before the stent. My problems closely resemble 2/3 of the people going to your site. I'm not the only one or are they. The U of M has referred me to the Mayo Clinic. They gave up. My cardiac doctor talked to the chief medical officer at B.S. and was told it not the stent. (What a surprise.) Although now Most of my joint and muscle problems have been cured!!!, I was luckily enough to get Strep at a doctor visit 4 weeks ago and went on antibiotics. Within 3 days most of my problems left. Only new problem, after 10 days the problems come back, along with the Strep. I'm on the third dose of the antibiotics and waiting for the infectious disease appointment at the end of this week. On the 11th day all my joint and muscle problems return. I go from feeling my age of 52 to feeling age 92 when the drugs stop. Again more questions then answers. Will let you know what happens after this weeks appointments. I had this happen almost one year ago going on antibiotics and recovering over night, and went in to see the doctors right away, but the doctors at that time said it had nothing to do with your problems. It all came back 10 days later with increased chest pains. Like I said I was lucky to get a Strep test, I did not have the classic Strep problems , just a little sore throat. The quick Strep test was off the charts. I hope this may help somebody.
Kevan Holmberg, Mound, Minnesota. USA, April 10, 2006

• I just was implanted with my Taxus Express 2 stent on 4/7/06 -- I would never have given consent for the procedure had I been given information regarding the potential side effects -- I received those the day that I left the hospital after the stent was placed. I made it clear to my cardiologist that I did not want to do anything that would cause me to relapse into poor health again -- I have history of GI problems, Possible lupus or polymyalgia rheumatica and HyperSensitivity Pneumonitis II: I have felt well for the last two years now I have this thing in me that could bring those symptoms back -- I would have only allowed the balloon technique (angioplasty?). Doctors should inform their patients of these risks when considering any cardiac intevention that might result in a stent. I have already broken out in hives, itching tongue, lumpy feeling in my throat and in ER for same. I suppose I will follow suit will the immune reaction now. I told my doctor I had almost no IGG4 but he must have felt I had no patient rights. please get the word out to doctors that they need to advise their patients of these risks so they can make an informed decision.
Robin S., Ohio, April 10, 2006

• My husband had two Cypher stents implanted about 3 weeks ago. He has had extreme hives, swelling and aching joints. He stopped taking all his meds. and finished the prednisone yesterday. We are going back to the cardiologist today to figure out why he is still having migrating joint pain and swelling and what blood thinner is okay to try. Not sure what is causing the allergic reaction. I hope it is not the stent.
Bonnie, Maryland, March 27, 2006

• My Mom had PTCA with two drug eluting stents (Cordis and Taxus each) in April 2005. She was on Clopidogrel (Plavix) 75 mg twice a day and aspirin 150 mg once a day after that. In September she developed joint pain and swelling with redness in hands, feet and shoulders. Clopidogrel was stopped and the joint pains reduced. The Doctor put her on Ticlid (ticlopidine) and after 8 days of taking this medicine, she developed severe joint inflammation in both ankles, knees, shoulders and elbow ands she was not able to pick up a glass of water. We stopped Ticlopidine and the joint pain reduced a bit only to return after 20 days. Since then the pain remains for a week then reduces and keeps coming back every 20 days or so in the initially affected joints. In January 2006 blood tests were carried out in which mainly RA was negative but Anti CCP was strong positive, ds DNA was positive +1, ANA was negative. The diagnosis is that it might be Rheumatoid Arthritis. I personally feel that it has been induced by the drug Ticlopidine. Please refer the websites and I feel that these drugs Ticlopidine and Clopidogrel can induce autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Drug induced Lupus etc. I have posted one message on Nov 13, 2005 which can be refered for more details. My Mom is 60 years old and weighs 58 Kg.
Ramesh Shukla, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, March 24, 2006

• My husband had a taxus medicated stent on Feb 12th, 2006. Three weeks later he is having joint swelling and loss of mobility. Some days he can't even pick up a cup of coffee. The cardiologist sent him to a rheumatologist. Still unknown what has caused this. He was fine until the stent and plavix. Does anyone have any answers?
Kathy G., Michigan, March 23, 2006

