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These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Allergy to Silvadene [posted
Question: I burned my face yesterday with boiling water and grease. I went to the
doctor and he gave me silvadene cream to put on the burn. He said it would help heal the
burn 10 times faster than anything else. Today I had the cream on as he suggested and I
noticed that my face was turning a purple color under the white cream. The insides of my
nose was swelling, as was the rest of my face, even areas that the cream was not on.
Pretty soon my eyes started to feel funny and twitch. I thought the reason my burn area
was turning purple was because of the 2nd degree burns. I could not stand it any longer
and wiped the silvadene cream off to see how bad the burn was. The purple color was coming
off with the white cream. I obviously was having an allergic reaction. I am doing much
better tonight. The doctor said he had never heard of anyone having a reaction to the
silvadene. Why would I have a reaction to it and is there a connection to the fact that I
am also allergic to Vicodin? Do they share a common ground that I need to be aware of? I
would like to prevent these kinds of things from happening again.
Answer: No common problem. Allergies are very individual specific
depending on your immune system.
Allergy to sunlight [posted
Question: I have developed a strong sensitivity to sunlight in the past couple of
years. I get hives, dizzy and nauseated when I'm in the sun for even short periods. For
the past 2 years I have been prescribed a drug called trisoralen that has enabled me to go
out in the sun to garden, golf, etc., and not have these reactions. I have been unable to
get this prescription filled this summer. My doctor thinks it was taken off the market,
but I have seen internet messages that refer to an article in a body building magazine
that boast about the drug as a tanning agent and apparently it has become back ordered.
I'm not sure which is the case, but people like me who need this drug for medical purposes
find this disturbing. Is there an other treatment or therapy that can help with this
Answer: It is still listed in the PDR, check with the company ICN:
Sulfa based allergy [posted
Question: After taking Bactrim for 8 days, I broke out in severe hives all over my
body. My doctor told me that I have an allergy to sulfa-based drugs. (I already knew that
I was allergic to penicillin.) Am I now also allergic to products that contain sulfur
(such as dried fruit - sulfur dioxide is used as a preservative)?
Allergy Shots for Asthma [posted
Question: Hi, I have severe chronic asthma and am curious to know of the dangers of
allergy shots (if there are any). For years I have been told to begin them, but I am still
quite hesitant. Please respond.
Answer: Few dangers, although occasional patients will have severe
reactions and rare deaths have been reported. Asthma usually doesn't respond very much to
allergy shots. Seasonal allergies do and some asthmatics can;but, most have little
response. Deciding whether you would be the one is difficult. However, if you have severe
asthma which is not responding to treatment, it might be worth trying for a year or so.
Allergic Reaction? [posted
Question: I have taken 4 tablets out of 14 and I have
developed swollen nodules under the tongue. I stopped taken them, is this an allergy to
Antihistamines [posted 12/04/98]
Question: Could you please tell me the names of all the
U.S. FDA approved second generation antihistamines? Has ebastine (generic name) been FDA
approved yet? Thank you
Answer: Currently approved are Claritin, Zyrtec, Hismanal and Allegra.
I'm not familiar with ebastine. You would need to check with the manufacturer or the FDA
Allergic Reaction to
Bactrim Started Problems [posted 12/02/98]
Question: Three weeks ago I had a drug allergy to bactrim which I took for
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), at the same time I also took isoniazid and vit b6. The ER
doctor gave me benedryl and prednisone ever since I quit taking all the above mentioned
medications I have not been feeling well. I started experiencing light headedness,
shortness of breath, chest pressure/heaviness, tingling and ice cold feeling of the
extremities, which has terribly disrupted my sleeping patterns. At first doctors said I
have anxiety problems. then conducted thorough blood tests, EKG, echo. everything is
normal. I still have tingling and ice cold feeling of my extremities and have developed
burning sensation in my stomach and throat, acidic feeling even in my nose! My doc thinks
I have reflux problem and suggests I take axxid, do you have any suggestions??????
Answer: Have they checked your liver functions? Isoniazid can cause
liver toxicity and should be monitored. If this is normal, I would try the Axid.
