When to use benedryl

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 3:53pm
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I am very new to the world of being a mother of a peanut allergic child and the sight of the Epi-Pen still makes me shiver. But my question to all you parents who have had to actually administer emergency treatment to their children is... When do you administer the Benedryl and why Benedryl. Could you use a faster acting antihistamine such as Clotripolon instead???

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 3:56pm
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Posted on: Thu, 02/25/1999 - 10:38am
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I'm curious about what dosage (# of teaspoons) of benadryl everyone is giving. My doctor said I can give either 1 or 2 teaspoons (20 lb. child). So I don't know if I should give the one or two.

Posted on: Fri, 02/26/1999 - 9:20am
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Trish - I would recommend that you practice with an expired epi-pen on an orange. I role-played and really thought about how I would feel using the epi. My anxiety seemed to decrease after I saw how it worked with the actual needle. Also, I felt it really impressed my son's preschool teachers when I used the epi trainer first, but then had the main teacher actually use an expired pen into the orange. It made it feel and seem much more serious and I was more confident that they would do the right thing if needed. I was sure to dispose of the used needle properly.
Brenda - I have 2 teaspoons of Benadryl premeasured (my son is 40 pounds). I'd rather err on the higher dosage, because I figure some of the medicine probably won't make it into him, and this way I won't be short changing a dose. I wouldn't want to give a lower dose.
Nancy

Posted on: Fri, 02/26/1999 - 10:24pm
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Nancy ~
You make some great points here on your post. I've never had to use the Epi, Pen, Jr. on my 4 1/2 year old (Thank GOD!) but I did 'practice' on an expired pen. I think this helped with my confidence. I wasn't as smart as you and didn't practice on an orange - I used a stack of newspapers. I'm curious as to how you 'properly' dispose of the needle once you're done. Thanks. Nicole

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 12:43am
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I have felt much more comfortable after using an expired pen. I used it on an apple because I heard an orange might be to soft.
Any way it is a good idea to get the feel of it and to practice waiting a few seconds for the medicine to come out. I haven't had to do the real thing yet either but I am glad I practiced. I also have the epipen trainer that my kids practice with. I think my older children were starting to feel some of the pressure of this allergy too. This way they saw how easy it was to use one and it didn't hurt Katherine in any way. I think it took some of the mystery away and Katherine loved all the attention. I came home today and my son said they were playing practice with the epi-pen. I also feel that if I ever had to use one Katherine wouldn't be as afraid to have me use it. I did reinforce that this wasn't a game but that I was proud of them for caring about their sister.
Patti

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 7:52am
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We were told that we are to use benedryl for hives. Anything else...vomiting, dizziness,wheezing, etc., we will use the Epi-pen first. This will help to open the airway if it is swelling and to keep the blood pressure high enough so he doesn't pass out. Then give benedryl...off to the ER for further treatment. Our medics will not administer the Epi-pen unless a person is in "code blue";i.e., not breathing. All the literature I have read tells me that it will be too late at this point to administer Epi-pens. So I have advised the teachers at school to error on the side of caution. We were told that we have 30 minutes from the time of insult to administer epinephrine or 97% of the cases are fatal. That time factor is what frightens me the most.

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 10:54am
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A tip I heard for a used epi-pen is to put a penny in the bottom of its plastic container and put the pen back in that, that way the needle can't accidently stick into anything.
Maybe you can ask a pharmacist where you should dispose it.