• I have had 4 stents put in also. 2 in november of 2005 and 2 in march of 06. My doctor told me after the first ones were put in that if I didn't take the plavix i would die. I saw where one person was coming off of plavix after 6 months. My grandma was allergic to plavix and is now just taking aspirin.
Becky P, Ohio, March 22, 2006

• I had a stent put in about 4 weeks ago. Upon returning home, I experienced a rash on my back, pits, and shoulder area for about 3 days post op. It went away after the 3rd day. I now have just gotten over the worst allergic reaction of my life. It started 3 days ago with my hands burning and itching.( I went and bought a lottery ticket, believing the old wives tale!) Unfortunately, I did not win any money, but my hands were swollen to make me look like Mickey Mouse. The rashes went in waves which in turn went into hives. My arms, legs, back, buttocks, and even my scalp were under hive seige. I went to my cardiologist and he immediately said you are a classic case of Plavix allergy. I too have been put on a Prednisone and Benedryl regime and was told to flush the Plavix into oblivion. I also am on the other drug that was used in place of Plavix now. Everything seems to be easing now, with very few outbreaks. Hands are back to somewhat normal. Doc said that about 3 out of 10 people have these reactions to Plavix. Seems to me, something should be tested on the individual before prescribing it. I sure do not want to go through this crap again!
Mitch, Tampa, Florida, March 16, 2006

• to the posting about plavix, Bill,I had an allergic reaction to the plavix i was on 3 months after have my stent implanted. Red rash under the skin ,I was immedately taken off of the plavix and after a week i went on a medication called ticilopedine a different blood thinner and it worked fine no more rash. There are other blood thinners that work.
K., New York, March 13, 2006

• I am 48 year old and in great physical shape (exercise daily) for my age, I have never led a sedentary lifestyle. I experienced a heart attack last year and walked around with it for three days. After my catheterization, my Cardiologist said that the heart attack has run its course and that the lower rear valve was blocked and was to dangerous to try to open. i am now taking Vytorin 10/20, Plavix 75mg, Toprol XL 25mg, Altace 2.5mg capsule, and aspirin 325mg. For the last 7-14 days I have been experiencing extreme muscle pain and tenderness, especially in my back, stomach and insertion area of the catheterization. Could this be a side effect of the drugs that were prescribed? any input/feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Robert Morris, Varina, Virgina, March 10, 2006

• I had angioplasty and two stents, and three blockages fixed, on Feb.8/06. In the first week after that, I developed a burning painful red rash on the calves of my legs. It was terrible, and I wanted to scratch it all the time. I went to my doctor who told me it was an allergic reaction. He gave me a prescription for a cream. It was Ratio-Ectosone Regular 0.1%. Betamethasone Valerate .1%. I applied it at once. The intense pain, and redness and soreness disappeared in a couple of days.It has not returned.
William B., British Columbia, Canada, March 08, 2006

• I want to chime in as another person to have experienced the swelling and itching, burning rash after placement of two Cypher stents. My stents were placed after an MI on 01/10/06. The rash and swelling appeared about a month post-surgery. Quite an unpleasant experience, just as described by others: intense burning and itching between my fingers and toes, on my abdomen, and in the genital area. The nurse I spoke with at the cardiologist's office hoped to blame it on anything out of the ordinary, but I have not switched food, soap, or any other environmental factors. Benedryl helped somewhat, but the experience was most unpleasant, and was also accompanied by increased chest pain and shortness of breath. I will be bringing in this column, as well as any other related info I can find, to my next appointment. After two weeks, the rash has subsided somewhat.
Lisa C., Washington, USA, February 24, 2006

• well, if anyone is interested there is a drug called enbrel on the market. it is injections twice a week given by yourself. all I can say for the first time since 11/05 I am out of pain and starting to walk once again.
walt coates, new jersey, February 24, 2006

