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Side Effects of Drug-Eluting Stents

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My husband has had a coronary stent for 9 years. the past 2 weeks he has experienced angina on a regular basis and may need to have his stent replaced. I believe doctors are now favoring the medicated stents. Are there any side effects or risks from these "medicated stents." i would greatly appreciate any feedback, thanks in advance.
posted by Sharon Brumbaugh, Oregon

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Current Postings on This Page (69):

• I have 8 stents 9 years ago and i have constantly clearing my throat always white and foamy cannot lift my arms above my head it like tearing in my chest low blood pressure slow heart beat as low as mid thirties per minute when sleeping.
Nates , Canada, July 14, 2013

• Maria in Los Angeles -- Although patients may feel anxiety and other things after any surgery or diagnosis of a chronic disease, the types of side effects you are describing could be tied to some of the drugs he is taking. The current generation of drug-eluting stents have few, if any, side effects. We would recommend discussing these issues with your husband's cardiologist and perhaps he can make an adjustment to the drug regimen. We do not recommend making any changes without his knowledge, however. For example, Effient (or a similar drug) and aspirin are very necessary for preventing a blood clot in the stent. Some patients have reactions to statins (like Lipitor) for example. However, the burning pain sound like a stomach irritation or GERD, something that is usually helped by use of a Proton Pump Inhibitor, such as pantoprazole. Again, consult your cardiologist on these matters. The goal of getting a stent is to feel better and relieve symptoms, not feel worse and get new ones.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 14, 2013

• My husband had a coronary stent 2 months ago. He had the drug eluting stent. He complains daily of too much tiredness and weakness, no appetite. He has problem in sleeping and anxiety panic attacks. He is currently taking Effient and aspirin, Lisinopril 40, Lipitor 20 and bystolic 5 mcg and lorazepam 0.5mg. He easily bruised due to Effient His biggest problem is he woke up at night with a burning feeling from the stomach going up to the chest. He tried taking pantoprazole cuz his doctor said it is acid reflux but not working well. He keeps on losing weight and feeling weak all the time. He has night sweats and hot flushes, shaking etc. are these side effects of stent or the medicines he's been taking? Life is not back to normal after the stent.
Maria, Los Angeles, California, USA, May 6, 2013

• WB in Florida -- Kind of curious because you mention a sirolimus stent, which would inidicate a Cordis Cypher, a stent that has been discontinued for some time now. It was the very first drug-eluting stent approved in the U.S. in 2003, but Cordis/J&J has gone out of the coronry stent business. Also, we think when you write "clot off" you are referring to restenosis: a process of tissue regrowing inside the stent, something drug-eluting stents have reduced significantly, although not eliminated. Stents can develop blood clots inside, called stent thrombosis, which is why Plavix and aspirin are taken as preventatives. A blood clot is relatively infrequent but very serious, usually resulting in an acute episode, such as a heart attack.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 5, 2013

• I am an MD with a very successful CABG 16 years ago (Quadruple). Numerous allergies including Sulfa. Sirolimus stent clotted off within a few weeks. Next stent was bare metal plus Plavix still open 4 mths ago. Having unstable angina. 2 Sirolimus stents placed. Initially looked good but now probably clotted off 3 months later. Having unstable angina now. Unable to take NTG because of hypotension & migraines. Meds now are Plavix, Losartin BID, Atenolol 50 mg BID, Baby Aspirin, Fioricet prn migraine.
WB, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, April 3, 2013

• I had 2 stents medicated.4cm from LCA to LAD AND ONE FROM LCA TO LEX.CRISCROSSING. Done by Mr. Shetty of Columbia Asia. The drugs I filtered down to was Titrace 2.5 mg, Crestor 10mg and Plavix 75mg.after 6 months I stopped Plavix. I have been exercising since last 11 months. started one month after the stents were implanted. Everything was okay except while sleeping on my chest side i used to get some sort of pain. it was more of muscle pain. I went for an angiogram. The blood flow for smooth and there were no clots whatsoever. The artery for about 12mm at the beginning of LCA was 2.5ml but no clot. Dr felt it could have a venturi effect and if there is a clot in the future you can't stent it and hence with my consent they stented a 12mm medicated one and expanded to 4mm same as rest of the length of LCA and LAD. The pain has subsided. Like in any of the cases there will be slight dizziness for about 2 to 3 weeks. My advise to people who have had stents is use only Plavix. or equivalent for 6 months and aspirin 75mg after 6 months. if you have BP control with Titrace 2.5mg. EVERY DAY BRISK WALKING FOR 45 MINS TO 1 HOUR IS MUST. WEEKLY 3 DAYS SOME SORT OF SPORTS SUCH AS TENNIS OR SQUASH.
Srinivas Muralidhara, Mohamed Abdul Rehaman Al Bahar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, March 17, 2013

