General questions for adults with PA

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 12:07am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I guess maybe the answers are all over the board but I'd like to have a few in one place.

Now that I'm about to send DS off to college there are some things we'll need advice on.

1. When you have a contact reaction what do you do? How do you treat yourself. Do you need epi pen for contact reactions? Is it just Benadryl? 50mg?

2. If you have had airborne reactions what do you do? Same as contact questions. Do you use epi pen? Do you call 911 or go to the hospital? Have you "sat out" an airborne reaction by using Benadryl and waiting to see if it works?

DS has never had a contact reaction and one ariborne. I'd like him to get a bit more information about each so he can make safe decisions at school.

I hate to tell him "you don't need to call 911 for ______."

He's very "black and white" and is not willing to "wait and see." I agree with him about that but contact reactions? If he is not absolutely covered in PB how bad can a contact reaction get?


Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 12:47am
steph626's picture
Joined: 02/20/2003 - 09:00

i have had a few contact reactions over the years but they have never been serious enough for an epi--i'm pretty strict about wiping down keyboards and phones and such. i figure my contact reactions will never surpass the skin tests at the dr., so i just do what the nurse did when the test was finished. usually i just wash the area of skin with soap/water, also a little rubbing alcohol if i have it, and then use some benadryl cream or cortisone cream. if i'm really itchy, i'll take an allegra. i've never had a true airborne reaction to anything yet (other than a bit of nausea), so i can't really offer any advice there.
hope that helps--best of luck to your DS at college!

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 12:51am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

This does help. Do you take daily Allegra too? My son takes Clarinex daily to try to tamp down an allergic response a bit.
We'll get some Benadryl cream, good idea.
What do you wipe down keyboards with?
Thanks so much.

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 4:01am
steph626's picture
Joined: 02/20/2003 - 09:00

in the past i've taken allegra daily, but thanks to the allergy shots and flonase, i'm down to taking allegra only as needed (couple times a week, maybe).
i worked briefly taking orders for an art catalog, and i was exposed to whatever the previous phone operator was eating or drinking at her computer station. when my shift started, i would wipe down the phone receiver and keyboard with a little towelette ("wet ones" or "purell" brand in the single packs). i just kept some in my purse at all times--i never had an allergic problem, and i never caught a cold, either (bonus!).

Posted on: Thu, 08/28/2003 - 11:51pm
tando's picture
Joined: 06/13/2003 - 09:00

Hi Peg,
This isn't a direct answer, but might be helpful for your son. After the hoopla about PB not causing contact reactions in the press this summer, I asked out allergist about it. He explained that there's contact and there's contact. For example, in the tests described (Choguy wrote a great description and rebuttal of the tests in research)-- the contact and inhalation were actually tiny exposures for a very brief amount of time. Our allegist compared this to a preschooler with arms covered with PB for a longer time while making a PB birdfeeder. Different variable amounts, much more likely reaction.
If your son think's in terms of black and white, perhaps it would help him to think in terms of variables in an equation.
What's the allergen form
Likelihood of exposing him to proteins
How much exposure
To what part of his body
How long
Then he can consider the cumulative impact of those variables.

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 12:15am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Thanks Tando, this is something he will definitely understand and be able to implement.

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 6:52am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]1. When you have a contact reaction what do you do? How do you treat yourself. Do you need epi pen for contact reactions? Is it just Benadryl? 50mg? [/b]
Hi Peg,
If you are referring to external contact only (ie: arm, leg, foot, etc contact with a peanut/peanuts) I would not use an epi-pen and I would not usually take an anti-histimine. I would take an anti-histimine if any hives/itchiness appeared on my skin. I always take Zyrtec (Reactine) as it is very good with relieving hives/itchiness. I have never had a contact reaction.
Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]2. If you have had airborne reactions what do you do? Same as contact questions. Do you use epi pen? Do you call 911 or go to the hospital? Have you "sat out" an airborne reaction by using Benadryl and waiting to see if it works?[/b]
When I have an airborne reaction, such as being in a restaurant where there are peanut shells all over the floor in the bar, I do the following:
1) immediately leave the place and go outside where I will get fresh air
2) take a Zyrtec (Reactine) pill
I have never called 911 or gone to the hospital for an airborne reaction as taking my anti-histimine will treat it. However, if I was having an airborne reaction whereby I was having serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, etc I would call 911 (but my only symptoms to date have been sinus congestion, sneezing, laryngytis/hoarse voice/cough - and leaving the restaurant and taking my anti-histimine quickly began to improve my symptoms).
note- I avoid places with loose peanuts so I haven't had an airborne reaction in years
Hope this helps.. if you have any questions let me know [img][/img]
p.s. In general, I don't take an anti-histimine on a daily basis. However, it is ragweed season right now here in Toronto, so I am taking a Reactine (Zyrtec) almost every day as I am allergic to ragweed, and the anti-histime helps greatly.
[This message has been edited by erik (edited August 29, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2003 - 8:24am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Thank you Erik, I had DS read over these replies and he is gaining a sense of what to do for a contact that is not necessarily a "911" type of contact. This is very helpful and I thank everyone.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2003 - 10:43am
erik's picture
Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Glad to be able to help. I have never had to call 911 or visit the hospital for an airborne or contact reaction. If any symptoms occur, I just take a Zyrtec (Reactine) and leave the area.. it's worked fine for me. [img][/img]
Wishing you son a good and safe first week at school.. keep us updated.

Posted on: Sun, 08/31/2003 - 11:02am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Thanks Erik and everyone. Tomorrow is the big day. I think both Paul and I learned from these responses and he feels more relaxed with all of your responses.

Posted on: Wed, 09/03/2003 - 3:29pm
erl's picture
Joined: 10/06/2001 - 09:00

The FAAN site has a great teen site with a he says/she says column which addresses this issue in detail.


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