It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



High & Low Blood Pressure Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-27-2007, 02:38 PM   #1
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,180
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hello,

What is the difference between an allergic reaction to the drug and an adverse reaction?

I was put on 80mg of Diovan on May7th. Within a couple of days after starting this drug I developed rash on my legs, constant headache, edema, dizziness and sores on my face. With the exception of the headache, they dissipated within a few more days.These happenings were reported to the doctor.
His response was to double the dose of Diovan to 160mg a day in an attempt to wean me off the beta blockers. (I am on a smaller dose now).

When filling out my prescription, I mentioned my previous reaction to this drug to the pharmacist. I also expressed my concerns about the now increased dose of the same. I was told that the drug should have been discontinued immediately upon my reporting the symptoms to the doctor.

However, the prescription was filled and I took my first 160mg pill three days ago. While out walking that evening, (3 1/2 hours after taking the pill) I experienced the very worst shortness of breath I had ever had, accompanied by extreme fatigue. I stood gasping for breath and briefly paralyzed. My legs would not move when I wanted to resume walking. After a while I managed to lift my feet high enough off the ground to take a step. It was all very scary.

The drug sheet mentions shortness of breath as an allergic reaction. One is supposed to seek immediate medical attention if that happens. I have SOB due to other drugs I am on, so it is somewhat difficult to determine the degree of breathlessness for which this drug is responsible.

I have not taken Diovan in any amount since.

Did I have an allergic reaction both times? (When starting the 80mg dose and now with the 160mg dose). Or was mine an adverse reaction to the drug?

Is there a chance I will develop tolerance over time to the 80mg daily?
(I believe this is what my doctor will decide to do when I see him on Friday - go back to the lower dose)

Have any of you experienced an allergic reaction to any BP drug, and how was it different from mine?

Thank you,

Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-27-2007 at 02:41 PM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 05-27-2007, 04:12 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: us
Posts: 1,693
famnd HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hi Flowergirl,
I apologize for not getting back to you yesterday. I wrote several times, but somehow I lost the messages. Your experience while walking just reminds me too much of my experience with Cozaar which is in the same class of drugs as diovan. As you might recall, I woke up in the morning & couldn't get out of bed. I felt as though my limbs especially were weighted down to the mattress much as you stated your legs were while walking. I can't even venture a guess what would cause that. I have never had that experience before or after so it has to have come from Cozaar. The last dose I had taken was the evening before about 6pm. My husband had already gotten up so I was pretty scared. Eventually, I was able to get up. Needless to say, I didn't take anymore Cozaar. Do you have any swelling around your knees? Do you still have the swelling in your ankles? I had swelling in my eyelids, hands, ankles, knees but not my legs. The swelling lasted at least several weeks after stopping the drug. I had to cut the tops of my socks ( I'm pretty sure there was swelling on the top of my feet too because I couldn't fit into my shoes. I didn't even get ankle swelling when I was pregnant 5 times with big babies (one was 10.5) so I'm not prone to that. Will write more tonight. Fam

 
Old 05-27-2007, 09:28 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: us
Posts: 1,693
famnd HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

I've had a allergic reaction to several b/p drugs. I got swelling in my throat, hives on the inside of my arms, no SOB. My PC Doc said my HCTZ reaction was an allergic reaction, but there was no SOB, hives, throat swelling. There was a sudden overwhelming feeling of apprehension for no concrete reason after taking HCTZ. This is the symptom that I think she keyed in on as an allergic reaction. It is often mentioned in the list of symptoms of an AR. I had no reason to feel this way. I thought I was just having side effects that would pass. She had apparently had other patients with the same set of symptoms. She told me not to take the drug again. As it turned out, I was able to take HCTZ without any problem when the dye was taken out.

Do you get wheezing with the SOB?

Headaches. when you wake up, is your head hurting. I think you said your pain starts in the back of your head? Then does it hurt all over your head? Hope things are better today. Fam

 
Old 05-27-2007, 11:52 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,180
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hi,

thank you for your replies!

Quote:
There was a sudden overwhelming feeling of apprehension for no concrete reason
I am feeling very apprehensive at the moment, especially about the drugs they have me on!


Seriously it seems that our internal neurological network has an alarm system of its own...and, perhaps, when something untoward is detected,this alarm is triggered and results in an overwhelming feeling of apprehension! (this is pure speculation on my part)..It seems somewhat similar to the feelings one experiences while having a cardiovascular event, thoughts of dying and doom and gloom.

I am glad you found out what ingredient in the HCTZ medication you were allergic to. Most of us would not go to such great lengths to learn what triggers the allergy, unless there was no alternative drug or if the drug was considered essential to one's treatment. Were you sent to an allergy doc for that? How did you find out?