• Steve in England -- The drug on the stent is pretty much gone after 6 months. You should definitely discuss your issues with your cardiologist. It may be that your meds need some adjustment. Remember, the reason for placing a stent is to help the patient feel better, more blood flow to the heart, more oxygen, more energy. There is also the issue of depression -- something well-documented in heart patients. Often a stent is the first inkling a patient may have that they have coronary artery disease (CAD), a chronic condition. And a common reaction to this news is depression. It may be helpful to try to overcome these feelings through counseling, behavioral cognitive therapy, exercise, diet, etc. The therapeutic value of exercise in particular is oft overlooked, but many heart patients who have adopted a healthier lifestyle after a diagnosis of CAD say they have never felt better. But the right answer may be different for different patients, which is why we always recommend seeing your doctor or healthcare professional for advice.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 16, 2013

• Hi I had a drug stent put in 2wks ago, as I was booked in months before I had been having pre op drugs initially gave me headache for 1 week, then felt ok but since having the stent I feel tired, can't be bothered and fed up! But not as in a depressed state, more like it's been raining for a month! OK I know it knocked me about a lot, felt like a second hand dart board afterwards, but I am a tough old thing worked with broken arm and cracked ribs before, just wondering if the drug on the stent has any side effects? or antibodies are attacking it? Let's face it a foreign body in your chest.
Steve U/K, Kent, England, March 11, 2013

• Nicky in the UK -- We're thinking your father may be having a reaction not to the stent but to one of the drugs he may be taking. For example, a number of patients have reported reactions to Plavix, such as rashes, bruising, increased susceptability to bleeding, etc. But he shouldn't stop taking any medicine (especially Plavix) without discussing this issue with his cardiologist. Also look over our topic on "Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES)", although most reports and concerns are about the 1st generation of DES -- and the Medtronic Resolute is a newer device. There's also a possibility of reactions in those who have severe metal allergies, since almost all stents contain nickel.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 23, 2012

• My father has had a dozen Medtronic resolute stents inserted over the past couple of years. Since the first one, he has had a rash all over his body. With increased amount of stents inserted have increased the rash. It is now so bad that every time the rash is brushed it bleeds. I wonder if there is either a compound used that is also in plasters (as he allergic to those) or known allergy to these stents. - Has anyone else had this issue?
Nicky Horley, United Kingdom, November 19, 2012

• Aruna in Tamil Nadu and Mrs. HelpMe in Indiana -- Stents themselves would not cause the types of side effects you describe. However, a stent procedure is often the first time coronary artery disease is identified, and so various medications are then prescribed, often for the first time. Some of these medications, not the stents, may cause these types of side effects. For example, ACE inhibitors can cause a dry cough. antiplatelet drugs, such as aspirin, Effient, Plavix, etc. can cause stomach upset. We don't give medical adivce, except that you should not make changes to your drug regimen without consulting your interventional cardiologist first. He or she may be able to help you by prescribing a different drug, or by adding a drug (an H2 or PPI) to help with the stomach upset.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 7, 2012

• Hi. My father age 63 got stented last week. He got heavy hiccups and cough. Is there any problem in stenting? Please answer
Aruna, trichy, Tamil Nadu, India, November 5, 2012

• My husband has had two stents in heart. Now he excessive belching. It gets so bad that he has to lay down for it to quit. He has had a brava test and the drs don't know. We are going to a mental health Dr but they don't know either. My hubby is also on Effient. Any answers would help.
Mrs. help me, Vincennes, Indiana, USA, September 12, 2012

• Brad in Illinois -- Are you taking statins (we assume so)? Statins are known to cause the type of muscle and joint pain you describe. You should discuss this with your cardiologist and, if he/she thinks it might be the statin, perhaps your dose or formulation can be changed.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 30, 2012

• I am 47 years old, and I got my medicated stent last Aug. and have been on Effient also. 2 days after my stent i have had hearing problems, started working out 2 days after the stent, running lifting weights etc., all was good for about 5 months, felt great getting buff, then my arm muscles started to hurt, quit lifting etc., still run legs are ok, but hard time lifting a cup of coffee because of muscle pain. Last issue is skin on hands and feet peeling, hope when I am done with the Effient all this stops (3 more months), the only other pills I take is aspirin and fish oil. It just hit me in the last few days, it could be the stent.???
Brad Wilson, South Beloit, Illinois, USA, June 28, 2012

