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Old 01-25-2013, 02:39 AM   #1
DisneyATlast
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Allergic reaction experiences?

Sooo.....I've managed to survive 29 years without ever having an allergic reaction to anything. I've never had any kind of rash, mild reaction, nothing!

Well, this morning I used the restroom a couple of times and felt like I REALLY needed to urinate, but then didn't do anything impressive.

It wasn't a big deal, but I thought I'd go ahead and take an antibiotic I had in the cabinet from a urinary tract infection I had a long time ago. According to the bottle, it was expired, but as a nurse I knew it would be okay because they have to put an unrealistic date on the bottle. I had taken several of the tablets (Ciprofloxacin) when I had an actual diagnosed UTI with no problem.

After I took a tablet, my face started itching within about 2 minutes. I thought it was weird, and I felt a bump, but brushed it off as a bug bite. Then, it started itching so bad that I had to use my sweater sleeve to get some good friction/relief! I noticed another bump...a big one! So, I got up to look in the mirror and my face... OH EM GEE! MY FACE! I had welts the size of marbles! Not just flat ones either, they were raised!

I thought, Okay....calm down. You're a nurse. You know what to do here. Benadryl! I didn't have any Benadryl. Should I hop in the car and go get some? What if I started having trouble breathing while I was driving? Oh my gosh....I had to take a shower! If I had to go to the ER because I stopped breathing, I could not go in there all smelly (and I was smelly)! I was trying not to panic because when I started to panic, it felt like I was having trouble breathing. I needed to know if I was actually breathing or not!

I woke my husband up, told him what I had taken, and that I was going to take a really quick shower so at least he'd know what was up incase things got worse instead of better.

Luckily....by the time I got out of the shower, things were about the same. My face looked INSANE, but hadn't gotten any worse. It turned out that I was going to live afterall! The welts slowly started to vanish, but I STILL (14 hours later?) have a raised area on the side of my face, but it has improved and I'm sure it will go away too. WHAT a scary experience!!

It's official. I have an allergy. Ok, so it's not that big of a deal. I'm actually grateful for the experience now that all is well. I'm a new nurse and even though I know how serious allergic reactions can be, I've always given people oral antibiotics without much thought. It's just not one of those medicines (like other meds that cause respiratory depression) that any of us typically worry about. Well, until now!

After today, I'm definitely going to be on higher alert even when giving out "routine" meds. I never in a million years thought I'd have an allergic reaction at this point in my life....to something I've taken in the past with no problem. I know what all the literature says, but there's nothing like a real life experience to open your eyes.

So, has anyone else ever had a sudden allergic reaction? How'd it turn out? Also, take this as a warning that even if you've taken a "simple" antibiotic in the past, at LEAST be sure to have access to a phone (and clean underwear on ) when starting a new round of antibiotics!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:45 AM   #2
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My GP has told me a number of times that the most "dangerous" medications he prescribes are antibiotics due to the number of adverse reactions and allergic reactions.

I've never had an allergic reaction appear that suddenly but I am allergic to some antibiotics. I am also allergic to a filler used in common OTC pain relievers. It's a mild reaction (usually a hive or two on my chest within about 30 minutes of ingestion) but I avoid them.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:52 AM   #3
glammadiva
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I'm allergic to ants! Started when I was 26. And no, not just red ants or fire ants - all ants!! I have gone into shock from an ant bite. That is not fun!!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:00 AM   #4
Kathryn Merteuil
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Ceclor (I think that's how it is spelled), it was some kind of antibiotic. After taking a few of those, I broke out with a rash, wow that wasn't fun.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:04 AM   #5
bballmom56
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DS suddenly had a severe hive reaction to a cephalosporin antibiotic when he was about 10 yo. He had been taking it for some illness and was almost done with the course (had taken about 7 days out of 10 days worth) when he started itching one night. The hives just kept growing and growing, ultimately growing into each other into one big hive on his stomach. He was miserable beyond belief and of course, nothing OTC touches the itch from hives like that. So off to the ER we went at about 1 am. They gave him oral prednisone which he promptly lost when we got outside. So back in again for an injection. He had to stay on prednisone for about 2 weeks, yet new hives kept appearing during that time while the antibiotic was still in his system.

After that, he had a reaction to doxycycline that he had to take for Lyme disease, but that showed itself as vasculitis.

We have had to be very careful with all antibiotics now. He does seem to be able to take erythromycin in small, but frequent doses or Z pack. But we certainly try to avoid them whenever possible.

He had never had any reaction to any drug prior to the first episode.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
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When DD#1 was almost two years old, my MIL, who was babysitting, called me at work in a sheer panic. DD's little face, which was already as round as a pumpkin, had swelled to the size of a beachball, her little eyes were nothing but slits, and her ears were as big as cauliflowers.

I rushed her to the ER, where the doctor calmly asked what DD had eaten for lunch. She had scrambled eggs. Well, apparently an egg allergy isn't terribly unusual in children younger than two, and that's what she was experiencing. He gave her Benedryl and by dinner time she was right as rain. But it gave me, a new mother, and MIL, the moher of seven, a real scare. Luckily DD#1 has outgrown her egg allergy; it's one of her go-to meals.

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:22 AM   #7
The Mystery Machine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyATlast View Post
Sooo.....I've managed to survive 29 years without ever having an allergic reaction to anything. I've never had any kind of rash, mild reaction, nothing!

Well, this morning I used the restroom a couple of times and felt like I REALLY needed to urinate, but then didn't do anything impressive.