Quote:
Do you get wheezing with the SOB?
Headaches. when you wake up, is your head hurting. I think you said your pain starts in the back of your head? Then does it hurt all over your head?
I have no wheezing with the SOB. My lungs hurt from trying so hard to suck in enough air to meet my body's oxygen needs. I know for a fact it's connected to my stomach (or affecting it) in some way. My stomach always feels weird and achy and responds with nausea. I was reading some posts on the acid reflux board and found a few similarities to my symptoms. It was disturbing.
My headache is still here. Mostly the back of my head and neck are involved. I go to bed with it, I wake up with it. It's just there. Sometimes one side behind the ear and around it hurts more than the other, other times both sides of my neck at the back, plus the center area in between and the base of my skull. I mentioned my headache to the neurologist while seeing him for my tingly arm, but he did not want to (or have,more likely) any time to spend on that issue and told me he'd be happy to see me another time for that. He did say that it sounded like a typical tension headache to him. The pharmacist thinks its a headache caused by my high blood pressure, rather than Diovan.

Thank you for describing your reaction to Cozaar-so very much like mine.
I must still have some swelling on my feet, though not immediately apparent. This is because I had to try on a few pairs of summer shoes earlier today before I found one I did not have to stuff my feet into. My knees seem OK. I had never had swollen feet prior to my being started on Diovan. Like you, I had a 9 lbs 14oz baby (the other a little smaller) and no swollen feet due to pregnancy.

I am remaining cautious and watchful. I wonder what the doctor's reaction will be when I tell him I suspect I am allergic to it. He just loves this drug. So much so that he has chosen to take it himself for controlling his BP. It's expensive but I'll bet you that's not an issue for him.

Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-27-2007 at 11:54 PM.

 
Old 05-28-2007, 04:12 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: us
Posts: 1,693
famnd HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Here's what I've read about tension (stress) headaches: Tension headaches are usually absent when one awakens but get worse during the day. They often start in the back of the head (lower part) or in front of the head & gradually spread over the head. My Norvasc headaches created constant painful spots all over my head. Never had a headache like that before. It took several weeks to rid myself of them after stopping Norvasc. From what I've read, getting headaches from HBP doesn't occur very often. When my b/p was 230/120 I never got a headache.
But we're all different. Maybe it depends on where our vulnerable points are.

Do you have acid reflux? I do & have had SOB from it before. In fact, once acid went down my trachea & I couldn't breathe for a few moments. That's why I am so careful about my lifestyle issues to manage AR. These meds certainly don't help. Re: nausea. Have you tried walking before you take your meds (that is if your b/p is okay)? Oh, thought of something else. When my knees swelled, the Dr. offered to give me a steriod but at that time my b/p was so high that I was afraid to risk taking it.
Steriods can raise b/p plus create havoc for someone with stomach issues. I often wonder if taking the steriod would have prevented my knee damage by getting the swelling to go down sooner. Better to have damaged knees than a higher b/p & possible stroke or heart attack. Choices, choices we have to make. Fam

 
Old 05-28-2007, 10:58 PM   #6
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,180
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hi Fam,

Quote:
From what I've read, getting headaches from HBP doesn't occur very often.
Quote:
When my b/p was 230/120 I never got a headache
.

thank you for your insights. On the subject of headaches, I had suffered head/neck-aches lasting weeks at a time when my BP was undiagnosed and uncontrolled. (It would go as high as 250/160) They were different from the ones I have now in that the neck veins would throb and pulse, driving me crazy with the pain. In trying to relieve the pain, I'd use heating pads, ice, massage the back of my head with my hands...all the smelly deep rub creams..without much relief. The doctor at a walk-in clinic (conveniently next door to work) told me each time I went there seeking help that I had soft tissue inflammation - without so much as bothering to look! I believe those headaches were related to my high blood pressure. They dissapeared (after about 3 years of making my life very miserable) when I went on BP drugs. As unpleasant as my current headache is, it's not the same one I used to get. I can actually feel a wave of pain coming on and a few seconds later am enveloped in it. It sort of builds up, hits me, then recedes.

Quote:
Do you have acid reflux?
I don't know! It is possible. I don't know anything about this condition. Another would be a hernia - it also causes breathlessness and a weird feeling in the stomach. There are actually many conditions (besides HF) that might cause the SOB. I think even our enlarged LVs could be causing us breathing problems, in spite of what the cardio doc says.

