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determining the cause of allergic reaction

685 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Jacksmum8
I know that it is sometimes impossible to determine the cause of an allergic reaction, but just wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation...

DD was on amoxicillin for a really bad double ear infection. The day after she stopped taking the 'cillin, she broke out in hives. We gave her Benadryl and just watched and waited for the reaction to calm down, but it got progressively worse and on the fourth day, in addition to a large rash all over her body (she looked like a burn victim), she had swollen feet that were starting to turn purple. The doc put her on prednisone and within a couple of days the rash and swelling cleared up. I hated putting her on that awful stuff, but I didn't want her to have a severe reaction where she might stop breathing, KWIM? The predisone is awful stuff, it makes her crazy. She doesn't sleep or eat very well, but we are tapering her off it, and hopefully we won't have to worry about that anymore.

Anyway, the doc said it was unusual for a reaction to an antibiotic to still be there after 4 days of being off it, so that made me nervous and wondering if it could be a food allergy, even though she hasn't had any new foods. About a month ago, I actually had a blood test done for the classic allergies (milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, dust, etc.), and all came back negative. Do you think the doc is wrong about the 'cillin allergy or do you think it might be something else? I am allergic to penicillin myself, and two of my siblings are too.
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Why was she tested for allergies?
Allergies are not black/white. I look at it like layers, and sometime reactions to foods can be sensitivities. When a virus or ear infection is going on, food sensitivities and then a antibiotic reaction. It could be a combination of all or some of these things. I wish allergies were as simple as yes/no, but they aren't.
DD is a very poor sleeper (wakes every 1-2 hours all night long). Although she was not exhibiting any allergy symptoms (that I could tell, but I'm no expert), I had her tested for allergies to see if it might be a cause of her sleeping difficulties.

I know that determining the cause of her reaction is difficult and that it could be more than one thing. I was just wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences that I could compare to.

Hopefully the reaction won't happen again, whether or not we find the cause.
Just wondering how they test for food allergies. My son had a severe allergic reaction to his first set of vaccines, he had severe hives for nine day, we found out he's allergic to tetanus. The tests were awful... 10 injections under the skin on his arms and he was only 12 weeks!!! I have been scared to do any other tests and we have not vaccinated since. Are food allergy tests done the same way?

Brandee mum to Jack(feb 05) wife of Kevin (97)
I think there are several different ways to test for allergies. We had a blood test done. I figured it would be easier and less traumatic for DD to just have blood drawn instead of getting a bunch of scratch tests or injections under the skin. But I'm not sure if the blood tests are as accurate as the scratch/injection tests.
For food allergies, the blood tests are most accurate. Skin tests aren't nearly as accurate for food allergies.
"Allergy testing is a highly inaccurate science", this is a direct quote from
Dr. Robert Wood, Director of Pediatric Immunology and Allergy at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Testing in the under 2 crowd is even more inaccurate. Testing can provide guidelines. A reaction always trumps test results.
circlemama Testing in the under 2 crowd is even more inaccurate. Testing can provide guidelines. A reaction always trumps test results.[/QUOTE said:
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Thanks for the info, I think we are just going to eliminate high allergen foods from my diet as well as Jack's and see how that works, he already has improved from my elimination of dairy.

Brandee mum to Jack(feb05)
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