& Prednisone [posted 11/19/98]
Question: I have severe allergies. I was on a cruise last week and saw the
doctor there because I had an allergy attack (runny nose itchy eyes throat and completely
blocked sinus where I couldn't breath from either side of my nose. He gave me prednisone
to help the inflammation prescribed 10 mg in the morning and 10 mg at night. I have always
taken it in the pack where you wean yourself off in 5 days so I didn't take it as much as
he prescribed but took it when I needed it. Now I hear that is bad to do and I am
concerned. How long do I have to be totally off the 10 mgs of prednisone before I can get
a pack prescribed. And is there anything else that I can do for relief? I feel like Im
going out of my mind Sinus sprays don't work sudafed and benydryl doesnt help either.
Answer: For short spells, weaning is not necessary. It is necessary if
you have taken it for long periods-usually in excess of a month (depends a little on your
age etc). Have you tried the steroid nasal sprays? Very effective and few/little side
effects. Also, nasal cromlyn sulfate (available OTC) is also very effective and can be
used with the nasal steroids.
Allergic Reaction & Medicalert [posted
Question: My son had a severe allergic reaction to ceclor symptoms included hives,
swelling,bruising and joint pain.My family doctor advised not to administer any more
ceclor. Should I register with Medicalert since he had such a reaction?
Answer: Probably not necessary unless he is prone to being unconscious.
Macrodantin & Sulfa Allergy
Question: Can you please tell me if there is a problem for a patient to take
Macrodantin if they are allergic to sulfa drugs.
Possible Allergic Reaction to a Hair
Permnanent & Potential Liver Involvement [posted 11/05/98]
Question:Almost 3 months ago I went to get a hair permanent. This was only the 4th
hair perm I ever had my entire 42 year life. Before this, I had not even one cold for the
last year and a half, a routine chest X-ray had been normal, never had any pollen
allergies, asthma, etc. The day after the perm, I started to have a cough which got
progressively worse. Eventually, I realized that I had a reaction to the perm and called
my internist who then referred me to an allergist. My prescriptions varied as each doctor
prescribed different medication. I was on Tilade, Azmacort, and then back on Azmacort.
About a week after this medication shuffling, I began to have a very sore throat and went
off all medication for 8 days. Spams and phlegm symptoms returned, so my allergist put me
on Combivent(8 puffs/day) and Tilade (12 puffs/day). I have seen a specialist, he has said
my air flow is still good, my blood pressure is in the normal range, and when he listens
to my chest for breathing, says I sound ok. I had a set of blood work, 3 times this last
year, mostly because I was complaining of GI problems last year. It was found my liver
function tests were abnormal. I lost 20 pounds and have had 2 normal liver function tests,
checking every few months. The only thing that is coming back abnormal is an ANA positive
test of 1-160 in April and again in July. No explanation has been determined. The
double-binded DNA test in July came back normal. My doctor, the internist is not alarmed
but the tests but I am curious about why this is showing up.
Answer: The problem with the elevated liver functions needs to be addressed. The
positive ANA is bothersome and could indicate biliary cirrhosis or liver involvement.
Further testing would be necessary-but, this is not to be ignored. I doubt the permanent
has anything to do with the elevated lfts. See a liver specialist.
Concerns Regarding Longterm Benadryl
Use [posted 11/04/98]
Question:Does long-term use of Benedryl entail the risk of kidney damage or any
other undesirable health consequence?
What to Take When Your Allergic to
Allergy Medicine [posted 10/28/98]
Question: Thank you for your excellent web site. I am a 63 year old female with a
history of allergies since puberty. In recent years it appears that I also have asthma.
Last year I went into anaphylactic shock from my allergy desensatization shots(not sure
why, may have been wrongly administered, may have been from a dose of Bumex taken the day
before). It was many hours before I was stablized and the aftermath has been severe. Since
that time my allergies to drugs have increased manyfold. I was allergic to sulfa and
penicillan, demoral and morphine, and was sensitive to tetracycline. Through this year I
have developed allergies to cephalasporins, ceftin, cipro and zithromax. I have bronchitis
almost constantly and seem to have asthma. I have been given prednisone several times this
year to try to quite things down and the last time I took it I broke out in a bright red
rash on my cheeks and neck and bosoms. The rash was hot to the touch and uncomfortable but
had not started itching. The druggist that I use all the time said to discontinue it. What
is left? Am I in danger to take inhaled steroids? If so, what do I look for. It has been a
year of such radical changes, I don't seem to know my own body any more. I'm not sure I
have come to the right place to ask these questions, but it's a start. Thank you again. It
is marvelous to find so much help in one place on the internet.