• Between December 2008 and September 2010 - thirteen drug eluting stents were implanted in my RDA and LAD..(of both the Paclitaxel and Sirolimus varieties) After the last procedure, I experienced some very localized discomfort but that resolved within weeks. It was not however anything like the chest pains I had previously experienced -it felt more like a deep bruise!. Apparently the placement of the stent (i.e. opening and stretching the vessel) can sometimes minor trauma to vessel wall. I have been completely symptom free since my last procedure but definitely did experience a period of generalized fatigue, anhedonia and dysphoric mood. In a word, I felt depressed. This seemed very natural to me since my body had four procedures (two of which were six hour marathons) during which my cardiovascular system was "assaulted." I don't care what people say...it may not be like "bypass " surgery but its still an assault on your body nevertheless. I also experienced a kind of "fatigue", anhedonia, "malaise," mood dysphoria....for weeks after my procedures. My groin felt like battle zone with lots of bruising and soreness as well.
richardzhartley msw, South River, New Jersey, USA, June 20, 2012

• I have one stent and suffered for a month with pain, heaviness in chest, and fatigue. The doctor said it was likely spasms since nitro relieved it. Nitro however lowers my blood pressure too much. The Calcium channel blocker, Verapamil, has the same effect as nitro for me and has been the only thing that has taken the spasms in my chest away. Verapamil is a miracle for me that gave me my life back.
tooyoungforthis, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, May 2, 2012

• Joy in Chicago -- Check out our Forum Topic, "Not Feeling Well After Stenting". You'll find a number of other patients not feeling as good as they thought right after stenting. A significant pain might be worrisome, in that it might signal that something is not right with the stent. But a feeling of fatigue, etc. could be due to many things. Sometimes a new medicine has been introduced and that certainly can cause fatigue, etc. If this doesn;t go away, you certainly ashould discuss this with your cardiologist.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 19, 2012

• I had a stent placed 4 days ago (have no clue what kind) and I am so fatigued. The location was left sub clavicle blockage and if I do anything (bend over, walk to long etc) I feel pressure by my left armpit. It is not pain but I am worried. Will I feel better ever?
Joy, Chicago, Illinois, USA, February 17, 2012

• Mary in West Islip -- Check out our Forum Topic, "Not Feeling Well After Stenting" because a patient just posted there with concerns about Everolimus (on a Promus Element stent) and we replied with some thoughts.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 15, 2012

• My mother had a Xience V drug-eluting stent placed the Friday after Thanksgiving. Everolimus is the drug in this stent. Since this procedure, she has become increasingly confused, agitated, argumentative. She has had slurred speech, numbing, tingling sensations, word retrieval issues hypo and hypertensive. All Cat Scans, MRI's are negative for any strokes. She is not the same person since this stent was placed. The first episode occurred two days after the stent was placed. I am concerned that this is an allergic reaction to the drug: Everolimus however, her cardiologist is being dismissive at best. Please advise if any one else has had similar side-effects.
Mary, West Islip, New York, USA, February 15, 2012

Dear Di, Australia -- yes, yes, yes,. I am 40 years old and have had 9 more heart attacks after the taxus medicated stent was put in my LAD. The second major heart attack was caused by stent thrombosis, but since I get vasospasms so bad they give me heart attacks. I did not have them before the stent was installed, so I can reasonably assume the stent is responsible for the next 8 heart attacks I have suffered. You are not alone, and if your doctor does not believe you go somewhere else. Unfortunately for us we suffer, while medical device companies make billions of dollars using people like us as lab rats.
Heartattackgirl, Felch, Michigan, USA, February 3, 2012

• yes, yes, yes,. I am 40 years old and have had 9 more heart attacks after the taxus medicated stent was put in my LAD. The second major heart attack was caused by stent thrombosis, but since I get vasospasms so bad they give my heart attacks. I did not have them before the stent was installed, so I can reasonably assume the stent is responsible for the next 8 heart attacks I have suffered.
Heartattackgirl, Felch, Michigan, USA, February 3, 2012

• I had 2 bare metal stents 4/11 and took Effient for 7 months of hell. swollen lips, burning ankle, continual rash,& sore mouth. I went to Plavix for a month and the same results. After stress test pics showed an anomaly, catheterization indicated restenosis in both stents. Medicated stents were inserted into the old stents and I was put on Brilinta and after several days the same ill effects are present. Am I to expect this hell for the rest of the time required to take these pills? Am I the only one to experience this type of side effects?
Clark, Retired, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, USA, January 22, 2012

