Having a drug allergy reaction

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The Annoyed Man
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Having a drug allergy reaction

#1

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:42 am

I've recently discovered that I am allergic to sulfa drugs. I had a UTI a couple of weeks ago (by no means the first one) and had started taking Cipro for it, for which I had a standing order. But when my doctor had me come by to give him a urine specimen, it turned out that the organism was resistant to Cipro, and so he told me to stop taking it and prescribed Bactrim, a sulfa drug, instead. I took the last does of Bactrim on Thursday morning, and the UTI symptoms had all cleared up by then.

Right after I started taking the Bactrim, I noticed that I had a sore throat, my neck around my jaw and larynx felt swollen and tender, and I began to have a little difficulty swallowing. But my breathing was (and remains) fine, and I just figured that I was having a bit of a pollen allergy or something and didn't worry too much about it. Wednesday night my arms had started itching like crazy. At first, I just thought that I had some mosquito bites or dry skin or something and didn't worry about it. I put some calamine lotion on my arms, and the itching more or less stopped. My arms are fairly tan and they are normally freckled, so I didn't notice a particular rash, and although I had a few raised bumps (hives), I thought they were mosquito bites.

Thursday morning, after taking the last pill, I showered and started getting ready for an appointment with a client. When I got out of the shower, I was covered head to toe in a rash and my face was beet-red. The rash and itching have persisted since then. The swelling around my throat has gone down and it is easier to swallow now and hurts less. I am taking Benadryl 2-3 times a day, and that seems to help a bit; and I am using calamine lotion on the spots that really flare up badly once in a while (mostly my lower arms, and my legs from just above the knees down), but I will sure be grateful when all of this clears up. It would be nice if somebody knew how long it takes, but after trying to read online to find out, I had to stop reading because all I saw were horror stories and it was getting to me.

I have a dove-hunting trip planned on the 14th, and I sure hope it is gone by then. Anyway, this is not an emergency, but if it crosses anybody's mind to pray for a rapid recovery for me, I would covet those prayers.

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RPBrown
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#2

Post by RPBrown » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:47 am

Prayers sent for a speedy recovery
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#3

Post by WildBill » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:41 am

TAM - I'm very sorry to hear about your bad reaction and hope it gets better soon.

It is too bad that you can not take Bactrim.

I have used it in the past to get rid of persistent sinus infections.
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#4

Post by RoyGBiv » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:48 am

IIRC, ypu need to take it as a stern warning. Subsequent reactions become more severe.

Bemadryl makes me nappy.

Pleasant dreams an heal quickly TAM.
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

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Post by n5wd » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:10 am

Allergic reactions to Sulfa drugs are quite common, moreso than most people realize. Hope you're feeling better, soon.
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

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Post by SewTexas » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:15 am

you'll be fine by the 14th since you're not putting more med in your body the reaction should be ending really soon. try using topical Benadryl too. be sure you call your pharm and your doc and have them update your files so you don't get anything Rx'd anything related. I'll be praying for your comfort.


I remember when we discovered our daughter is allergic to penicillin....she had strep throat and had be Rx'd whatever is normal for it, something with penicillin, she'd been on it for 24 hours I guess, had taken 3 doses probably? she was in high school so was pretty much responsible for her own meds....it was time for her evening dose and had come upstairs to ask me about something, "as it happened" I was on the phone with one of my best friends who is also a pharmacist. The daughter was wearing a loose tank and had a rash on her arms and what area of her chest I could see....I mentioned it to my friend and she started yelling "NO MORE PEN" suddenly all heck broke loose the daughter was asking what was wrong with her, my friend's husband was asking what was wrong, my husband was asking what to do....it was a mess....we stopped the med, gave her benadryl, but the next morning she actually had around in her mouth, we went straight to the doc, after I threatened them that I was taking her to the ER :shock: They did give her steroids to stop the reaction. (I constantly thank G-d she hadn't taken that evening dose)
~Tracy
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#7

Post by carlson1 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:58 am

Praying for you my friend. I hope for a speedy recovery.
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#8

Post by gigag04 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:54 pm

carlson1 wrote:Praying for you my friend. I hope for a speedy recovery.
Me too.

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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#9

Post by Divided Attention » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:10 pm

Sulfa meds also make you very photosensitive. Flush your system with copious quantities of fluids, this should pass within a few days. Feel better quick. My last drug reaction was to one that was designed to stay in your system 6 - 10 days. I had 2 weeks of wanting to claw my skin off. As they say "This too shall pass"

note - sulfa sensitivity can sometimes have cross reactivity to some eyedrops, diuretics, oral diabetic meds, celebrex, and aspirin containing products.
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#10

Post by rotor » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:26 pm

Topical drugs are a waste of time. Bactrim is not just sulfa, also has trimethoprim so you don't know for sure which drug you are allergic to but probably the sulfa drug. These reactions can be VERY serious, even life threatening. You need to let your doctor know, a steroid dose pack (prednisone- or similar) would have been very helpful ($4 at WM). You are not going to flush your system out with fluids. It is also rare for a male to have frequent urinary infections unless they have a prostate problem. You should be under the care of a urologist.

