When to use benedryl

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 3:53pm
Trish's picture
Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

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
Trish's picture
Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

<p>Forgive my spelling I meant to ask about CHLORTRIPILON.(hopefully this spelling is closer)</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 11:12pm
Nicole's picture
Joined: 01/21/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi Trish ~</p>
<p>I was told that my son (4 1/2) should be given Benedryl for any accidental exposure to nut [b] or [/b] if he accidently ingested nuts. Now, according to my allergist, if the symptoms persist, you need to use the Epi Pen, Jr. You cannot predict what those symptoms will be but you will have to watch your child carefully. My allergist also stated to me last week that if he's accidently eaten something, I can give him Benedryl and take him to the ER and we can watch him there. The point is, don't be afraid to use the Epi, Pen, Jr. The research shows (according to my allergist) that the people who died from the anaphylactic reactions were those who did not use the Epi Pen, Jr. within that first hour...they waited. I was not given another name of an antihistamine so I'm not familiar with the one you noted above. </p>
<p>One experience I had, we were at the stadium and my son had an airborne reaction to the nuts in there (there were no visible nuts anywhere and no one was eating them near us). The allergist thinks he possibly picked up the oil off the seating as he was climbing back and forth from one row to another. Anyhow, we immediately took him to the concessions and gave him his dose of Benedryl and left right away. It took him less than 45 min to feel comfortable. He had been rubbing his eyes, face and neck. His face was starting to swell. We were lucky that he responded to the Benedryl. I too was afraid of using the Epi Pen, Jr. Now I'm feeling more confident even though I've never had to use it. I've spoken to our allergist many times on scenarios and he gives me advise. It's helpful to know how you are going to react before it even happens. Take care and thanks for posting! :-) Nicole</p>

Posted on: Fri, 02/19/1999 - 11:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Trish,</p>
<p>Our son's allergist advised to always use the epi-pen Jr., and if the epi-pen is administered, go to the nearest emergency room so your child can be monitored. (We have always called Rescue so they can get him there faster). Our son has had 3 episodes where he needed his epi-pen and the first thing the emergency room attendents do is hook him up to a heart monitor, administer a medication to open his airway (even though the epi-pen was administered before transporting, and then they administer Benedryl to stop the itching. We are then given a prescription for a steriod medication to get his system back to normal - it is taken for 5 days. (And even with me standing there in the emergency room, they checked his Medic-Alert bracelet). If, God forbid, your child has to be transported or you take them there yourself, bring the used epi-pen with you. While in Rescue, they radioed to the hospital and advised the emergency room what dosage was administered. They can also dispose of the epi-pen properly at the hospital. </p>
<p>Nicole, you made a good point...when my son was staying at my mother's house and his eyes began watering and itching, no hives though, and we don't know what caused him to react, my mother gave him Benedryl and he responded to it very well. I, now, keep it on hand. I will also be re-addressing this with the allergist on when I can just give Benedryl?</p>
<p>Trish, sorry if I scared you! </p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 20, 1999).]</p>

Posted on: Sat, 02/20/1999 - 10:41am
Valerie's picture
Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>I find it so interesting to see the different advice everyone has been given. We were told to give our son (now 2 1/2) the Epipen the minute we know he has ingested peanuts or even if we suspect he has ingested them. We were specifically told not to wait for a reaction. His only 2 reactions(one ingestion and one airborne) both consisted of hives only. We then are supposed to give him the Benadryl, followed by prelone (steroid), and get him to the ER via ambulance. I have met many people whose kids have had much worse reactions that have been told to try the Benadryl first. I would think it was because different allergists have different opinions but some have had the same allergist as us. I intend to ask about this at our next appointment which is in two weeks. I suppose I will never know if he outgrows the allergy if I treat him before he has a reaction. </p>
<p>------------------<br />

Posted on: Sat, 02/20/1999 - 2:21pm
CB's picture
Joined: 01/17/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi all :0)</p>
<p>benadryl is ineffective on our daughter, and with a milk allergy , we give her Atarax. It by prescription only. At daycare, they only are to administer the epi-pen.<br />
Our daughter also has a cat allergy,so when the watery eye, mild facial swelling we give her the Atarax as it works within 20 mins.<br />
I allways have both the atarax and the epi-pens where wver we go<br />
Stay safe</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/1999 - 3:26am
Patti's picture
Joined: 01/27/1999 - 09:00