• Has anyone experienced Vasospasm episodes (following stenting) brought on by sitting in a particular position? I can't go to the movies, restaurants, concerts, watch TV or sit in a car for very long without risking a Vasospasm episode. 3 out of 4 doctors don't believe me and the 4th, bless him, thinks that maybe one of the stents is kinking when I sit a certain way...but there seems to be no idea, after 9 months, how to treat this. Can anyone help?
Di in Sydney, Australia, January 17, 2012

• Dear Editor - Thanks so much for your kind response and in-depth information. I feel a bit more confident, now, about the Endeavor Resolute stents. Something I'm still trying to find out is if anyone else has reported Vasospasm being triggered by sitting in a particular position. My cardiologist (second opinion because the first one was at a loss as to why I was, am still am, having these events) thinks that one of the stents, on a bifurcation, is kinking the artery when I relax my thorax while sitting. It triggers a varying mixture of breathlessness, chest pain, rapid pulse, raised BP and pain down my left arm. I have been told it's non-life threatening but it certainly disrupts the normality of my life and makes me feel very ill. Have you heard of anything like this before? Re the Crestor (thank you for picking that up) - I am on it for the cholesterol but I meant to say I'd been switched to Effient (which caused nose bleeds until the dose was reduced).
Di, Sydney, Australia, January 9, 2012

• Di in Australia -- Actually the Endeavour is one of the more biocompatible drug-eluting stents out there. It has a polymer that has been shown by OCT imaging to have the highest "healing", even more complete than bare metal stents. And the drug that is eluted from the polymer is zotarolimus, which is a "limus" drug similar to those used on most other stents (everolimus, sirolimus, etc.) but definitely different than paclitaxel (a form of Taxol). As for microvascular disease, there is ongoing research in this and it seems this is often the form of coronary artery disease seen in women, which definitely has implications for treatment. Changes in meds may help. Crestor, however, is not a substitute for Plavix. Plavix is an antiplatelet (anticlotting) drug taken for a year after drug-eluting stents while the stent is healing and being covered by healthy cells (although several studies have shown that, especially with the Endeavour, 6 months of Plavix may be sufficient). Crestor is a statin which helps lower cholesterol. Hope this helps answer your questions?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 8, 2012

• I had 2 Endeavour Resolute Coronary (drug eluting) stents implanted March 2011. 3 days following the op, I was back in Intensive Care for a week and have since had inexplicable leaps in blood pressure (I have generally low BP), crazy pulse (55 to 125 in seconds) plus pins and needles down my left arm. I've had 9 months of hell (over 15 emergency hospitalisations) with cardiologists seeming at a loss as to why this has happened. I've finally been diagnosed with Microvascular disease (it appears microscopic pieces of plaque were squeezed out by the stents), Vasospam (brought on by sitting for too long or in a slightly slumped position hence indicating a squeeze on one of the arteries) and/or Prinzmetal syndrome as well as an inflammatory reaction to the stents. I'd like to know if ANYONE else has had these symptoms following stenting because I certainly had none of them beforehand. I've already changed from Plavix to Crestor and am taking Ikorel for the vasospasm (which is causing reflux). The symptoms have eased off but still recur unpredictably. I'd like to know if taxol is the polymer used in the stents I have so I have some idea if that's what I'm reacting to. Can you help?
Di, Sydney, Australia, January 8, 2012

• Renee in Virginia -- Other patients have reported similar problems to your uncle's. Many of them are posted over in our topic on "Plavix, Aspirin and Stents" or our topic on "Metallic Taste After Stenting." We don't believe this is stent-related, since there's no logical reason that such a specific and ongoing reaction would be caused by a stent, but very often patients begin taking new medications right after stenting -- Plavix (clopidogrel) being the most important and widely used. So we did some research and found this study in Canadian Family Physician, titled "Loss of taste with clopidogrel." And a number of the posters in our Plavix (clopidogrel) topics seemed to feel it was the Plavix causing the problem. If your uncle is taking this drug, that may be the cause. Possibly changing to a different antiplatelet drug (like Effient or Brilinta) might be a place to start -- BUT (and this is VERY important!) do not let your uncle stop taking clopidogrel (Plavix) until he has seen his cardiologist (not just a doctor, but his cardiologist) to discuss this issue. The cardiologist might prescribe a different drug if he/she thinks this is the problem, but after implantation of drug-eluting (medicated) stents, it is extremely important to stay on antiplatelet meds for at least a year -- prematurely stopping can lead to stent thrombosis (a blood clot in the stent) which can be fatal 35-40% of the time. Thanks for your post and please let the Forum know the outcome -- it will help others.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 8, 2012

