Anaphylactic Reaction Halted Without Benadryl/Epi-pen? How is That?

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 1:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

When Jesse had his anaphylactic reaction last month at school, the symptoms of anaphylaxis stopped progressing before he had received any treatment (i.e., Benadryl or the Epi-pen).

His reaction started out with chest constriction for which he was given his Ventolin puffers at school. Then, he vomited. Bright red blotchiness developed all over his face. Then generalized body hiving.

When we were at the hospital, waiting to be seen by the doctor (me with Epi-pen in hand), the blotchiness on his face started to go away.

Jesse was eventually treated with Benadryl and we were told to keep him on Benadryl for the next two days, which we did.

But I just realized, in answering in another thread, that I don't understand this.

Why would the anaphylactic reaction have stopped without Benadryl or the Epi-pen? Why didn't it keep progressing? I don't understand. I thank heaven that it didn't keep progressing, but I don't understand why it would be halted [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 2:03pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think I read this here somewhere, but a bride, in the midst of her wedding had an anaphylactic reaction that simply went away during the ceremony. She didn't have her epi-pen on her, and had just walked down the isle. Her doctor said the sheer amount of increased adrenalin in her system fought off the reaction from progressing further.
Perhaps the same amount of adrenalin in Jessie's system due to fear helped combat the reaction. Maybe the amount of offending allergin was so small that Jessie's increased fear adrenalin did what was needed.
Maybe some people have more naturally occuring adrenalin than others?
Just a warning - running during a reaction doesn't increase your adrenalin to fight the reaction - running was a contributing factor in the anaphylactic death of a little neighbour of ours years ago. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Remind your kids never to run if they think they're having a reaction - have them ask someone else to run for extra help even if the epi-pen is close enough to grab and stab. (sorry to be so blunt).

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 2:08pm
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

syd's mom, that is a brilliant explanation. Of course you are so right about the running, we have told our son to sit down right away because any moving can increase the reaction.
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Cynde

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 2:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Syd's Mom, do you think increased adrenalin could be the only reason? It's certainly a good thing is increased adrenalin will halt an anaphylactic reaction.
I'm wondering about Jesse in this case. At the time that all of this was going on, he didn't realize that he was having a peanut allergic reaction. However, he could have had increased adrenalin simply because he felt the need to go to the office and ask for his puffers. Although no one in the office could tell that he was having difficulty breathing, and he very well may not have been, I believe his chest constricted on him and he *felt* as though he was having trouble breathing, a heaviness in his chest.
And yes, if that was the case, I can see him getting anxious and his adrenalin starting to flow.
Totally unrelated story, but we got our dog in September month and it just so happened that 4 days after we got the dog, I had to help my friend close up the warehouse that I had been running all summer for him, so Jesse knew that no one was home with the new dog and he was very anxious about it. I'm at work, basically (where I never am) and I get a phone call from the principal because Jesse has come into the office saying that he can't breathe and needs his asthma puffers. I realized sadly that the poor wee guy was having an anxiety attack because no one was home with the new dog. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] What a sensitive wee soul.
Your explanation sounds perfect. Can you imagine a bride having an anaphylactic reaction and still walking down the aisle? Wow. She really must have wanted to get married to that fellow [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Also, you made a good point that I will have to tell Jesse. That he is never to run himself to get help unless no one is around, but to have a friend go and get help for him should he have a reaction.
And hey, Syd's Mom, is this a rare occasion or do you also have Night Owl (or is it Night Hawk?) tendencies? I used to have them more than I do now, or actually what I mean is I would be posting here at 3:00 in the morning if I got up in the middle of the night, but I do think I've seen you post quite late before. Just curious [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] (oh, and off topic, haven't been back to DebO's Take Action thread but if you still wanted to use my letter for the M.P.P. or M.P., by all means, please go ahead. I have been meaning to post that for quite some time. I saw the question and then got waylaid, as I often do [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] and never answered you. You, personally, don't need my permission for such things).
cynde, also, I had never thought about the movement part ever and I really appreciated it when I posted about Jesse's reaction and you mentioned about your child lying down, not being walked around (like how Jesse was being walked home to me). I have since put that in his emergency medical plan, thanks to you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited January 31, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 3:17pm
erik's picture
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

I have night owl syndrome too.... and I have work tomorrow morning at 9 am! *haha* I am usually up until 1:00 to 2:00 am...
Good night all...
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 5:33pm
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Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