• The first week of June 2005 I got a stent. Once I arrived home I noticed red spots on the palms of both hands. I saw the Doctor and he claimed it was hives and told me to take Benadryl. This helped somewhat. When fall arrived I had no more hives. I travelled to Mexico on Dec. 21 2005 and two days later I was covered in hives. I could not stand the situation so I returned to Canada on Feb. 2 and was put on Prednisone for 1 week. I was hive free for the week. I began getting hives again subsequent to finishing the meds and now I am back on Prednisone for 2 more weeks The Doctor mentioned the trigger may be one of the meds I am on. He has taken me off of Ramipril for 2 weeks. I am not really sure how this trial will work. I do have some belief that heat or some allergic reactions to the environment may be a partial trigger. Has anyone else experienced this or does someone have answers?
Dave, Ontario, Canada, February 23, 2006

• Bonjour à tous. Je suis français et comme vous tous j ai des problèmes après une intervention de coronographie. Après l implantation de 4 Stents Taxus dans mes artères en mars 2005, je me suis trouvé comme vous, face à des effets secondaires face au traitement médical que m a indiqué mon chirurgien en cardiologie. Du PLAVIX avec du KARDEGIC (aspirine). Très vite, trois mois plus tard, les effets secondaires sont apparus mais moins grave que vous tous. Une constipation importante et malgré des médicaments pour me soulager, prescrit par mon médecin traitant et aucune amélioration n est apparue. J ai pris contact avec mon cardiologue pour lui signaler mon cas et modifier mon traitement médical. Il a refusé ma demande et a maintenu les médicaments préconisés par le chirurgien cardiologue, c est à dire : le PLAVIX et le KARDEGIC. Pour lui il était important de maintenir le traitement au moins 1 an, au plus juste 6 mois. 1 mois plus tard j ai repris contact avec mon cardiologue pour l informer que je n avais aucune amélioration. J ai insisté durement et il a changé le PLAVIX par du TICLID. J ai eu une amélioration sur ma constipation, mais une allergie plus sournoise est apparue sans que je m en rende compte. Un rhume, avec écoulement nasal, des éternuements très forts avec les yeux qui pleurent. Les mêmes symptômes qu un rhum des foins ou une allergie à une plante. Cette situation a durée 7 mois durant lesquels j ai pris des médicaments pour me soigner. Mais rien ne calmait cette allergie. J ai pris contact avec mon médecin traitant et nous avons étudié mon cas et devant son impuissance il m a conseillé de prendre un rendez-vous avec un ORL ( Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie). Après une consultation chez ce spécialiste il en a déduit que le TICLID était le responsable de mon allergie et que ce médicament était connu pour cet effet secondaire. Sur son conseille j ai pris contact avec mon cardiologue et prés discussion, il était d accord pour que j arrête le TICLID car je totalisais prés d 1 an de prise de ce médicament. Depuis 1 mois que j ai arrêté le TICLID, mon rhume et ses conséquences ont disparu. En conclusion il faut faire très attention aux médicaments que préconisent les médecins et faire son analyse personnelle pour amener votre médecin à ce diriger vers une autre direction médicale et utiliser les connaissances d autres professionnels médicaux. J ai la chance de ne pas avoir à ce jour (février 2006) des effets secondaires aussi grave que vous. Ce qui est vrai, c est que l implantation de Stents demande une grande vigilance de la part du chirurgien en cardiologie et surtout de ne pas succomber à la démarche des laboratoires et produits pharmaceutiques pour gagner de l argent. Bonnes chances à tous. Armand.

Translation to English of above: Hello to all. I am French and like you all I had problems after a coronary intervention. After the implantation of 4 Taxus stents in March 2005, I was like you, experiencing side effects from the medical treatment -- PLAVIX with KARDEGIC (aspirin). Very quickly, three months later, the side effects were present but less serious than you all. Then I became very constipated in spite of drugs to relieve me. I contacted my cardiologist to modify my medical treatment, but he said it was important to stay with the drugs recommended by the interventional cardiologist (Plavix and aspirin) for at least 1 year, more than 6 months. 1 month later I told my cardiologist I had no improvement. I insisted strongly and he changed the PLAVIX to TICLID. I had an improvement on my constipation, but a more hidden allergy appeared: a cold with runny nose, strong sneezes, watery eyes. Similar symptoms like hay fever. This situation lasted 7 months during which I took drugs to try to alleviate the symptoms. But nothing calmed this allergy. I contacted my attending doctor and we studied my case. He referred me to an ORL (Otorhinolaryngology) who determined that the TICLID was the cause and that this drug was known for this side effect. I contacted my cardiologist and we stopped the TICLID because I'd taken it for a year. In the month since I stopped taking it, my cold and accompanying symptoms have disappeared. In conclusion it is necessary to pay great attention to the drugs which the doctors recommend and to make a personal analysis to bring your doctor so he can direct you to other specialists. To this date (February 2006) I have not experienced the serious side effects others have reported. What is true, is that the implantation of stents requires great vigilance on behalf of the interventional cardiologist and especially not to succumb to the pressure of the hospitals and pharmaceuticals just to make money. Good luck to all. Armand.
Armand, particulier, FRANCE/VILLEURBANNE, February 22, 2006