• My uncle recently had a medicated stent. His taste was fine prior. Now everything taste bad and he is getting thin and weak. he wants to eat but not even his favorite foods are palatable. Could this be stent related if so how long will this last?
Renee, his niece, Suffolk, Virginia, USA, January 7, 2012

• LB in Oklahoma -- we assume the "medicated stent" you are referring to is the Boston Scientific Taxus Express paclitaxel-eluting stent. Paclitaxel is a derivative of Taxol, although the dosage of this drug released by the stent polymer is far lower than what you might have from taking Taxol orally as a pill. Also, the drug elution is finished at 90 days (most of it is eluted in the first 10 days). So, while you may be having some type of problem, it's probably not due to a drug reaction to the drug paclitaxel. However, researchers we have worked with have definitely seen patients who are having a hypersensitivity reaction to the plastic polymer on the drug-eluting stent. What sort of symptoms are you having? (Also, look over our topic on "Allergic Reactions After Drug Eluting Stent (DES)".
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 3, 2012

• I have three stents in my Vascular tree. I had one Bare Metal stent installed in 2010. Then in 2011 they found that it had Restenosis (Tissue Growth). The Doctor ran a medicated Stent inside the Bare Metal stent (RCA) and stented this other area (CX) with a Medicated stent. The problem I have been having is drug reactions with the taxol on the stent. It seems to react with a lot of medication the market. One water pill can last up to days and lower my Blood Pressure. I took a Blood Pressure Pill and it lasted 7 days. NOT VERY HAPPY AT TS TIME!I CARRY ALL THE SIDE EFFECTS OF TAKING TAXOL. I'M 9 AND 1/2 MONTHS N THIS AT THIS TIME. I HAVE 5 TOTAL STENTS BUT ONLY 2 ARE MEDICATED.
LB, Oklahoma, USA, January 2, 2012

• I'm looking to Connie, Mississippi,USA, May 19, 2010...Did you receive any information on your dad and his fatigue problem? My husband had the same thing after the first stent. We had to change cardiologists to get any help. That led to another stent and the first stent had to be reballooned. He felt GREAT for 2 days then a chest pain hit in the LAD area (first stent loc.) and the same symptoms came back. He has terrible muscle fatigue, no energy and sleeps a lot. Dr. refuses to recath and keeps throwing pills at him (up to 15/day). Feels no different than before the stents. I'm looking for another cardiologists! Looking for answers, he has no quality of life. HELP!
Stacie, Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA, December 21, 2011

• Yassah K in Minnesota -- read the related topics (right hand sidebar) and you'll find that a number of patients have various symptoms after stenting -- these are rarely related to a problem with the stent and usually have to do with the new medications, or possibly even emotional stress from the newly diagnosed medical situation. We always advise patients to discuss these issues with their cardiologist. Sometime an adjustment in meds can help a lot. But do not stop taking anything without your cardiologist's advice!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 10, 2011

• I do have two stents in my heart, taking Plavix and 81 mg aspirin every day. feeling headache, body hot, confusion in the head, hoarseness, sometime nausea, don't sleep most of the times. please let me know if anyone has this experience.
Yassah k, Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA, December 4, 2011

• Judi in Escondido -- Are you tking an ACE inhibitor?? These have been known to cause dry coughs.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 3, 2011

• hello,I am a 64 year old lady...just had a heart attack and 2 different procedures to have stents put in...have had a terrible dry cough since I started on meds....can hardly talk without coughing...I am on Lopressor...is this the culprit?? thanks.......judi
Judi Schoenle, Escondido, California, USA, November 24, 2011

• Endeavor stent, made by Medtronic, has shown excellent results in patients over the long term. There was some concern that at one year, it had a bit more restenosis than the Cypher, for example -- but after 3 years the results came together and at 4 and 5 years Endeavor was superior. Also it has the best "healing" profile, so the stent thrombosis rate (blood clots inside the stent) are very low.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 10, 2011

• My name is pankaj kumar.My father had one endeavor medicated stent.Vein [artery? Ed.] was 100% blocked. doctor told it is very good stent. can you tell me it is good or not. Any side effect.Is Any problem with this stent?vHow long it work. i am very worried please solve my problem sir.plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzplzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzThank you.
help, I am student., haryana, India, November 6, 2011