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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#11

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:46 pm

rotor wrote:Topical drugs are a waste of time. Bactrim is not just sulfa, also has trimethoprim so you don't know for sure which drug you are allergic to but probably the sulfa drug. These reactions can be VERY serious, even life threatening. You need to let your doctor know, a steroid dose pack (prednisone- or similar) would have been very helpful ($4 at WM). You are not going to flush your system out with fluids. It is also rare for a male to have frequent urinary infections unless they have a prostate problem. You should be under the care of a urologist.
I have BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) and have been under the regular care of a urologist for years, with twice yearly office visits and PSA tests. It was my regular urologist who prescribed the Bactrim when the organism this time turned out to be resistant to the Cipro that I have been taking each time this has happened before for the past 7 years. I have already informed both my urologist and my PMD, and the pharmacy as well Thursday morning, and all three have updated my profile. My wife has made a note of it on the single sheet medical record she carries for each of us in her purse. I asked, and neither doctor thought that, given my symptoms at the time, I needed to actually be seen. My PMD said, "if it persists, give us a call."

I pay for all my medical care out of pocket since I am uninsured, and I try to balance that against what I know from having worked in healthcare myself for a number of years. I was comfortable not making a trip to the ER. If I still have this rash come Monday, I'll go see my doctor and see if I can't get a Prednisone pack. Maybe $125 versus maybe $12,500.

When I was thinking about it this morning, I suddenly remembered that my dad had been allergic to sulfa drugs too. He said that he had quite a blooming rash when he was recovering from his wounds on Guam, post-Iwo Jima. The corpsman who treated him in the field had poured sulfa powder into both the entrance and exit wounds (chest, GSW), and then he had more administered in the hospital on Guam. I had forgotten all about it until this morning.

Given that my dad had this allergy, and apparently I do too, I called my son to let him know that if asked by medical personnel, he should let them know that both his father and grandfather were sulfa allergic.....just in case there is a possible inherited connection. He's already had a kidney stone once.
• Give me Liberty or I'll get up and get it myself.
• I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.
• My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.
• Independent Minarchist.


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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#12

Post by Abraham » Sat Sep 07, 2013 1:54 pm

TAM,

Hope you get better soon.

I know about medication allergies and they ain't fun.

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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#13

Post by SewTexas » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:12 pm

rotor wrote:Topical drugs are a waste of time. Bactrim is not just sulfa, also has trimethoprim so you don't know for sure which drug you are allergic to but probably the sulfa drug. These reactions can be VERY serious, even life threatening. You need to let your doctor know, a steroid dose pack (prednisone- or similar) would have been very helpful ($4 at WM). You are not going to flush your system out with fluids. It is also rare for a male to have frequent urinary infections unless they have a prostate problem. You should be under the care of a urologist.

my suggestion for the topical for for the temporary relief....

TAM really just has to get through a few days of this, the topical along with the internal will help
~Tracy
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#14

Post by SewTexas » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:18 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote: When I was thinking about it this morning, I suddenly remembered that my dad had been allergic to sulfa drugs too. He said that he had quite a blooming rash when he was recovering from his wounds on Guam, post-Iwo Jima. The corpsman who treated him in the field had poured sulfa powder into both the entrance and exit wounds (chest, GSW), and then he had more administered in the hospital on Guam. I had forgotten all about it until this morning.

Given that my dad had this allergy, and apparently I do too, I called my son to let him know that if asked by medical personnel, he should let them know that both his father and grandfather were sulfa allergic.....just in case there is a possible inherited connection. He's already had a kidney stone once.

TAM you're right some of these allergies are hereditary or genetic or whatever??? I didn't even know that until our daughter's reaction. Then I was telling my sister about it she said she is allergic and so is one of her daughters and they won't let the other one have it, then I found out both of my husband's parents are allergic, my poor daughter was doomed :shock: ....so now I won't let my son have pen...he had it a fair bit when he was a little one, but I'd rather save it for when he needs it or just avoid it altogether if possible.
~Tracy
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Re: Having a drug allergy reaction

#15

Post by Excaliber » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:28 pm

Tam, I'm very sorry to hear about your allergic reaction.

Prayers sent for a speedy recovery and a highly successful dove hunting trip.
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