• I have had 4 stents put in. The last was the medicated taxus one.Since then (nov) I have lost most mobility in my legs, am in severe pain, all joints muscles don't work well. I would much have rathered to even though it may have been shortened somewhat not to be where I am at today. I have spoke to my doctor and several others, now its laywer time since the medical world 'knows of no problems' even though the stent company admits to problems with it. By the way all the other stents along with the same meds had no problem with. If anyone experienced this type of severe pain and has contacted the legal system please let me know. Thanks.
walter coates, new jersey, February 20, 2006

• I had a PTCA on Dec 27, 2005 with a Taxus Express placed in RCA. Additional PTCA at home hospital with CYPHER stent placed in LAD on Feb 1, 2006. Two days later, acniform rash (similar to folliculitis) on chest, upper back and arms. That evening, somewhat loud sounds of pulse in head followed by rigor (severe chills). Trip to ER where I was afebrile, chills & sound of pulse in head resolved. ER doc and my dermatologist felt rash not related to stent or meds (including Plavix). Derm indicated that stress, including two PTCA procedures can result in an imbalance of skin organisms, with a corresponding increase in a fungal (pittyrisis (sp?) growth. Prescribed Nizoral shampoo to help dry this up. My internist also concerned about a potential blood-borne infection, checked blood & other cultures (all were negative and still afebrile). The rash is less problematic over past week. However, a few additional instances of early morning pounding pulse in head plus a couple of times with lower grade chilling. The swishing sound of the pulse (somewhat like the doppler sound of an echocardiogram) that becomes noticable upon awakeing (1 to 4 AM) has become the most annoying problem. Anyone else had this situation or thoughts?
Bill, Kansas, USA, February 12, 2006

• Thanks for your response to my first question. I was given a card for the 1st iliac artery stent. That one was replaced in 2002, and I can't find that card. I was NEVER given one for the 1st cardiac stent. I asked the surgeon who implanted the 2nd cardiac stent, and he claims to have given the info to the regular cardiologist, who denies having received it. Records from the hospital where it was inserted have not been produced. Isn't there a registry someplace where I could look my name and then learn which stents I have. I wrote to one dr who told me that the card wasn't necessary and that no one looks at them anyway. Other doc took two weeks to send back a form which I need to sign, which contains all of the info I already included in my letter. And, the note indicates that it may take some time to do a search. I'm hurting!!! It's easier to get warranty info about my TV!!! Why are drs so paranoid about backing up their work or the materials they chose to use in performing the job??

Also, where can I find out if persons with nickel allergy are having problems with stents? Also can some of you who have the abdominal problems describe your problems? My Dr. doesn't think there's a connection between abdominal problems and the stents. Thanks again.
Carole W., private hurting person, Atlanta area, Georgia, USA, February 06, 2006

• Terrie -- when patients seem to be experiencing an adverse reaction to Plavix (clopidogrel) doctors often try Ticlid (ticlopidine) which is a different antiplatelet drug. Darrell from Iowa had Ticlid substituted for Plavix and his symptoms seem to have disappeared. But these two drugs are in fact the only ones (in combination with aspirin) which are currently used to keep drug-eluting stents from causing thrombosis (blood clotting). We're not giving medical advice, only pointing out what is the current state of treatment, as described in the medical literature. As for the polymer dissolving -- it doesn't. Neither of the two currently marketed drug-eluting stents (Cypher or Taxus) have biodegradable polymers. While it is true that the drug elution is pretty much finished at around three months, the polymer itself remains on the metal stent. Newer technologies are being worked on (Conor MedSystems, Biotronix, etc.) where the polymer or the stent itself biodegrades, but none are currently approved. It may or may not be a stent allergy. The only way to know is to change the drug regimen and see if the symptoms go away. But definitely do this with your cardiologist who is really the best judge of this. It is definitely not recommended for patients to go off antiplatelet therapy.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 6, 2006