• I had 3 stents put in 2 weeks ago. Now I am just fatigued. I can't seem to motivate myself or focus on what I have to do. Is this a side effect of medicated stents? Seem to be breathing better now but I also have costo chondritis and it seems to have kicked up with a vengeance. Now I'm paranoid when I feel the pain. I am also on Plavix but haven't noticed a problem with that. A word about coughs...my wife had to stop taking Diovan due to the dry coughing. She has found her own cure and keeps a baggie of sugar free gummie bears under her pillow at night. She lets it dissolve in her mouth and it actually soothes the cough.
Herb from WV, Fayetteville, West Virginia, USA, August 11, 2011

• BP increase and malaise is not a side-effect of these stents, assuming they have stayed open and are functioning correctly. We assume the patient has been compliant with antiplatelet (Plavix, aspirin) and other medication. These symptoms may be due to other related clinical conditions or possibly medications. But we always recommend that the patient see a cardiologist to discuss these symptoms -- the placement of a stent is meant to help the patient feel and function better, so if the opposite is happening, the situation should be looked at by a cardiologist, if possible the interventional cardiologist who placed the stents.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 22, 2011

• A patient had one Atom and 2 Xience stents placed approx 6 weeks ago. Patient has been complaining of increased blood pressure recordings and occasional malaise. is this common with these types of stents?
Diannea, Gulfport, Mississippi, USA, February 22, 2011

• Mr. Forum Editor - you continue doing fantastic job here! Although my stent is 4 years old by now, I keep returning to this website every once in a while, just to keep up with the latest news. I noted people writing about their cough, presumably caused by an ACE inhibitor. The fix is easy enough - just find a private spot and clear it up every once in a while. Not a big deal. But the ACE inhibitor can have another side effect - it can impair kidney function, leaving too much Potassium in blood. This is silent, but potentially more serious. My doc orders routine blood tests, that's how he caught it early. He asked me to stop the Lisinopril, and voila! Potassium dropped back to normal within a week.
Tom, Encinitas, California, USA, July 27, 2010

• Dorothy F in San Antonio -- if you think you are experiencing an allergic or hypersensitive reaction to your Taxus stent, you should contact the cardiologists doing the stent study (see top of right-hand column). They are pretty much the only group studying this issue and they happen to be...in San Antonio! At UTHCSA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 20, 2010

• Jean K., Texas USA -- I also had a Taxus Coronary Stent put in 2 years ago. I have itching from the neck to my navel button. I feel very warm and my body is wet after only slight exercise. I occasionally have palpations, mainly at night. I now have started being nauseated occasionally and burping. Benadryl stops the itch, but returns when I become heated. Tums help the burping. Sweat has to be dried off immediately because a rash will appear. I cannot sleep on my stomach because I overheat after a few minutes. Keep in touch, please.
Dorothy F, San Antonio, Texas USA, July 20, 2010

• I would like to respond to the post from Sandy in Massachusetts Dec. 2006. You mentioned anemia possibly due to the Cypher medicated stents. I am looking for a possible connection to the diagnosis I received in July 2009 that I rec'd of myelofibrosis, which is bone marrow turning to scar tissue with the need for 2 units of blood every 30 to 40 days. I had a stent installed in June 2006. My brother in law had a stent installed in 2007 and was diagnosed in April 2010 with the same disease. Anyone have this same disease after a stent. I am trying to figure out how I got the disease. There is no cure except a stem cell transplant which they don't do in folks over 60 years. Experimental drugs are the only offering now and it's pretty much a guessing game.
Mary L., stent recipient with new disease, Omak, Washington, USA, June 3, 2010

• My Dad had a medicated stent done in January. He was also started on Plavix along with his ASA daily. We have seen the cardiologist twice since then and just had repeat heart studies and lung studies done today. He has no energy, tires over the least thing and appetite is down. He just turned 75 and has been VERY active up to now but his activity level is getting worse. Right after the procedure in Jan. he felt really good for about 2 weeks. Since that time he has had this increasing lack of energy associated with shortness of breath. Could this be related to the stent. My Dad still farms and has a five acre garden. Yes-- 5 acres!!! Could this be related??? Looking for answers!!
Connie, Mississippi, USA, May 19, 2010

• Patsy -- if one of your meds is an ACE inhibitor (you can Google each med and see) that might be the cough-producer. But don't stop taking your meds without discussing this with your doctor. He/she can probably prescribe a different BP drug that won't make you cough, assuming that is the problem. Have faith -- sometimes it takes a little while to sort out the best drug therapy for each person. Just stay in communication with your doctor (and us!).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 25, 2008