Posted on: Sat, 02/27/1999 - 11:57am
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Hi everyone
You should double check the time on the pen. We were told by two different pharmacists to have 1 pen for every 15 mins that we are away from the hospital. I have also read the time is 15-20 mins.
Since the air way can close so quickly, if you really don't know then give the pen. Not everyone gets hives, especially with the air borne allergy to it. When this happened to us, we found out by accident, she had facial swelling, watery eyes, slurred speech. This all in mins.I took her outside and gave her ,her atarax. The symptoms we gone within 20 mins.
She did however spend the rest of the day sleeping though.
Take care

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 4:29am
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I think the different responses that different allergists provide to each of us can be explained by several factors--the severity of past reactions and the doctor's sensitivity to legal issues surrounding the practice of medicine. Many doctors respond in an extremely conservative fashion (use Epi-Pen immediately even if there is no sign of respiratory difficulty and there has never been a history of respiratory difficulty) because they don't want to be held legally liable for any future allergic reactions. Without a history of an allergic response involving the collapse of the cirulatory system or the compromise of the respiratory system, some of us will never be sure what factors are helping to form the doctor's recommendations to each of us. I guess the bottom line is that it doesn't really matter if the doctors are protecting themselves first--the EpiPen is relatively safe. I just cringe at the thought of "hurting" my child with an injection if liquid Benadryl would have sufficed. I worry that if my daughter knows I will always respond with the EpiPen injection, that knowledge will make her less apt to tell me about invisible symptoms--she might want to avoid the pain of the injection, so she won't say anything. Can anyone comment on the "pain" factor of EpiPens? My daughter has only received epinephrine from a regular syringe at the hands of a medical professional, which, according to her, was painless.

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 5:11am
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Hi Deb,
My son has had to have his epi-pen injection 3 times and he refers to his shot as "it makes me feel better." He has never cried when having to have it (it was me doing the crying), but without it, he could have died.
Usually with the peanut allergy, there are no "invisible" symptoms. Even if their stomach is hurting, there are usually accompanying signs, ie. watery eyes, hives, itching, and then, of course, moving up to the higher stages of vomiting, swelling, difficulty breathing. Even with the beginning stages of symptoms, they can escalate at any given moment and in my son's initial ingestion of peanut butter, the vomiting and swelling were immediate.
The "pain" these children/adults go through ingesting peanuts far outweighs the "pain" of the injection. Even when we go out, my son always says..."don't forget my epi."
I know how you are feeling and how scary all of this is but I have learned not to "under estimate" my 4 1/2 year old. Sometimes I don't give him enough credit. He's taught me a thing or two about this allergy and he is sometimes more confident than I am.
I do carry benadryl along with his pen but I rely more on the pen. I trust our son's allergist completely and he uses the term "death" when he refers to my son's peanut allergy and he doesn't use the term loosely.
I hope I have helped you in some way!
[This message has been edited by Connie (edited March 03, 1999).]

Posted on: Wed, 03/03/1999 - 5:23am
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Hi everyone [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
When ever we go out i always carry both pens and the atarax.
My daughter received her injection in the ER.I have never heard her say anything about pain in this regards. She does however rcall how ill she was.
I do not think that the school or the daycare should have to chose between a antihistamine, or the epi-pen. I realize that it is a liability issue, but i think that in these instances it is better to err on the side of caution. I personally will not give the daycare and soon to be school that choice.
Take care [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 03/12/1999 - 3:07pm
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Hi Trish. We have a son, 16 months old, who is peanut allergic in addition to all dairy
products. We had him tested and the allergist told us he would never grow out of the peanut allergy but he has a 90% chance of outgrowing the dairy allergies. However, he also breaks out in bad facial exema (sp?) which is apparently allergy related but not necessarily to foods. One minute his face is
fine, the next minute he looks like a Dick Tracy character. I was just wondering if anyone else out there has a child who has simlar conditions and what has been found to be helpful? We have tried all sorts of creams & oinments: Cortizones, Elecon, Aveeno, etc. but nothing really seems to do the
trick consistently.
Lessons Learned:
Also, if you (readers) have a peanut or dairy allergic child don't take chances and never go without the Epi-pen! My wife & I accidentially did last Christmas, and we almost paid the ultimate price. We had just put him on a new Soy formula (Carnation) on the advise of his Dr. Being unfamiliar with the packaging, I accidentially bought the milked base product instead (mistake #1). That night I prepared the bottles and we went to some friends' home for a party. Well, at around 8:00 p.m. we gave him his bottle and...well you can imagine the reaction. We were at a loss. What had he gotten into? Peanuts on the table perhaps (although back then we had no idea he was peanut allergic--mistake #2). The ride back home--about 20 minutes--was the toughest of our life. I let my wife drive because I did not want her to see him in his condition. The closest hospital was probably 30 minutes away but you never knew with traffic. So we made a decision to race home (mistake #3? that was a tough call to make) to administer some Benadryl (back then we knew nothing of the
Epi-pen) and to call 911 immediately (yes we had a cellualr phone but it was uncharged--mistake #4). On the way home he repeatedly passed out to the extent I had to shake him to revive him. Once home we gave him the dose and within minutes he was better, and we took him to emergency
immediately thereafter (mistake #5: we should have called 911). That episode was the beginning of a greater understanding of this very serious condition and the end of any future mistakes.
Thanks...