Quote:
Re: nausea. Have you tried walking before you take your meds (that is if your b/p is okay)?
Fam, I walk in the morning way before I take my pills! I found out the hard way that exercise after taking the pills is not the way to go for me. I do it this way no matter what my BP is. I used to get so sick after taking my pills I'd have to go lie down to keep the dizziness and nausea at bay. Once I had to leave my half-filled cart with groceries in a store and go home and lie down. Another time while meeting a friend at Starbucks I had to leave suddenly and go home to lie down. It's not as bad now, I just get tired, I don't have a lot of energy.

Regarding the allergies to BP medication - I went to see my pharmacist today to find out what to do (I have four days to go before seeing my doctor). As luck would have it, an allergist-in-training was present from the university. I don't know what her credentials are (or if she has any yet) and don't care. She was willing to help me. After explaining my reactions (in detail) to 80mg and 160mg of Diovan and answering a few questions, I left. Went back to her later. She thinks I have sulfa allergy and wrote a note to my doctor, telling him to test my electrolytes etc. I don't think I will give it to him, unless he chooses to ignore my apparent allergy to this drug again. This sulfa allergy is another subject I know absolutely nothing about.

Take care,

Flowergirl

 
Old 05-29-2007, 06:27 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,484
Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

flower girl,

Two of the commmonest signs of an allergic reaction are edema and rash (often facial.) The attack often shows up on the first or second dose of medication.
Anyone who suffers such a reaction should IMMEDIATELY stop taking the offending drug and probably never take it again. Allergic reactions generally get worse and worse and can be life threatening.

Yes, you had 2 allergic reactions, whether to sulfa it's hard to say but I think it is safe to say that DIOVAN (from NOVARTIS) will not be in your future, no matter HOW much your doctor is devoted to prescribing it.

Just 2 months ago NOVARTIS got approval to market TEKTURNA a new type antihypertensive that targets RENIN production. So there's a good chance that your doctor will find a new love to prescribe to everyone very soon. <Tongue planted firmly in cheek. >

In all fairness though, most people have very little trouble taking DIOVAN.

Last edited by Lenin; 05-29-2007 at 06:30 AM.

 
Old 05-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,180
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Quote:
Anyone who suffers such a reaction should IMMEDIATELY stop taking the offending drug and probably never take it again. Allergic reactions generally get worse and worse and can be life threatening.
Quote:
In all fairness though, most people have very little trouble taking DIOVAN.
Lenin,

thank you for posting! You should know that I needed to hear this warning one more time in preparation for seeing my doctor on Friday! Thank you for that!

I am trying to anticipate his response (I've known him for 25 years) and want to be prepared for any possible outcome. The appointments are scheduled 15 minutes apart and often a person does not even get that when he's running late. So I'll have to make the most of the time I'll have. There are a couple of other issues I want to discuss.

I believe I'd have less of a problem with Diovan if I were on only one or two other drugs. That is not the case. I think that my meds' combined effects make it difficult for my body to adjust to yet another medication. My arteries must be widened and relaxed to the limit! (several of my meds have that effect).

Flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-29-2007 at 12:17 PM.

 
Old 05-29-2007, 09:00 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: us
Posts: 1,693
famnd HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hi Flowergirl,

You've been through a lot. So happy to hear you made contact with the allergy student. You need someone to help you sit down & put everything on paper. All the drugs you have taken, your reactions, & the inactive ingredients in the drugs plus your medical history. I made up a chart of everything when the Dr. told me that HCTZ was my only hope because I had so many contraindications to many of the drugs. He wanted me to try HCTZ with the dye again. I cringed at the thought of that especially since my PC Doc say I had had a allergic reaction to it. I reminded him that I would be at an increased risk because I was on a heavy dose of a beta blocker which would decrease the effectiveness of epinephrine to take care of another possible allergic reaction. He was surprised that I knew that & readily agreed to order a epinephrine injection that I could give myself if needed. Anyhow, once I put everything down on paper, it was pretty easy to see what the offending ingredient was: yellow dye #6 Aluminum Lake (there is also a plain yellow dye). Then I got an opinion from a allergist who was on the ball. He had already researched the dye theory before I got there. He wasn't convinced that I had had a allergic reaction. He thought it was more of a hypersensitive reaction. It was a lot of work dealing with all this. I had to call all the manufacturers in the US to find out if I could get a dye free HCTZ med. No was the answer. Then my Dr's nurse called to say that she had found another patient who also had a allergy to HCTZ but was able to obtain a dye free drug (HCTZ) from a compound pharmacy. The drug itself comes from China which as you probably know is having problems with contaminated dog food, toothpaste, & meds were mentioned on a Sunday news report. Oh, well another thing to worry about. My compound pharmacist says he has a lot of patients who can't take the dyes-he showed me all the dye free flavoring he carries. My research on dyes tells me that some are made from animals which maybe the source of the allergic reaction. Good luck on Friday. Is there anyone who could go with you on Friday?
Oh, my Dr. was a Cardiologist who specialized in HBP. He also teaches in the medical school. Fam

 
Old 05-30-2007, 11:25 PM   #10
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,180
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Hello,

thank you for your post. I'll have to re-read it a couple of times. It is very helpful. Your quest to find a HCTZ med you are not allergic to is simply overwhelming! You do whatever it takes to get the results. Very impressive.