It wasn't a big deal, but I thought I'd go ahead and take an antibiotic I had in the cabinet from a urinary tract infection I had a long time ago. According to the bottle, it was expired, but as a nurse I knew it would be okay because they have to put an unrealistic date on the bottle. I had taken several of the tablets (Ciprofloxacin) when I had an actual diagnosed UTI with no problem.

After I took a tablet, my face started itching within about 2 minutes. I thought it was weird, and I felt a bump, but brushed it off as a bug bite. Then, it started itching so bad that I had to use my sweater sleeve to get some good friction/relief! I noticed another bump...a big one! So, I got up to look in the mirror and my face... OH EM GEE! MY FACE! I had welts the size of marbles! Not just flat ones either, they were raised!

I thought, Okay....calm down. You're a nurse. You know what to do here. Benadryl! I didn't have any Benadryl. Should I hop in the car and go get some? What if I started having trouble breathing while I was driving? Oh my gosh....I had to take a shower! If I had to go to the ER because I stopped breathing, I could not go in there all smelly (and I was smelly)! I was trying not to panic because when I started to panic, it felt like I was having trouble breathing. I needed to know if I was actually breathing or not!

I woke my husband up, told him what I had taken, and that I was going to take a really quick shower so at least he'd know what was up incase things got worse instead of better.

Luckily....by the time I got out of the shower, things were about the same. My face looked INSANE, but hadn't gotten any worse. It turned out that I was going to live afterall! The welts slowly started to vanish, but I STILL (14 hours later?) have a raised area on the side of my face, but it has improved and I'm sure it will go away too. WHAT a scary experience!!

It's official. I have an allergy. Ok, so it's not that big of a deal. I'm actually grateful for the experience now that all is well. I'm a new nurse and even though I know how serious allergic reactions can be, I've always given people oral antibiotics without much thought. It's just not one of those medicines (like other meds that cause respiratory depression) that any of us typically worry about. Well, until now!

After today, I'm definitely going to be on higher alert even when giving out "routine" meds. I never in a million years thought I'd have an allergic reaction at this point in my life....to something I've taken in the past with no problem. I know what all the literature says, but there's nothing like a real life experience to open your eyes.

So, has anyone else ever had a sudden allergic reaction? How'd it turn out? Also, take this as a warning that even if you've taken a "simple" antibiotic in the past, at LEAST be sure to have access to a phone (and clean underwear on ) when starting a new round of antibiotics!
Yep, pain meds, all of them. Gave me hives IN THE HOSPITAL after my gallbladder removal. I was never allergic and suddenly BAM! I itched all night long.

Now I did not have hives on the face but when I got home and took off my clothes is when I saw the hives. I got a couple of other pain meds and ended up being allergic to those!

As I get older, I have become more sensitive to meds. It stinks.

I really have to watch my teeth because if I get an issue I am up a creek. Nothing is worse than tooth pain.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:42 AM   #8
Darcy03231
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I hate having to get antibiotics for anything because I'm allergic to penicillan, sulfer, cephlasporins, zithromax, codeine and ibuprofin.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:06 AM   #9
SarahC73
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My mum a few years back had a reaction to penicillin, went into anaphylactic shock, which was extremely scary, called an ambulance & was taken to hospital and was thankfully sorted out. She now has to carry a card with her explaining this.

My DH also has reactions to Tetnus jabs, a few hours after having one, he passes out (has happened twice now), which is very odd!
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
SaraJayne
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I'm allergic to penicillin (so is DS).

I found out after I went to the ER for a suspected blood clot (but turned out to be cellulitis) and as soon as she injected Rocephin into my IV, I immediately felt tingling in my scalp/face and could feel the hives starting on my face. Yup, allergic.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #11
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When my DD19 was 17, she had an allergic reaction and we couldn't figure out to what, so we had her tested. She's allergic to grass. Yes, grass. Talk about fun! She's had a couple of reactions that lead to the ER but we think we've got it figured out now. She has to stay away from fresh cut grass. That seems to be what triggers it. Fun, though, since she's at college and they cut the grass often. She's taken to wearing masks while walking to class if they're cutting that day.

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Old 01-25-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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OP, your reaction is exactly like mine to sulfa drugs! I had taken them at least twice before without problems. This time, I swallowed the first dose and within 5 minutes the bumps started popping out! Luckily I had Benedryl on hand and they were gone within an hour or so.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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Not really an allergic reaction, but a sensitivity issue/side effect with amoxycillin (migraines) and sulfa drugs.

One of the nurses at my GP told me to list them as allergies because it is possible for sensitivity issues to become allergies at some point in your life. She said it's better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #14
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My story:
Back about 1982, I dated a guy who made really good money and lived at home. We would go out to dinner a LOT, to a lobster/seafood place.
I must've eaten lobster 20 times that year.
Anyway, fast forward to 1987. Lobster tails for dinner. ER visit ensues.
A few months later, Shrimp Chow Mein. ER visit ensues. A few months after that, very expensive restaurant while on vacation, scallops. Another ER visit.
I have given up shellfish, and to this day, I am afraid to eat it! I miss it terribly.
I have no explanation why I could eat it regularly, and suddenly be allergic.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:51 AM   #15
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I have anaphylaxis when I eat raw fruits and veggies, when I take penicillin, sulfa drugs, and percocet. I get hives and swelling when I come into contact with latex. I had a terrible reaction to compazine but it wasn't really an allergy, just a serious adverse reaction.
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