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  • I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

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    Old 09-05-2006, 11:15 AM   #1
    Melissa765
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    Angry I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    Hello! I'm so frustrated right now, so excuse if I just rant!

    A little history: I have SEVERE allergies. I feel sick every single day, with the usual sore throat, post nasal drip, headache, itchy eyes, etc., etc. You name it, I have it. In fact, about every 4-5 weeks, my normal allergy medications just can't do the trick, and I end up on a 40 day course of antibiotics for sinus infections. This happens so often that I've become immune to every one of them, and now my sinus infections often spread into my ears and eyes (so I'm left with a sinus infection, ear infection, and conjunctivitis). For allergies, I'm on Allegra-D and Benadryl daily. I also have asthma and pretty severe eczema (I was told that all these things tend to go hand-in-hand with each other). When I eat or touch any kind of fruit or shellfish, my lips and tongue get all swollen and itchy, and sometimes I get hives/eczema on my arms.

    Now, MY QUESTION: I also have allergies to medications. So far, I've had reactions to Cefzil (hives), Aleve (chest pain/shortness of breath), Singulair (tingling of arms and legs), and all Codeine medications (chest pain/shortness of breath). My doctor prescribed Prevacid for acid reflux, and I got a feeling like it was hard to swallow, I was short of breath, and my lips and the inside of my mouth were all tingly. I also had the sensation like I had to constantly try to clear my throat and cough. The last symptom is kind of hard to describe, but it's kind of like when a straw has a hole in it, and you try to take a sip of your drink from it, but very little of the drink actually gets up the straw. I feel like that when I breathe-like I'm not getting enough air into my lungs. I only took it twice, and this happened both times. When I told my doctor, she got all irritated and said that I had a panic attack and hyperventilated. WHAT?!?! I'd think I'd know if I hyperventilated, no? And I've never had a panic attack, so I was a little baffled at this comment from her.

    So I need an opinion from someone who may actually listen to me, and not just disregard what my symptoms are (like my doctor did). Does this sound like an allergic reaction to the medication??? THANK YOU SO MUCH if you can help me with this!!!

     
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    Old 09-05-2006, 11:30 AM   #2
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    doctors are arrogant people... you should try switching them until you find someone who really cares

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 11:33 AM   #3
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    Sounds like she got frustrated with you because she cannot help you. With my daughter I would get frustrated when trying to take care of her and it would come across and be directed at her, like it was her fault! I think it sounds like an allergic reaction. You sound like your immune system is so over sensitive to everything. Would you ever consider going to an alternative doctor? This was the only thing that helped my daughter. Of course all alternative doctors are not at the same level. [removed] I think the continual antibiotics are making your allergies worse (immune cells are in the gut and antibiotics are terrible for our normal flora in the gut). An alternative doctor will correct the underlying problems instead of medicating them. Good luck.

    Last edited by mod-anon; 09-11-2006 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Please do not offer to find doctors for people.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 02:34 PM   #4
    Melissa765
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    Angry Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    I know!!! That's the problem though; she's the only doctor I've found that'll treat me with the antibiotics as often as I need them, and for as long as I need. If I ask for any sort of CAT scan or anything, she'll give it to me, no questions asked. Just recently (since I've been having chest pains, which she also dismissed as "anxiety" but it turns out that it was really a neurological disorder), she's been giving me a hard time, and telling me that EVERYTHING is anxiety! No, it's NOT! She wouldn't even give me a referral to a cardiologist when I was having the chest pains, and said that she'd only give me a referral to a psychologist. FOR CHEST PAINS!!! Thank GOD that I had an existing appointment with a neurologist for a back injury, and she diagnosed me with another type of neuralgia that spread into my chest. I'm so lucky for having that appointment!

    I thought this sounded like an allergic reaction, especially since the day after the 2nd (and last) dose, I had about 5 huge patches of eczema and hives everywhere from my back, to my armpits, to my legs.