Quote:
I had so many contraindications to many of the drugs. He wanted me to try HCTZ with the dye again. I cringed at the thought of that especially since my PC Doc say I had had a allergic reaction to it. I reminded him that I would be at an increased risk because I was on a heavy dose of a beta blocker which would decrease the effectiveness of epinephrine to take care of another possible allergic reaction.
You know, I have the same problem. I keep telling the doctors I should not be on the drugs I am not as they are not meant or designed to work together! They do acknowledge the fact but nothing is done about it. I too experienced many problems with my other drugs while on a heavy dose of beta blockers. This is also the reason I had such a tough time with side effects. (Still do!) I wonder if we are like this because we have severe hypertension and the doctors have no choice but to keep us on as many meds as it takes, regardless of contraindications. I am starting to feel that way. I asked my cardiologist to recommend a change in my meds to my GP (since he would not make any changes himself). I am still on them. My doctor's solution: (when I repeated my concerns) we will test liver & kidneys & potassium more often, -not to worry!!!

I intend to go to my weekly doctors' appointment alone. I am determined to stand my ground and if told to take Diovan in a reduced dose, I'll refuse. We know what the statistics tell us about the frequency of adverse drug reactions in patients with properly administered medicines. I know I cannot take this one. It's that simple.

Flowergirl

 
Old 05-31-2007, 12:34 PM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: us
Posts: 1,693
famnd HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Stick to your guns. I know you have a lot on your agenda with the Dr. but you must find out why you are having that burning pain -a referral to a GI Doc possibly? I won't even tell you of all the problems involved in getting the HCTZ paid for by my insurance. At one point I had almost decided to buy a chemistry scale & HCTZ (only costs $8 for a 3 yrs supply) & dose it out myself ( had HS & college chemistry). It costs the insurance $75 for a 90 day supply. BTW HCTZ by itself doesn't cause the irritation to the stomach that the pill form with the extra additives does. Go figure!!! The pharmacist & I both said that maybe it's the additives in these drugs that is causing most of the stomach issues. He tried to get Lebetalol for me to make up without the additives but could not. Good luck tomorrow & let us know how it went. Fam

 
Old 05-31-2007, 06:21 PM   #12
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 3,159
bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: Antihypertensive drugs and allergic reactions

Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
Hello,

What is the difference between an allergic reaction to the drug and an adverse reaction?
When Fam mentioned that a symptom she experienced was an allergic reaction per her doctor, and I noticed it didn't fit the typical symptom list of allergic reaction (which ususally includes things like hives, skin rash, itching of the eyes, wheezing or shortness of breath, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face etc). I did some (whatelse?) research. I discovered that adverse reactions are organized into about 5 different categories based on how the body's cells responded to the medication. I did not find an "answer" to allergic reaction vs. side effect so I brought the subject up with some friends in the health care field who said basically--there is debate about this difference and for that reason the term adverse effect is often preferred .

Quote:
The drug sheet mentions shortness of breath as an allergic reaction. One is supposed to seek immediate medical attention if that happens.
Yes, I have seen this listed time and time again on my med sheets.

Quote:
Is there a chance I will develop tolerance over time to the 80mg daily?
It is my understanding that some allergic reactions get worse over time...this is because the body is sensitized to the first exposure of an allergen, and the second or subsequent exposures cause the body to produce antibodies and release histamine. In other words, when the body is first given the medication it takes a while for it to realize the enemy has invaded. When it does make this realization, it gathers the troups (produces antibodies) and sends them off to war and the end result is a nasty reaction.

From what I've read, they don't advise prescribing meds that have previously caused an allergic reaction in an individual unless there are absolutely no other options, but then they keep the patient under close medical supervision.

Bsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 05-31-2007 at 07:27 PM.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Allergic reaction and Hashi's Oleander53 Thyroid Disorders 20 10-06-2008 09:54 PM
Unexplained allergic reactions Jerseygirl100 Allergies 9 01-11-2008 04:56 AM
Bad reactions to common drugs! Halls General Health 2 07-08-2007 05:51 AM
anyone allergic to cabbage? magpie55 Allergies 6 07-17-2006 09:58 PM
has anyone had side effects or allergic reaction to epi shots vinnie2295 Back Problems 2 10-03-2005 08:50 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:47 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!