Answer:The rash would be very unusual on the steroids. Second, don't take your
pharmacist's opinion until you check with your doctor. Thirdly, inhaled steroids have 1%
of the side effects of systemic steroids so I doubt you'll have a problem. Lastly, have
you tried Leukotriene inhibitors? These are relatively new asthma medications and very
effective in 60% of patients.
Allergy to Ear Infection Meds [posted
Question:I have been having a frustrating experience and would like a second
opinion. My 7 year old daughter went through a period of recurrent ear infections for
which she was treated with Amoxicillan. During one period when the ear infection returned
3 times in 4 months, he doctor changed the anitbiotic to Cephradine. The Cephradine caused
an allergic reaction, a rash, and I immediately stopped giving it to her. Because she was
only halfway through the course, her doctor switched to Augmentin, which he explained is
Amoxicillan with "a kicker". Unfortunately, she again had an allergic reaction.
Now her doctor is reluctant to again prescribe Amoxicillan, however today, he prescribed
Cefclor, which I believe is the same type of antibiotic as Cephradine. I made him check
her chart and he switched her to Amoxicillan at my urgence. I think, and this is where I
would appreciate the second opinion, that she would likely not have had the reaction to
the Augmentin is she were not already in a sensitive state. Since the allergic episode,
she has been put on Amoxicillan by a pediatrician I took her to over the Thanksgiving
Holliday when our doctors office was closed. She was fine with it. Do you think there is
any reason to now stay away from the 'cillans? Is it possible to develope a lasting
allergy to an antibiotic that used to work fine?
Answer: Why use a drug when she has had a previous reaction? There are many
other classes which would be fine with otitis media. Find another doctor, this one is
stuck in one channel.
New Allergy [posted 10/13/98]
Question:Lately, every couple of days, I have been waking up in the middle of the
night at around 3AM. My throat and face are so swollen I can barely open my eyes, the
affected area is itchy and very hot and eventually blisters. I take very small dose of
cortisone daily,reactine or Benadril but it has not changed anything to my condition. I
have stopped eating things that are part of my normal diet one at a time but it didn't
help. Doctor's have no idea what is happening to me, more exactly what causes it. They can
only tell me that my body releases an unusual amount of Histamine. Any help would be
Answer: Have you had allergy testing? Also has your doctor tested you for
angioneurotic angioedema? Both possible and the treatment is different.
OK To Give the Dog Benadryl? [posted
Question: My dog is currently on Zestril for her heart condition. She is also on
Baytril, Taurine and l- Carnitine. Would it be safe to give her her usual dose of Benadryl
for her allergies?
Answer: Should be.
Longterm Effects of Claritin &
Nasonex [posted 10/13/98]
Question: My 10 yr. old daughter has seasonal allergies -- fairly severe. Our Dr.
prescribed 10 mg claritin, along w/ nasonex spray. I'm concerned about giving her the
steroid spray -- there seems to have been little research on pediatric use/side effects.
What can we expect?? Also the claritn is making her rather lethargic -- she just doesn't
feel "well" and it's beginning to take a toll -- is there any other med. she
Answer: You shouldn't have any long term problems with the nasal spray. Also,
you can combine this with nasalcrom(available otc) and get additive effect. Ocular cromlyn
sulfate drops work great for the eye itching( I also use them for the ears) without any
sedation. Try just the sprays, drops and see if she can get by without the Claritin. A
little chocolate or coffee usually reverses the fatigue. Lastly, allergy shots work
exceptionally well on seasonal allergies-probably the best reason to do them.
Less Expensive Allergy Medication
Question: I have been on Claritin D for 1 and a half years now. I recently married
and have gone off my parents insurance. Could you recommend any comparable drugs that
would be less than $80? I have heard about Allegra and Zyrtec, but was wondering if over
the counter Tylenol Sinus and Allergy would work for long-term use?