• Update to previous posting dated 01-24-06 regarding Cypher Sirolimus-eluting stent. My husband Bill has been back to his regular Doctor and his cardiologist. They have put him on a anxiety medicine Lorazepam which helps control the burning and itching sensations in his skin. It is still there though. He has to continue to take it. Interesting same as Darrell. Bill's doctors told him plavix was the only antiplatelet drug there is! They also said they never heard of anyone having problems with plavix. The doctor did say he could go off the plavix the end of march which would be 6 months if he could stand it that long. Not sure what he mean't by that? I assume the stent will be healed and covered over by then? He also stated he was losing muscle mass in his hands but didn't say why. Told him not to give up yet he would get him through it Does anyone know what the doctors are referring too? It is like they are waiting for something? They do keep checking the redness in his skin especially the hands. Don't say why and they are not treating him for anything. Sylvester from Cordis called us and wanted to know how Bill was doing? Told him no better. I asked him if the polymer on the stent goes away or not? He said it dissolves to release the sirolimus and they both should be gone after 3 months. Does any one know if it does and if so how long does it take for it to get out of your system? One of our doctors said the polymer goes away-one of our other doctors said it didn't. Once again Sylvester had no answers to what Bill's problems could be but hoped it was the plavix. Does anyone know if the symptoms to a reaction to nickel are the same problems Bill is having. Nickel is in the stents. I will let the forum know how Bill does once off the plavix and I am thankful for this forum.
Terrie B., Ohio, February 5, 2006

• (Update to Dec 28, 2005 posting) In the last month all allergic symptoms have been minimal to none. Thanks for your site. I have shared the information with my cardiologist.
M.P., Maryland, February 4, 2006

• Re:Stent reaction. I am pleased to report that my condition has returned to near normal. As reported earlier, Iowa Heart Center placed me on Ticlid as a replacement for Plavix. They also recommended Benydril twice daily and Xanax for sleep and anxiety. I am still not sure which was the most effective but the results were lots of sleep over several days and a return to near normal condition. Somewhat tired, maybe due to the trauma but definitely helped to solve the problem. I intend now to try walking and exercise to regain the strength that I really need. My sincere thanks to your site which gave me information which was most informative in talking to the doctors and nurses involved with my care. My sincerest home is that this will help others who have gone through this.Darrell
Darrell, Iowa , February 3, 2006

• Carole, you should have been given a card with the stent information on it. Did you get one? Nickel is part of stainless steel and most metal stents, including the drug-eluting type, are based on surgical stainless steel.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 3, 2006

• Question- How do I find out which stents were implanted? I've asked the doctors,but all that I get is a run around. Also, I've read that one can have reactions to the nickel used in bare metal stents - what are the symptoms? I've read the Taxus patient brochure and it certainly sounds like I'm have a lot of the problems list as "possible" Thanks for any help.
Carole, just a private person, Georgia, USA, February 02, 2006

• I had stents put in mar 1, 2005 and june 24, 2005 the first was 2 stents and the second time 1 stent. I am on alot of medicine and have started having trouble with my back and leg hurting. Also, swelling in my stomach and chest. It's to where it is hard for me to breathe.
Gloria A., Texas , January 30, 2006

• Forum Editor--Re your quick response to my topic discussion regarding Stents. Your forum has added immensely to my knowledge and help with talking to Doctors. Before the Stent implant I was taking Lipitor, Lopid, Zestril, Aspirin, Cardizem. After implant they added Plavix. After consultation with the invasive Cardiologist and my long time Cardiologist over over 16 years I am now taking Xanax for sleep an anxiety, Discontinued Plavix and substituted Ticlid and additionally Benadryl daily. Last night I had the first good nights sleep I had in almost a month. Will keep this forum appraised of further developments with this regimen. So far I am feeling better Thanks again. Darrell
Darrell, Iowa, January 28, 2006