    If anyone else could confirm/dismiss this type of allergic reaction, I'd appreciate it as well. Thank you!

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 02:50 PM   #5
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    Have you considered that it might be an allergy to the dye in the medication?
    Sometimes people mistake one for the other...and the dyes are notorious for allergic reactions.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 03:03 PM   #6
    Melissa765
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    I'm not even sure what it is--I just know that when I take the medication, I get those symptoms. In fact, I can't even go to the allergist for a proper test because my doctor won't give me a referral to go! Does it definitely sound like some sort of allergic reaction to you though?

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    As sick as you are with allergies and you don't even see an allergist! I would contact the HMO and tell them that you need to see a specialist. I believe the way that HMOs work is that the family doctor gets to keep more money if the patient isn't sent to specialists? Also have you ever tried zyrtec, singulair, or steroid nasal sprays?

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 06:23 PM   #8
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    You need to find a doctor who is "interested" in your care. This does not mean one that will give you all the antibiotics, etc. "you want" but will prescribe the correct meds for the problem. Taking too many antibiotics will eventually put you in a position your body will not respond to any antibiotic, nothing left for you.

    You need to find out the cause of your problems and be treated properly.

    Find another primary care doctor.

     
    Old 09-05-2006, 07:26 PM   #9
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    I concur with the others. Too many antibiotics and you can develop an allergy to them! You need a an alelrgist or a new PCP who will refer you to one.

     
    Old 09-06-2006, 07:55 AM   #10
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    Keep fighting till you get someone who WILL listen, stay away from any and all things you feel are causing a bad reaction within your body. I had one Primary who said.."Sometimes you need to be your OWN doctor"...and how right he was!!! Panic attack? I have them, they only way you can tell you're having an attack is if you slow down your breathing--if the feelings go away you were hyperventilating. Breathing, my psychotherapist says is the #1 remedy to do during an attack. Sometimes I even ask myself what's worse, running to a medical professional when you feel like crap and putting up with the wait times and medical jargon they like to throw at you..and boy forbid if you are a woman, the first response is always..."anxiety" or the sickness that brought you there in the first place

     
    Old 09-06-2006, 11:56 PM   #11
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thegardener
    As sick as you are with allergies and you don't even see an allergist! I would contact the HMO and tell them that you need to see a specialist. I believe the way that HMOs work is that the family doctor gets to keep more money if the patient isn't sent to specialists? Also have you ever tried zyrtec, singulair, or steroid nasal sprays?

    I agree, you need an allergist. family doctors don't know S#$% about allergies. It is totally irresponsible of her to give you all those antibiotics and not refer you to an allergist, when it is obvious allergies are the root cause of your sinus infections, and her treatment hasn't been able to control your allergies.

    Last edited by sneezydiva; 09-09-2006 at 05:32 PM.

     
    Old 09-07-2006, 09:28 AM   #12
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure?

    Hi Melissa,

    I'm gonna take a little bit different tack here. You have experienced some serious med reactions that your HCP is not taking seriously. That is a BIG problem. What if you're in an accident & are unconscious & these reactions are not on your health care record?

    Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are more common than many docs will admit. It's easier for them to label the patient as nuts than for them to DO THEIR JOB, which is to report ADRs to the FDA. That's right, it's the job of the MDeity to report serious reactions -- the kinds of things you've mentioned, & even lesser stuff, like rashes, to both the drug manufacturer as well as to the FDA.

    Your symptoms may be due to allergy or more general ADR. Allergists IME are pretty good at parsing out what's what -- but of course among docs, skill level & allegiance to the system vs. to the patient does vary.

    Most HMOs have a grievance process or "patient satisfaction team" -- but you have to be the squeaky wheel to find out about it. You may find that a little perserverance will get you the referral you desire. If that fails, your state may have a health insurance ombudsman who can perhaps intervene. But, I would consider just doing an out-of-network self-pay to get to see a good allergist.

