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Old 03-18-2009, 08:14 AM   #1
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Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

Hello. I'm grateful that this forum exists, I can tell you that much!

In a nutshell:

I was dx'd with strep throat yesterday at our local clinic, after having a rapid test. My PCP charges upwards of $100 for an office visit with the test (our insurance does not cover doctor visits), so I chose to try this health clinic that is close to where I live. They couldn't have been nicer, but I'm becoming a nervous wreck over what antibiotics are safe for me. They prescribed cephelaxin (generic for Keflex), but my sister, who is a nurse, thinks that it might pose a risk because I have an assumed allergy to Penicillin...developed a rash of small, mildly itchy bumps on torso 15 yrs ago while taking it. My doctor at that time dx'd probable allergy and said it wasn't worth risking the possibility of worse reaction the next time.

The new doctor seemed to think that, since my reaction to the Penicillin was a mild rash and not anaphylaxis, it is highly unlikely that the Cephelaxin would cause a problem...but I'm becoming increasingly anxious about it, per my sister's concerns.

Finding a good antibiotic is a little difficult for me, in any case, because, I have a benign arrhythmia, and have read that Erythromycin can CAUSE those, so I have concerns about that.

Zithromax (Z-Pack) caused horrible stomach issues (I have IBS), as well as rapid heartbeat (again, arrhythmia related, possibly?).

And I had violent vomiting from Tequin.

What's a girl to do? I don't want to become completely pill-phobic, but all of this differing information and opinion is making me a nervous wreck!

 
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

I'm allergic to penicillin (anaphalxis) but had no problem with Keflex. Since you had hives before you could always take a benedryl with it just in case.

As for the Z-pak, it's in the erythromycin family so I am surprised they gave it to you.

 
Old 03-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

I don't think the doctors are particularly concerned about my arrhythmia...the "best cardiologist in the state" declared it, essentially, a non-issue, so the general practitioners seem to think it's not likely to be a problem. However, with the rapid heartbeat from the Zithromax, I'm not willing to take that risk again! I've since read horror stories about the Z-pack that lead me to believe it's pretty serious business.

I'm seeing a dr. again tonight (different dr. is in today) because it looks like my son may be starting with strep, too, so the nurse advised that I get this new dr.'s opinion as well.

Thanks for your help and I'll keep this thread posted.

Last edited by lambast; 03-18-2009 at 11:41 AM.

 
Old 03-19-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

Titchou,
Just want to let you know that patients that are allergic to penicillin are usually prescribed erythromycin. it is an antibiotic that has antimicrobial spectrum similar to penicillin and is used for people who have an allergy to penicillin.
I,myself am allergic to penicillin but always take the zithromax and have never had a problem.

 
Old 03-19-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

Quote:
Originally Posted by fufu View Post
Titchou,
Just want to let you know that patients that are allergic to penicillin are usually prescribed erythromycin. it is an antibiotic that has antimicrobial spectrum similar to penicillin and is used for people who have an allergy to penicillin.
I,myself am allergic to penicillin but always take the zithromax and have never had a problem.
I agree.. I'm allergic to Penicillin and that's what they usually give me as well (z-pack). The Zithromax has never set off my tachycardia so I haven't had to deal with that.

lambast: I had the same exact reaction to penicillin that you did (I know a LOT of people who have as well.. about the same time frame too). I have taken Keflex once or twice with no problems either. My doctor simply instructed me to stop it asap if I did start to have a reaction but I didn't.

 
Old 03-20-2009, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

Thanks for the suggestion but the last time I took a Z Pack I had a reaction - spiked a fever and had small blisters all around my lips. So we've added that to the list of antibiotics I am allergic to....sulfa drugs and tetracycline along with the penicillin

 
Old 03-20-2009, 05:27 AM   #7
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Re: Strep Throat w/Penicillin Allergy and other worries

Well, the new dr. also would have prescribed the Keflex. Unfortunately, there really aren't that many antibiotics that are appropriate for Strep A, so I'm very limited. He said that any "mycins" were out of the picture because of the severe gastrointestinal reaction from the Z-pak.

I've not yet started the Keflex because, unfortunately, I've developed a sort of phobia about it and can't seem to make myself take it. My husband is ready to strangle me, as his father had a heart attack at age 27 due to heart valve damage from rheumatic fever contracted after untreated strep as a child. You'd think this would frighten me (and it does, but the anaphylaxis phobia is stronger). I'm not generally a phobic person (although I do tend toward an anxious personality), but this one has a hold of me.

So, I started feeling poorly on Sunday and it is now Friday, and I've not taken an antibiotic. I feel like a fool and I know that it is wrong for me to continue walking around with a contagious infection (I'm around children all of the time and my best friend is pregnant...although I've been homebound so far this week, so they're all safe for now).

 
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