• Darrell, first of all, thank you for sharing your story with us. You've done all the right things, like immediately informing your doctor(s) of your reaction. And you're right that the symptoms you experienced are very similar to those others on this Forum have described. One question: what new drugs are you taking since the stenting? Usually Plavix and aspirin are prescribed -- they provide antiplatelet therapy while the inner lining of the artery grows over the stent -- this helps prevent the blood clotting around the stent and causing stent thrombosis, a serious situation, but one that only occurs in 1 out of 200 cases. Plavix or Ticlid are usually taken for 3-6 months or longer, and may cause an allergic reaction. But antiplatelet therapy should not be stopped. Let us know what more you find out. This is a very important subject that we are finding out more and more about and, as you said, this Forum and the JACC study from Northwestern seem to be the only places (on the Internet at least) where this is being discussed.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 27, 2006

• On November 25, 2005, I had an implant of 3 CYPHER Stents for plugged arteries of my heart. I had a follow up schedule to visit my cardiologist on December 28 but due to a conflict of the Dr. it was rescheduled for December 14. Within that elapsed time, I had reported to the Dr. that I had some Angina while walking a relatively short distance. At the appointment, I was assured that I did not have Angina because it was too soon for re-blockage to occur. On January 4, 2006 I worked around some bathroom fixtures and that evening broke out into a horrible burning rash in the entire upper body. My body felt like it was on fire. My eyes watered and burned. Sleep was then and still is almost impossible. My first thought was that some bacteria or mold from the bathroom was the culprit. After taking an over the counter Benadryl, there was some relief from the itching rash of the skin but the burning sensation continued. My wife and I had scheduled a short cruise and left for Florida on January 8. The itching burning rash continued to occur under my armpits and in particular the abdomen, groin and highly inflamed scrotum. I reported all of this to my cardiologist at home but they told me they had no clue as to the cause. I visited a General MD in Florida who prescribed Prednisolone and various counter creams to rub on the skin. I settled on using some of my wife's Aloe Vera hand cream which gave the most relief from the skin part of the problem. We left on our cruise on January 14 and returned to Florida on January 21. I reported to both doctors from St. Marten and St. Thomas and received no additional instructions except to keep them informed. The burning sensation settled in my lower abdomen, tops of my hands, in the armpits, in my lower legs and feet all of which seemed to be more internal than external. The skin of normally cool to the touch. Today January 25, 2006 my wife insisted that I get on the internet and check out allergies to Stents. This site and the NWU Study confirms that I should listen to my wife more often. There is hardly an exception to my condition and those symptoms described at this site and the NWU Study. Two of my toes have turned black and blue. I thought I had injured them while walking around barefoot. Tomorrow I talk to my Cardiologist and whomever else will listen.
Darrell, Iowa, January 25, 2006

• To Angioplasty.Org Staff, Response to your Question. My husband's blood pressure since they took him off the blood pressure medicine ranges from 100/71 to 135/76. Doctors haven't answered us to whether this is normal now or not! We have asked them but haven't gotten any answer. If you ask them too many questions they seem to get ticked at you. Also we have notified Cordis twice -- they offered no answers either. We have notified the FDA but they are advising us to ask our Doctors. We have a number of times to no avail. We have tried to find out. Thank You!!
Terrie B. Ohio, January 25, 2006

• Terrie -- as for your husband's low blood pressure post-stenting -- did it come back to normal after stopping the meds? If so, that might be a signal that the stenting had an immediate benefit. As for the symptoms you described he is having, similar ones are reported throughout this Forum Topic, as well as the one on Plavix. It would seem to be an allergic reaction to something. The "something" could be a medication, like Plavix, or possibly the drug-eluting Cypher stent, more specifically to the polymer-coating on the stent. A team of physicians from Northwestern Medical Center in Chicago recently published a paper in the Journal of American College of Cardiology on the subject. Maybe a print-out of this article could help your physicians determine the problem. You can also try contacting Cordis to report the reaction. Let us know what you find out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 25, 2006