Posted on: Sat, 03/13/1999 - 2:57am
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Stan,
Your pediatrician and/or allergist should be able to prescribe a medication for the eczema. The over the counter lotions you are trying aren't enough. (My dtr. had a very mild case of eczema on her legs and was prescribed a 0.2% hydrocortisone cream, it cleared up in about a week.) The prescription medications will only take care of the symptoms, you need to find out what's triggering it. He must have an allergy to something such as dustmites, cats, or another food for example. If this were the case, environmental controls will help alot. Your allergist should help you with identifing and controlling this.
Check out these websites [url="http://drgreene.com/960301.html"]http://drgreene.com/960301.html[/url]
[url="http://drgreene.com/960205a.html

Posted on: Sun, 03/14/1999 - 1:33am
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hi stan,
My son had terrible eczema since the day he was born. Every doctor told me that this was an infant condition. He would grow out of it. He had post nasal drip that kept us up at night because he would be choking most of the night. When he reached his first birthday he was licked on the face and neck by a dog and he welted any where the saliva had touched. We took this as a clue that he had allergies to dogs. We started to eliminate this allergin from his life(we cleaned our duct work because the people who owned the house before had alot of dogs.) His rash decreased but, was still there. By 15 months we realized that he was also allergic to peanuts so that's when i started reading labels and sure enough alot of things he was eating had peanuts/or may contain peanuts. So, then we notice his rash was getting even better except for summer time which then he would get huge sores on his feet from scratching so much. So finally we were refered to an allergist(with alot of pushing because our doctor doesn't believe in testing before three) and we found out he had a grass pollen allergy along with cats, dustmites and of course the peanut allergy. Since then with diligent monitoring he has been eczema free since. He wears shoes(no sandals) in the summer and we stay away from any one with pets. So after this lengthy Dick Tracy investigation our son can enjoy life itch free. (by the way his first word was itchy.) I hope this gives you some hope that with alot of investigative searching you will eventually get the eczema under control and save money on all the creams that are stacked up in the cupboard. Good Luck and Stay Safe [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]Carolyn

Posted on: Mon, 03/15/1999 - 3:13pm
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Brenda & Carolyn, thanks for the info and advise. As for clues, we have no pets and the ezxema does not seem to be correlated to any specific foods given that he may or may not break out under static conditions. But it's got to be something...
[img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/1999 - 10:33am
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Hi Stan, what an experience! This must have been horrifying! Thanks for telling us about it. We had a similar experience with eczema when Charles was a wee guy...this too shall pass...we Hope! What kind of doctor are you seeing? I was given prescriptions for every cortisone preparation under the sun by the dermatologist. She used to see us at least once a week at that time. This was before Charles had ever reacted to anything. When he had his first allergic reaction I saw a pediatric immunologist with him who found he was mildly allergic to several things...wheat seemed to be the one that caused his aczema. When we cut it out of his diet along with a few other things everything improved. Another big help was laundry soap went to Ivory Snow Liquid...it does not leave behind a powder residue (especially important for bedding. Bedding was changed once a week. Atarax was especially helpful in this situation. It is a SLOW release antihistamine meaning it would last through the night. It was prescribed for bed time to be used on the worst eczema days. This stopped Charles from scratching and further injuring damaged sensitive skin. There is also a non-prescription cream that I use still called Glaxo Base. Where I live it can be purchased at the dispencery in local pharmacy because it is the base for many cream medications. I buy a huge jar for about 28 Canadian Dollars (it is available on the store shelf in a tiny tube for 10). A company called Roberts Pharmaceuticals makes it. We used to slather it on after bath time all over (sparingly around face, not near eyes). Please ask your doctor about some of these things.
[This message has been edited by Coco (edited March 19, 1999).]