    In the meantime, a bit of legal advice. Amend your medical records, with your PCP/HMO in writing. Document the drugs that were Rxd, describe your reactions & severity, and label your reactions, in writing, as Adverse Drug Reactions. Be sure to use that phrase at least twice in your dated, signed letter. Retain a copy for your own records. A major purpose of writing the letter is to request that your permanent record be updated to include these ADRs, and that you be NOTIFIED IN WRITING by the HMO, with specifics, when this has been accomplished. I would also request that the ADRs be registered with the agencies designed to oversee this problem. It's very common for cost-cutter HMOs to follow the cheap/sloppy path.

    This letter needs to be addressed to your PCP, as well as to his/her supervisor. There is a pecking order at most HMOs, invisible to participants. But it is there. May take a little digging, but worth it.

    And on a personal note, I would not return to any physician who disregarded or minimized the severity of my symptoms. This is sloppy, lazy behavior that is passing for medical care; it is common & a real waster of healthcare dollars in this country. In my town, it seems like people can switch primaries within their HMOs. I'd suggest you try to find a more capable provider within the care network.

    Best wishes.

     
    Old 09-07-2006, 01:06 PM   #13
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    I also react to almost every med given to me. In 1988 I had a severe case of angioedema and laryngeal edema which hospitalized me for three days after being treated for over a month with multiple antibiotics and meds to cure a "sinus infection".

    I was dismissed by my PCP, told that at age 36 I would have to be on prednisone for the rest of my life. That was without any testing of any kind being done and with no referral to any specialists being offered.

    I went to an environmental allergist on my own dime with wonderful results and had no sinus or ear infections from then on UNTIL I developed high blood pressure necessitating medication use.

    I reacted to every med, sooner or later, over a 10 year period, I then really tried diet, exercise, supplements and saw my BP go up, not down after a 27 pound wt loss.

    At each Dr visit I was chastised for not wanting to try ANOTHER med even though I demonstrated reactions to all tried to that point.

    There was never an adverse reaction form filed. Little was found in my chart when I obtained my old records.

    I have since changed PCPs for the third time and found someone who did several tests for the cause of the hypertension and found I have a hormonal and CUREABLE disease. I gave the new PCP, the endocrinologist and the surgeon a detailed list of meds with the dates tried and the reactions they caused.

    I also saw a conventional allergist this year; he has the same list. The alternative allergist no longer will treat without PCP co-operation and in this town you don't get that PERIOD!

    Allergists have no magic test to determine drug allergies except for penicillin. The only way is with a challenge test in the office and I haven't found a doctor willing to do that.

    As for the dye allergies, I know through an elimination diet that I react to yellow #5. And I wouldn't be surprised that some of my problems with meds are related to either dye or filler ingredients but I have not found a doctor who will admit to that. I even had an allergist tell me "there is no such thing as a dye allergy". HE is a professor of allergy at a well known teaching hospital.

    Even the American Association of Allergists refutes the claim that a patient can have "multiple medication sensitivities".
    I know there are many more like me out there but Doctors and Pharmacutical companies go hand in hand so if you can't take meds there is something wrong in your head. Meds are their answer to everything.

     
    Old 09-07-2006, 02:32 PM   #14
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    rck213 - I agree that the alternative and environmental doctors are the way to go. Regular doctors just give medicine, medicine and more medicine. The alternative doctors cure the problem and the regular doctors bad mouth them. I wish more patients had access to alternative doctors, but costs prohibit a lot of people and location. I can't wait for the day when alternative doctors are the norm. I don't know what that will take?

     
    Old 09-07-2006, 03:44 PM   #15
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    Re: I'm CONVINCED that this is an allergic reaction to medication... doc not so sure???

    I've had the best luck with a primary care physician who has an MD/PhD. They are trained in research as well as medicine and generally will accept a patient who is more involved in their own treatment...they understand the search for an answer!

     
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