• Cypher Sirolimus-eluting coronary stent -- My husband had one of these stents put in 09-30-05. He is 54 years old and was active and in good health before this. He was on High blood pressure medicine but that was all. He has had nothing but problems since this procedure. They had to take him off cholesterol medicine and blood pressure medicine because it dropped too low. He is on plavix and aspirin only. His other symptoms are itching and burning sensation on chest, back, feet, hands especially between fingers, stomach and head. If he does anything like walking or working with his hands his muscles get sore, ache and burn worse. He is having a hard time doing alot of things. He suffers all the time and quality of life is not good. Good thing he is retired because he couldn't work. He also has dizzy spells, redness of skin all over, hoarseness and sore throat, acne type lesions on neck, head and face and all these symptoms come and go at random. Has been to 5 specialists-no one has a answer. He has also been tested for all kinds of things. All test found everything to be normal. Could this be plavix or stent reaction? We are desperate for answers. Doctors are not even trying to relieve his symptoms. Any one else got this problem?
Terrie B., Ohio, January 24, 2006

• Update to previous posting. I went to the dermatologist, they took a skin biopsy, results were inconclusive. Highly inflamed skin and ezema, put on Clobex. The rash is going away. My cardiologist says it is the Plavix, that rashes will continue, but that I must stay on it. My primary doctor says it is the Lipitor, and has taken me off it. I am experiencing pain at the site of the stent, but the cardiologist says it is not angina. He says I am highly sensitive and not to worry. For the Angioplasty.Org Staff, I went back on the Plavix and Lipitor after reading the article from Chicago, so I was only off my meds for 4 days. My stent is a drug-induced stent, but my cardiologist does not seem concerned with the recent study. I know my body better than he does and will continue to monitor the reactions I am experiencing and document them. Science is amazing but not infalable.
Pat, Oregon, January 13, 2006

• On 3/3/05 I had three Taxus Express 2 stents put in two was piggyback because the closure was so long. In 1995 I had one 60% and 2 20% and thought I should have a Cath. was never put on any med. at all by my Dr. in 95, why? good question. I had a better life before the stents than ever after. Put on Plavix and aspirin 325mg and was woundering why I would feel I was dying every day and finally another Dr. said it was probably the Plavix. I quit the Plavix still taking the aspirin and feel better but nothing like before even with the closures. Now having bad back, neck, knee and chest pains very severe, can't hardly go now. Always been super active, 6' - 170 lb. I never thought this could happen after stents was put in! I am going to Spokane to have someone check me that may know something !! I am wondering if the chest pains are from a closed stent. Anyone else having joint or muscle problems after stents?
R. D. Rice, Washington, January 12, 2006

• This is a follow up to previous postings. The tests I had done Monday and Tues turned out fine. So I told the doctor I didnt have this pain before the stents, how will I know If the pain is something to be concerned about? Stress and cold weather bother me way more than before..............
Lynn, Wisconsin, January 12, 2006

• My 47 yr old husband had 5 stents inserted back in July and 2 weeks after his hospitalization he developed a severe rash, mostly in the lower waist area, at the neck line and behind his ears. He had very large welts. When his lips started to swell we had to rush him to the ER. They believed the reaction was due to the ace inhibitor he had been started on in the hospital (lisonopril?) After treatment with prednisone and eliminating that drug from his regimen, his reaction did diminish. Although it seems like it was the drug that he was allergic to, it took 2 weeks for the allergy to surface and he was on a very low dose of the med. The stents ended up clotting up on him and he had to have emergency bypass surgery in September. I do believe he has a sensitivity to the stents and was not a good candidate, whether or not it was a direct allergic reaction to the medication on the stents (Cypher), we are not sure. Good news is that he is doing well now and still has the stents in him although they are all blocked.
Maria S, January 06, 2006

• This is a follow-up to the last posting, my cardi-rehab class would not let me return until I made a call to my Cardiologist. I will have tests done next Monday and Tuesday. I will follow-up with results. I have had way too much pressure and pain like I've been kicked in the chest, since I had the stents .
Lynn, Wisconsin , January 6, 2006