Answer: Any of the OTC antihistamines work. Generic benadryl would be my
preference and the cheapest. These are more sedating;but, sometimes you can get by with
taking them only at bedtime. If you are troubled by nasal drainage, itching, OTC nasalcrom
is very effective-especially when used with antihistamines. Tylenol Sinus/Allergy is
fine;but, lots more expensive than you need. Also, there is no reason to take the
acetaminophen if you only need antihistamine. Check with your pharmacist for the lowest
priced generic OTC in your area-there are many.
Claritin-D at Night [posted
Question: Can a stuffed-up nose at night produce dry mouth during the day? Is
Claritin-D allright to take for night-time stuffiness? Will Claritin-D exascerbate dry
Answer: Yes. Claritin D contains a decongestant that makes many patients
experience difficulty sleeping. I'd recommend another drug, unless you're sleeping ok. The
dry mouth may be the side effect of the Claritin, common with antihistamines.
Allergies or Illness [posted
Question: I have had allergies to dust and mold for 15 years now. I get a shot
every 2 weeks. My worst time is between November and April in Pennsylvania. Also I have
taken various nasal sprays, but I get used to them. It seems like I am always sick.
Ive had a different prescription every month since October. Either my immune system
isn't working and I catch everything at school from the little kids or my allergies are
worse. Which is it? I want my good health back like I used to have.
Answer: You'll probably have these symptoms as long as you stay in your current
locale. I doubt that the shots are going to prevent the problem. Avoid smoke, dust. Ensure
you don't smoke and if it continues, you'll have to consider relocating where there are
different pollen profiles.
Allergy to Smoke
Question: After I am exposed to cigarette smoke, my head is stuffed up, my eyes
water and as the congestion moves, throw-up all day. Do you have any patients with similar
symptoms. How do you treat them. I have had help with treating the allergy or sensitivity
to the smoke, but not the problem with my stomach reacting.
Answer: I would work on intranasal steroid inhalation and intranasal cromolyn
sulfate on a regular basis. I'm at a loss to explain the nausea, but I would treat this
like any inhaled allergen.
Sinus and Allergy Problems
Question: My 15 year old daughter has allergies and sinus problems. She takes
allegra for the allergies but still manages to have sinus infections numerous times times
during the year. The problem is that she has no energy. it doesnt matter if she has
8 or 12 hours of sleep. She is always tired. She has had her iron tested and that is OK.
Our doctor says there is nothing that he can do. Do you happen to know of an herbal remedy
or something I can do to help her combat this. Vitamins do not seem to help.
Answer: I suspect it is the Allegra. What are her allergies? Has she tried nasal
steroid sprays and/or desensitization? Has the house been allergy eliminated? (That is no
dogs, dust, etc.) Nasal cromolym is also occasionally of help. I'd focus on nasal steroids
and avoidance and try to eliminate the Allegra.
Question: What is the most common treatment for nasal congestion related to
Answer: The most common are the pseudoephridine and ephedrine drugs. However,
drugs like Nasalcrom work better and are now available over the counter. Probably over
time they will surpass the previously mentioned drugs.
Allergies - Claritin / esgic plus
Question: I heard a lot about claritin tablets for relieving allergies and was
thinking about seeing by doctor about this medicine. If I suffer from migraine headaches
and am currently taking esgic plus tablets, will he give me claritin to relieve my
Answer: He probably will. There isn't any contraindication that I' m aware of.
Question: I have a friend that has had some lung problems (shortness of breath,
difficulty breathing after walking up stairs, congestion, etc.). She has seen a
pulmonologist who says she is allergic to her birds and must get rid of them. Is there any
other way to care for her until the birds die? She has seven of them, three of which are
buggies which only live three or so years. She is willing to not replace her birds as they
die, but they are family members to her and she is really confused about what to do.
Answer: What has been tried? Has she tried inhalers, allergy shots, inhaled
steroids, or inhaled cromlyn sulfate? These might be sufficient to keep things to a dull
roar. Also, with birds, it is usually the danger. Wearing an isolation mask will help and
keeping the birds out of sleeping areas and eating areas to minimize her exposure.
Question: The last two allergy seasons (August through the first frost), the only
drug that has given great relief without drowsiness or other side affects has been Seldane
D. I recently heard that there has been some concern over the drug and that it may be
pulled. I still have a month supply that hasn't expired and want to use it this August.