• I never thought about that, yes I am taking BP meds, well at least I got an answer for that. Now you can answer the question, why me? Have a nice day.
Patsy Wellwood, Nova Scotia Canada, February 25, 2008

• Patsy -- coughing is not something we've heard about as a "side-effect" from stents. Are you on any ACE inhibitors (blood pressure med)? They are known to have "dry cough" as a not uncommon side-effect.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 24, 2008

• I've had 2 stents put in a bare metal, and drug eluting stent. I am cold all the time, I thought it might be the blood thinners I am on, but I was not like that when I had the bare metal stent in. It started after my last MI, and they put the other stent in. Then I come on with this very annoying cough, which I can't seem to shake, I have to all day and all night. I also have heartburn like crazy, bad enough I had to go and get medication to help, but it doesn't work very well. I have ruled out everything else, because nothing else has happened since the MI, and these are all new since the new stent.
Patsy Wellwood, Nova Scotia, Canada, February 22, 2008

• On Nov. 23, 2007, I had a heart attack and had 2 medicated stents put in. I take a high blood pressure medication, a 81 mg aspirin, Plavix, and Zocor for this condition. I also have rheumatoid arthritis and take methotrexate once a week and folic acid daily for this condition. I have taken Remicade and Humira for this condition, but my doctor took me off to see if I can get by without it. I am 60 years and have had 2 other heart attacks resulting in 2 metal stents and a triple by-pass. My current problem is night sweats. I will wake up 6 times at night soaking wet. An hour after the last episode I will start freezing and will have to add bed clothes to get warm. My temperature often will rise above 102 degrees within a matter of minutes. It will slowly drop (3 to 4 hours) after I take tylenol.
Len R., Ohio, USA, February 9, 2008

• I received one coated Cordis stent in April 2007 post AMI in LAD. Received another of the same in May in RCA. I started coughing almost immediately after AMI in hospital. I have continued to cough, choke & have clear postnasal drainage excessively for four months. Physician recently gave me a steroid injection & course of antibiotics with steroid & antihistamine nasal spray. Nothing seems to stop the excessive postnasal drip with cough, etc. Anyone else?
S.R., Alabama, USA, August 10, 2007

• I THANK GOD I FOUND THIS WEB SITE. I thought i was going nuts as do my doctor & 2 dermatologists. I have been fighting a recurring rash for 2 years that started a few weeks after a Medtronic stent was put in. I did not make the connection then & the doctors never have. When it first started it was so bad i thought it was shingles. I had the itch, the sores, & the blisters, but the dermatologists said no. My Dr. still says it is a follicle infection, but no treatment has stopped it. I used to love a long hot bath, but when i do it now i itch all over for an hour or more. This is an unbearable itch, not normal at all. I only take luke warm showers now. I still have a recurring chest itch & neck and back occ.The Dr.s gave up on it a long time ago. I use a cream on my chest almost daily [ triamcinolone acetonide ] but i worry if it my have a long term use side effect. I am allergic to several antibiotics, sulfa & penicillin. Do they ever remove a stent.??
Bernie B, Bloomington, Illinois, USA, July 15, 2007

• Kenny -- sounds like a drug reaction. Check out our related topic on Plavix and aspirin: dosage and allergic reactions -- rash seems to be a not uncommon sign of adverse reaction. But don't stop taking Plavix without consulting your interventional cardiologist -- he/she may be able to put you on a different drug, like Ticlid, which may or may not relieve to rash.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 27, 2007

• I had a taxus stent in LAD on Jan 1, 2007, started on plavix and asa and switched my vytorin 10/20 to lipitor 40. Now 3 weeks later started with hives and itching on my eyelid and axilla and all around my upper thighs and groin. Could this be the plavix or stent . Started steroids. any one with similar problem and did it resolve without stopping plavix.
Kenny, New Jersey, USA, January 24, 2007

• Lori -- 7 stents? That's a lot of stents by any measure. We're very sorry for your loss. If we may ask, had it been determined that your mother was too frail or ill for bypass surgery?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 7, 2007

• I would not recommend taxus stents, my mother had 7 put in february 2005, and she passed away 6 months later
Lori, New Jersey, USA, January 7, 2007

• Greg -- still having this problem? It might be the Plavix -- this has been reported (see our Forum topic on Plavix and aspirin -- link is in the right side-bar). But don't stop taking it yourself. Discuss this with your cardiologist. Ticlid is another antiplatelet drug that he/she might prescribe instead.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 6, 2007