Dear Cindy,
I can't really add anything to the Benadryl question. What I really am interested in is the details of Jesse's last reaction. How did you decide that it was anaphylactic and have you figured out what was the cause? Has he been tested for other allergies?
I looked under reaction/stories but could not find anything. I felt that searching under your name or words such as reaction might bring up too many threads. Do you think that you could add this story to that topic?
I always think that something might be learned from other's reactions.
Thanks!
-Cindia

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 9:02pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy,
Good question - our DS's first two ana. reactions stopped by themselves (no treatment). We were clueless as to what was actually happening. I know that sounds terrible, but it's true. I knew NOTHING about PA, and DH didn't put the pieces together at the time (knew one person in college with PA).
DS's first reaction was coughing and vomiting. The second was vomiting and light wheezing with hoarseness. No hives, swelling, struggling to breathe, etc. Both stopped without treatment. (I don't want it to sound like these reactions weren't significant - if DS had this kind of reaction now, we'd Epi without hesitation. We just really had no idea back then.)
I'd guess the adrenalin explanation would fit, but not sure in my DS's case. What do you think?
I also knew about the running. I'm thinking that's why the lawyer didn't make it in time with his Epi - hurrying to the car probably sped up the reaction, probably something he didn't realize. Just guessing there.
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited January 31, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 10:32pm
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LJG
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Joined: 05/23/2002 - 09:00

Kylie's first (and only) reaction also resolved on it's own. We were not aware of the allergy at the time, so had no meds with us. She ate a few cashews and almost immediately started crying, complaining about her throat. One eye swelled, and she vomited twice. Her breathing never became a concern, no wheezing or gasping, but she complained that her throat was "getting worser". The whole thing was over in about 15 minutes. I didn't know what was going on, thought maybe she had a piece of the nut stuck in her throat, and made her drink a bunch of water. The next day I took her to the doctor to check for an allergy. I think we were lucky that it took care of itself so quickly and did not progress to a life-threatening situation. Why it resolved on its own I do not know, but I'm grateful that it did.
Lori

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 11:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cindia, I had placed the story under Living with PA rather than Reactions. I'll re-raise it so you can have a look at it.
The reason it was anaphylactic is because it involved more than two body systems. His chest constricted so something to do with his breathing or lungs. He threw up, so his stomach. The red blotchiness and generalized body hiving, so his skin.
It was very different than his other two anaphylactic reactions which did involve more than those systems that it affected this time. Also, in looking at his first reaction, when he was 18 months old, and the definition of anaphylaxis (I'll also re-raise that thread under Main Discussion where it says about the two body systems), I believe his first reaction was anaphylactic as well.
Looking back just now, it was also halted without medication and he was 18 months old, so I don't think adrenaline from him being frightened/anxious would have kicked in (Lam, that may help with your query, or not help, but add to it as well - children too young to have adrenaline click in, or does it click in naturally somehow regardless of age and more so when they are old enough to be frightened/anxious?).
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 11:21pm
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Joined: 01/26/2003 - 09:00

I've wondered the same thing. When my dd
had her last reaction at school they called me to come in and by the time I got there she was doubled over in pain (her tummy), she was so white and lethargic even though she was crying quietly from the pain, she said her stomach felt wavy (nausea) and so I gave her benadryl and then she broke out in hives and one side of her face started to swell. I drove her to the hospital and on the way I gave her another dose of benadryl. By the time we got there she was feeling much better. Oh, I forgot to mention that when I got to the school her voice was raspy.
I just don't know if I should have given her the epi pen. Obviously, everything turned out ok in this case but I just wonder how many of you would have chosen to give epi right away in this case?
BTW, The "doctor" in emerg said she probably just had the stomach flu. When I asked when benadryl started clearing up the stomach flu he said, "oh no, you're right that was definitely an allergic reaction".!!!!Will they ever learn!!

Posted on: Thu, 01/30/2003 - 11:32pm
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Joined: 01/23/2003 - 09:00

I had the same question...how can an anaphylactic reaction stop without any ben/epi?? My son had an anaphylactic reaction (hives, wheezing, vomitting, etc) 2 summers ago and by the time the ambulance got there...his symptoms were improving and almost gone. I wasn't prescribed an epi-pen at the time so he recieved nothing before his symptoms going away.???????????

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