• An update to my Jan 4 entry...I must correct the statement that he was on Plavix 60 days before - This was a mistatement as he was started on Plavix on Dec 10 and had the procedure done on Dec 28th. I think it is also worth noting that he complete the antibotic 3 days ago and the welts are gone, the three areas where he had the hives are "almost" clear. Some redness lingers but no swelling and NO itching. We are wondering if it was not the antibotic that created the reaction in this case! But, I must add that Bob is not an outgoing person and is quite reserved...he has bursted out in a song for the 5th time now which is just extremely unusual. I think he is just basically feeling so good that he has a totally different outlook! Today, as he got dressed, he marked the fifth day on his calendar that he did not have high blood pressure or a dull nagging headache. We are both smiling!
Evelyn T., Florida, January 6, 2006

• I had two stents placed in my heart the end of October 05', they are Cypher stents. Since this procedure I have been put on 5 new medications. No suprize, the first few weeks were rough, and I too had a rash. Luckily I feel somewhat better. My concern is any days under 40 degrees, my chest hurts,or if I have a lot of stress.....
Lynn, Wisconsin, January 4, 2006

• My significant other had two TAXUS stents placed in an artery on Wed, Dec 28th. Night of the surgery, he had a 101.5 temp and some hives on his back. His heart rate went from 82 to 52 and his blood pressure dropped significantlly. The nurses who were caring for him did a fantastic job keeping him comfortable and the fever controlled with tylenol. Now, almost one week after surgery, he has hives on the palms of both hands. It is extremely itchy and very bothersome! The hives appear to show up in different areas of his body. First on the back, then on the groin area and now on the hands. They have lasted in all three areas 2-3 days before showing up in the new area! He started the treatment with Plavix approx 60 days before the stent procedure and had no reaction to the plavix. The itching is controlled with an over the counter cream applied every few hours! He is back to long walks with NO pressure or pain. Is hoping to hit the driving range before this weekend! The itching is the only reaction we have had to this miracle treatment of stents!
Evelyn T., Florida, January 4, 2006

• Pat -- it is, of course, still possible that the allergy is caused by one or more of the drugs, but assuming you had a drug-eluting stent, aspirin and Plavix are important meds to stay on to prevent stent thrombosis (most cardiologists prescribe Plavix for 3-12 months, depending on the stent used and the patient's situation -- and aspirin for life. Some cardiologists might try a different but related antiplatelet drug, called ticlopidine, instead of Plavix (clopidogrel) if a drug allergy is suspected, as others on this Forum have reported. Make sure the interventional cardiologist who did the procedure knows about your reaction -- these post-procedure effects need to be publicized. Also, two questions: whick stent were you given: Taxus or Cypher? And when you say your other artery was "reamed out" which device was used? A Rotoblator or an atherectomy device or something else? Just a historical note: angioplasty was actually invented in the 60's at OHSU in your town, Portland Oregon, by radiologist Charles Dotter. He made a film in 1964 to describe the process (he worked in the legs) and used a clip from a roto-rooter TV commercial. Later in the film, a patient who had suffered from leg pain and had the angioplasty kicks up his heels in the hospital corridor and says, "Looks like my ream job is working!". Funny guy, this Dotter. Good luck -- let us know how you fare.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 4, 2006

• I went in a week b4 Thanksgiving for severe throat pain. It was angina, and had a stent put in one artery, and they reemed the other one out. I was so grateful and had a wonderful holiday. Broke out in hives a week b4 Christmas,never had them b4, put on steroids and Benadryl. Symptoms did not worsen, but did not get better. Out of steroids, and have a painful and itchy rash on my neck, shoulders, scalp as well as arms and inner thighs. i am now being sent to a dermatologist. Went off Plavix and Lipitor, because my research showed they may be the culprits! Until I read the study out of Chicago!
Pat, Oregon, January 3, 2006

• I am a 50 yr old woman with 3 drug eluting stents (5 mos ago). I have been having pain in my legs, joints and muscles since then along with swollen lymph nodes of groin/axilla. I am off cholesterol meds since Oct. Have other patients had similiar reactions and could this be some kind of allergic reaction to the stents? Thank you.
Dawn S., Connecticut., January 3, 2006

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