• After having two Taxus stents placed in early October 2006 followed with 75mg Plavix, 81mg aspirin,75mg Toprol and Vytorin, I thought I was good to go. Even felt 98% better. Then on October 31 2006, I began itching uncontrollably. Coincidentally, I took a flu shot October 31 so I immediately saw the flu shot as the cause. Even my PCP thought so. So used benadryl to help with reduce to itching. But now, on December 4, I still have the itching. Sometimes it's unbearable. Mostly I have light itching during the daytime, and the more serious itching in the evening. I take the plavix, toprol and Vytorin first thing in the morning, so am wondering if it's oral meds or the drug eluting stent.
Greg R., Texas, USA, December 5, 2006

• I Have had placed the Cypher medicated stents about 2 years ago I now have anemia . And no one can find a reason. I was wondering if anyone has the same problem. My brother also has them and is just diagnosed with anemia.
Sandy, Massachusetts, USA, December 2, 2006

• We continue to receive reports from patients about adverse reactions that they feel might be due to drug-eluting stents, given that they have eliminated other causes. We have not found a wealth of data on these problems outside of our Forums. Check out our topic on Allergic Reactions to Drug-Eluting Stents.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 9, 2006

• My father had taxus stents put in in January, 2006. He has continued to have an unexplained temperature since then. Has been in the hospital and no infection was found anywhere. Has anyone had this reaction from the taxus medicated stents? We are wondering if this temperature could be from them?
M.C., Missouri, USA, August 8, 2006

• My father-in-law had 3 taxus stents put in on 5/27/06. Since then he has had chronic hiccups. Has anyone else had this reaction?
Dolores, Annandale, Virginia, USA, June 1, 2006

• i have had extremely dry crusty lips since the use of plavix and aspirin. i am not sure if it's from the medication or the stent itself. please please help me.
sue, markham, ontario, canada, May 9, 2006

• A number of patients have written in about allergic reactions after stenting and we urge posters here to also read that Forum Topic. Sometimes drugs can cause these reactions -- namely Plavix, Ticlid or other medications that heart patients are on. But sometimes the explanation may be an allergy to the metal in the stent, or the polymer (plastic) coating.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 24, 2006

• Sharon, "medicated" (a.k.a. coated or drug-eluting) stents have radically reduced the incidence of restenosis by supressing the growth of "scar tissue" inside of stents. This used to occur in about 20% of cases -- this has now been reduced to single digits. That is why in the U.S. well over 90% of all stents used are of the drug-eluting variety -- in some hospitals it's 98%. That being said, there is some concern that drug-eluting stents are slightly more "thrombogenic" -- prone to an increased incidence of thrombosis (blood clotting) inside the stent and for a longer period of time than bare metal stents. We are, of course, talking about small numbers: clinical trials show about 1% thrombosis rate for all types of stents; real world may be a bit higher for drug-eluting variety. That is why post-stent dual antiplatelet therapy of aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) is prescribed for 3-6 months at a minimum and possibly for a year or longer -- to keep the blood smooth and reduce the possibility of clotting inside the stent.

So things to think about are: can you tolerate Plavix and aspirin? can you afford a year of this drug? are you going to need surgery that you can predict in the next year (antiplatelet therapy can be a problem for surgery because it inhibits clotting)? are you allergic to either of these drugs? There are also some (again very few in number) who are hypersensitive or allergic to the drug-coating itself on the stent. There are several topics on our Forum about these concerns. Also read our feature on drug-eluting stents. In Europe, drug-eluting stents are used less frequently (they are more expensive) and some cardiologists are again starting to use bare metal stents in wider arteries that measure 3.0mm or more in diameter (restenosis normally occurs much less frequently in wider arteries). Remember, the complications are few in number, but any concerns should be discussed with the interventional cardiologist who is doing the procedure. By the way, the fact that your husband's stent has worked fine for 9 years would indicate that it was quite successful -- in any case stents can't be "replaced" because they are permanent implants. If it has blocked up and is the cause of the angina, it may be reopened via angioplasty. But it may be that another area in the coronary arteries has a blockage that is the cause and may require treatment. Please let us know how things turn out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 22, 2006

• My husband has had a coronary stent for 9 years. the past 2 weeks he has experienced angina on a regular basis and may need to have his stent replaced. I believe doctors are now favoring the medicated stents. Are there any side effects or risks from these "medicated stents." i would greatly appreciate any feedback, thanks in advance
Sharon Brumbaugh, Gresham, Oregon, USA, April 17, 2006

• I would like to know if anyone has the following side effects with Taxus Coronary Stents: Itching all over, feeling warm and face is red, palpations, nausea & burping Thanks so much
Jean K., Texas, USA, March 28, 2006

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