Posted on: Thu, 03/18/1999 - 12:25pm
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Hi Stan. Our son also has excema. We took him to an allergist after our peanut scare and found that he is also allergic to soybean, which is in just about everything it seems! I think the soybean is what is causing his flare-ups. We use Eucerin Light, Curel, and Vaseline (after baths). We avoid lotions with lanolin because he also has a wool allergy and the lanolin seems to aggravate the excema. Good Luck in finding the offender(s)- gosh-seems like it could be anything or everything!

Posted on: Fri, 03/19/1999 - 6:15am
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Well, since you are talking about eczema....
I have had eczema all of my life and it is totally unrelated to any food or contact allergies - it is mainly from grasses but I also always have trouble if I am sick with anything else. Anyway, a good suggestion is to put baking soda in the bath - it soothes the itching. I also use glaxo base - it is one of the most neutral. I even have my other creams (like 1% hydrocortisone) mixed up specially with glaxo instead of using one of the already prepared creams.
Some other points to consider - maybe avoid soaps - they dry out the skin and often cause eczema - elbow grease is often just as good. If you need to use soap make sure you rinse with clean water really well. Another point - excessive application of cortisone creams can sometimes break down the skin - that's why you usually use a weaker cream for sensitive skin like the face and a stronger cream for other areas like the body. When you are really itchy, ice cold water is excellent - if you can get your child to let you run the area under cold water (for hands, for example) or apply cold water cloths to face or eyes it can really help stop the itch. benadryl is one of the only antihistamines that works for itch - unless you go up to prescribed drugs like Atarax. For an adult, however, I have found the new drug Reactine to be excellent for eczema and non - drowsy - but expensive!
good luck
by the way, I don't want to be discouraging, but neither my sister nor I "grew out" of our eczema....
[This message has been edited by DebO (edited March 19, 1999).]

Posted on: Mon, 03/22/1999 - 1:27pm
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If your child has constant eczema, maybe he is allergic to something like corn. Just like soy, it is in everything. Many products contain corn syrup, cornstarch, corn flour, dextrose, etc. Benadryl, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, antibiotics, and many other drugs contain corn. Nearly every food on the market contains some form of corn.
My son was having a constant problem with asthma. We couldn't seem to pinpoint what was causing the problem. We had him allergy tested to find out he was allergic to corn, peanuts, dry beans, cats, and the usual dust and tree pollen. No wonder he couldn't breathe.
My allergist has never mentioned using an epi-pen. I ask the doctor at the local medical clinic about it, but she said that since his reaction to peanuts was not that severe that I really did not need an epi-pen. After reading everyone else's comments on this bulletin board, I believe I should have asked his allergist. Last time my son had peanut butter, it took three weeks to get his asthma back under control. That may not be severe to her, but it probably was to my 3 year old.
I will be calling my allergist tomorrow. I don't think my son should live another day without an epipen.
Thanks to all,
Mary

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/1999 - 10:23am
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This may sound like a very silly question...but is very dry skin excema? After Brady's peanut reaction (hives) she has had horribly dry skin. I put lotion on her and she looks good for about 5 minutes!! Thanks..Tammy

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