<p>this Benadryl thing is kind of confusing. This was my impression from the allergist. She suggested that we use Benadryl for a very minor case of hives. Now where I think some of the confusion comes in is that she suspects our daughter has other food allergies (does not want to test her at this age 3). I believe she does have other allergies too. My two other sons had milk allergies and many food allergies that have gone away or lessened in time. A lot of you write they had a reaction but no peanut in sight. Could this be that they may be experiencing another food allergy that is why the Benadryl could be effective. This is what I think my course of action will be and tell me what you think of it. If I know she has come in contact with peanuts in some manner I will use the epi-pen and ER no matter what her symptoms are. If she does develop hives with what I think has been no peanut exposure (and this happens sometimes) I give her Benadryl if she is uncomfortable. Then watch her carefullyl. I gave her Benadryl at the sight of a hive (one hive - my husband swears it was a scratch, the ever supporting husband - just kidding, but I know it was a hive.) the other day and my husband was not comfortable with that because he claims it is still a drug and is still being absorbed through her liver etc (Too much Tylenol over time can create liver problems I know). So I talked to my neighbor who is a pharmacist and she said Benadryl is a safe drug but still a drug. She said she would not use it casually but if she was uncomfortable and itchy she would not hesitate to use it. It does not cause problems for your liver like Tylenol. Anyway she explained the whole immune system thing again for me. It is confusing but if you want to hear what I remember she said read on or skip to next paragraph. She explained that when an allergen that your body reacts to as foreign it starts to produce histamines to fight this allergen. Your t-cells(?) or something in your body that has memory remember this and that is why probably each attack is worse, more cells remember. Using Benadryl (anti-histamine) stops the histamines and makes you more comfortable but it does not help that your t-cells are sensitized again. I thought by using Benadryl right away that I was stopping this sensitization process. But it just treats the symptoms. It does not avoid the autoimmune issue that is taking place. That is why it is very important to avoid the known allergens and if you suspect other allergies to stay away from those substances and you will have a better chance of outgrowing them. I hope I have not confused anyone. She explained it a lot better.<br />
Anyway I appreciate any insight you guys might have about this issue. Maybe I'll take a crash course on this someday.<br />

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/1999 - 4:27am
Bill's picture
Joined: 02/21/1999 - 09:00

<p>I would use the Epi-Pen first, like Connie also stated she would do. I have heard it is very important to receive epinephrine right away and most of the people who died had a delay of over ten minutes before they were administered epinephrine. I would probably also try to give Benadryl after the Epi-Pen was administered. Benadryl may help but it is<br />
not to be relied on, and I certainly would not do only the Benadryl. If Benadryl is left as an alternative with a babysitter or someone watching a child, they may only give the Benadryl. If they have the choice between a shot and a spoon they might hope and think the benadryl will work. They, like us, do not now how bad a reaction is going to take<br />
place, so administering the Epi-Pen would always be the first thing that I think should be done. I know it is a tough decision when you are thinking of giving your child a shot, and it is scary, but I think you should always administer the Epi-Pen. Epinephrine is the only drug I have heard about that will help in an anaphlactic situation.</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/1999 - 6:05am
tracy's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>If the thought of using an Epi-pen makes you nervous, get one of those Epi-pen trainers that the Food Allergy Network (FAN) sells for around $2 (see [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]http://www.foodallergy.org[/url] and call their number to order). I got one and asked my nanny to practice with it -- I'll also use it to train my parents and my husband's parents. The trainer takes some of the unknown fear out of it. Also, now my nanny knows I'm serious. She told me not to worry because she will make sure my son won't eat anything with peanuts -- she's more freaked out than we are. She doesn't want to use it either, but isn't afraid of the pen now that she's tried the trainer.</p>

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/1999 - 9:21am
Colleen's picture
Joined: 02/04/1999 - 09:00

<p>Hi Trish:</p>
<p>I remember my Mom giving me Chlortripilon when I was a kid for hayfever and other mild allergies I had. I don't what the differences are between that and Benadryl, but Benadryl definetly is the one I hear about these days, especially in moderate to severe reactions. Maybe it is stronger or has a different active ingredient, I don't know. It really does seem confusing knowing what to give and when. Even the "experts" all tell you something different. My experience has been to rely heavily on your gut instict and mother's intuition. Do whatever you feel you need to do, even if you think you may be overreacting. If you think you should call the paramedics to take him to the hospital even though his breathing has not yet been affected then do it-that's what they're there for.And don't ever feel bad about taking extra precautions! My husband didn't think it necessary for us to take our son to the hospital the last time he had a reaction, because he was only vomiting, but because he had had very serious reactions before I was taking no chances. The hospital kept him overnight for observation (I stayed too), and they had him hooked up to heart monitors etc. They didn't think I was overreacting! Also, remember that reactions can be delayed up to hours later, so it is necessary to keep a very close eye on your child. One time we gave our son Benadryl when he was vomiting after ingesting something with peanuts, and he seemed fine until about 3 hours later when all of a sudden he was struggling to breathe. I don't know if the Benadryl delayed the reaction or what, but learned then that they need to be watched very closely for hours afterward.<br />
Anyway, good luck and stayed tuned in to PeanutAllergy.Com... you'll learn alot and have lots of friends supporting you! </p>
<p>------------------<br />

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/1999 - 11:48am
Mary Kay's picture
Joined: 01/25/1999 - 09:00

<p>The reason you give epinephrine first is to open the airways. You can't swallow Benadryl if your airways are closed or closing. My husband is a former EMT and has watched someone die from a peanut allergy. The crazy guy ate a PayDay bar, knowing he was allergic and the epinephrine he gave himself wasn't enough. By the time the response team got there and broke down the door (it was locked) he was dead. It is nothing to fool with.</p>
<p>Also, epipen trainers are free from Dey Laboratories. Their phone number is listed somewhere on this board, but I can't remember which topic it is under. All you have to do is call and ask them to send you one.</p>
<p>------------------<br />
Mary Kay</p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Mary Kay (edited February 21, 1999).]</p>


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