Should I be concerned?
Answer: Not really-- just don't take it with erythromycin or antifungal
antibiotics. The risk is cardiac irregularities with very high doses which build up while
taking these other drugs. However, there are several other alternatives which do not
produce cardiac irregularities. Claritin, Allegra, and Zytec are all effective and will
not produce the drowsiness. Have you tried nasalcrom(now available over the counter) or
nasal steroids? These are very effective with almost no systemic effects.
Allergy and Immunology
Question: My daughter is 10 years old, she always has a stuffy nose, and can barely
breath. I have bought several over the counter medicines, but nothing helps her. Could you
give some advice as to what I can do?
Answer: There are several causes of "stuffy" or congested noses that
are treatable. First, ensure that the air is humidified. The nose's job is to humidify the
air before it gets to the lungs. If the air is dry it will secrete copious amounts of
fluid to accomplish this purpose. Humidity will really help. Secondly, it may be allergic.
This can be treated with avoidance of the allergens, topical steroids on a regular basis
(nearly free of side effects-unlike other steroid use), or anti-histamines. Occasionally,
a medication will cause the problem like clonidine, etc., but these are not used in
children. Chronic use of over the counter nose sprays (Afrin, etc.) over long periods will
actually produce the stuffiness you are trying to prevent. This is called rhinitis
Question: I've had allergies all my life. I used to sneeze a lot, but for the past
several years, beginning around age 46, I need to cough a lot to bring up the mucus. I
prefer the sneezing because this causes my ears to plug up a lot. Why might I be coughing
and not sneezing?
Answer: Mucus tends to increase with age and allergies tend to increase with
exposure. What are you trying for the allergies? Nasal cromlyn and nasal steroids can be
very effective in reducing mucus. Also, are you having any gastric reflux which might be
complicating matters? Reducing acid reflux can sometimes help. Is the mucus yellow or
colored? Sometimes patients will develop chronic bronchitis (not related to allergy),
which needs to be treated.
Question: I am presently taking Zyrtec (10 mg), Vasacon A (eyes), and Vancanese. I
have been taking them for 5 days. What is the time period until the effectiveness of
Zyrtec and Vancanese occur for relief? My eyes have worsened with increased redness,
slight discharge, crusty eyes in morning, and tearing throughout day. Is there an eye
medication that is effective because Vasacon does not work or could be worsening my eye
condition? I have discontinued these medication as of the fifth day.
Answer: Zyrtec will work the day you take it and for about 48 hours at a lesser
amount. Vasacon A will usually work the day you take it. However, it is preventive in
nature and sometimes takes several days of continuous use to be effective. Stopping even
for one to two days may prevent its effectiveness. With the crusting, I'd get a new bottle
to ensure that there is not an infection. Crusting is very uncommon in the absence of an
eye infection. Has your eye been cultured? Optichrom is a similar product which you might
Question: Is there an over-the-counter allergy medication that I can take (for
seasonal allergies) that will not adversely interact with my high blood pressure
Answer: All the antihistamines will have warnings concerning blood pressure and
blood pressure medicines. In practice, there is little problem. However, take your blood
pressure before and after the antihistamines and see if your blood pressure rises a
significant amount. If so, you should avoid these medications.
Question: I apparently am allergic to dust. I have post nasal drip that causes me
to cough a great deal and I have no energy.. I am using Flonase and use Claritin
periodicaly. I would appreciate any suggestions for medications. I am working on reducing
dust in my home.
Answer:Dust allergy usually represents an allergy to the common dust mite. There
is a specific antigen which can be tested and then administered to people with dust
allergy. This can he extremely effective in decreasing symptoms. You are on good
medications currently-Flonase needs to be used regularly to be effective-occasional use is
of little benefit. Claritin can be used sporadically. Use of intranasal cromium sulfate or
equivalent may be of some benefit in preventing attacks.
Question: Do any of the H1 antagonists (i.e. Seldane vs Claritin) have a
significant advantage (increased efficacy or decreased toxicity) over the others in the
treatment of allergic rhinitis?
Answer: Although the different companies attempt to persuade you of the value of
their particular product, I haven't been impressed with any clinical difference. This
includes self-use since I am a fellow sufferer. There are potential different drug
interactions - Claritin is not contraindicated with erythomycin for example, but but this
appears to be about the only major difference from my perspective.
Question: I saw an ad on TV for an allergy medication (nasal spray) that is used
prior to symptoms, i.e. before going outside for the day where pollen might be a problem.
It stated this product could be used throughout the allergy season and was non-addictive.
I cannot remember the name of the drug nor if a prescription is required. Any idea what
this new drug is?
Answer: Probably cromlyn sulfate nasal spray called nasalcrom. This is a drug
that stabilizes the membranes to prevent histamine release. It is minimally effective once
an attack occurs; but, very effective as a preventive type drug. I use it a lot for my
allergies during August.
Sulfa Based Drugs
Question: How do you know if you are allergic to a sulfa based drug. I seem to
become nauseated and throw up several hours after taking them. They were prescribed for a
sinus infection which does not seem to be improving.
Answer: This is not really an allergy; but, a local reaction of the gastric
tract. Try taking it with some food -or use another antibiotic. But, this is not a drug
allergy per se.
Question: Hello, Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this! I have had
allergy symptoms for 20 years (I'm 38). I have been allergy tested with no allergies
found. The best explanation so far is I am affected by irritants. The new antihistamines
are effective, but I seem to still get 3 to 4 intense sinus infections a year. I don't
think I get enough drainage. I had major sinus surgery 2 years ago and that helped for
about 1 year. I have been taking Nasacort spray for about 3 months and that seems to help.
My only remaining symptom is I get dizzy, light headed, and a headache every afternoon and
it gets worse until I go to bed. I can't correlate it to stress (same on weekends), eating
habits (foods or timing), liquid intake, environment (happens when I travel and at home).
The only thing it correlates to is about 8 hours after I am vertical. The pain is
bearable, but day after day I feel like I'm missing half my life as I don't want to do
much except lie down feeling like this.
Answer: Is this pain in your sinuses? I suspect your sinuses are the culprit.
Other causes could be cervical trigger points or cervical misalignment. Both are treatable
with physical therapy or chiropractic manipulation.
Question: Is it possible to be allergic to chlorine? If so, how can I be tested for
it and how quickly can it be determined? Please respond quickly, time is of the essence.
Answer: Chlorine as in gas or as in a component of chemicals? I'm not aware of
any specific test; consult an allergist-but, offhand I'd say no.
Allergy to Menthol
Question: I have allergies to menthol. Is Beclomethasone or carboxymethylcellulose
any form of menthol?
Question: Back in June I received a kenalog shot for allergies. I received the shot
in my rear hip area. Several months later I developed a rather large sunk in spot where
the shot was given. The muscle beneath the sunk in spot is rather sore and knotted. The
nerve running down my leg seems to be irritated and my foot gets tinglely and cold. Could
this be related to the shot I was given. My muscle in my rear and leg also seems to bother
me when I drive and do other normal activities. If I need to have this looked at what type
of physician should I see.
Answer: It sounds like fat atrophy from the steroids. Why did you get a shot?
There are plenty of oral steroids that would perform as well. The only way you will know
if the nerve is involved is to get nerve conduction studies on the nerves to your legs.
I'd probably see a neurologist since that is probably your major potential problem.
High + MAST Test
Question: I scored a very high positive on a MAST test for Aspergillus (among other
things). Please tell me if there is a prescription drug for this or a suggested
Answer: Many patients react to Aspergillus; but, don't have clinical disease.
There are several possible syndromes to aspergillus ranging from direct infection to an
allergic phenomenon. If you have the hypersensitivity reaction, you will need prolonged
steroid treatment. If you have the direct fungal infection(not likely), you will need
systemic antifungal drugs.
Question: If I am allergic to penicillin, will I have a reaction to Trimox?
Answer: Usually yes.
Question: My daughter was recently seen by a doctor for a moderate sore throat and
was prescribed Zithromax 250 mg, two tablets the first day and one tablet for the next
four days. At the time of the visit she told him that she was allergic to erythromycin.
Now, my question is should she continue taking zithromax since it is related to
erythromycin or is it?
Answer: What is her allergy? Nausea? If so then the zitromax is ok. If a rash,
etc. then she should not take either Biaxin or Zithromax.
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