Urticaria/angioedema to allergies

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In September last year I developed a very sudden urticaria/angioedema. It happened very quickly and for half a year I'd wake up covered in a rash, my face would swell occasionally, and there seemed to be no reason for it. I went to an allergist, no allergies to anything. Then in half a year it disappeared suddenly. I no more get such rashes randomly, but I discovered that I'm developing allergies to painkiller medication (tylenol/advil). Those also happened suddenly. I got sick with a fever and took a tylenol and within 20 minutes I was covered in a rash/swollen lip. I went to an allergist again, tested me, allergic to tylenol but not to advil. However, I discovered the same thing happening with advil, but when I take more than 1 pill in a small period of time (I took one yesterday, I was fine; I took another one today, but today my lip got swollen within 15 minutes).

Also, I'm getting a rash when eating food that's been in the fridge for a while. Not spoiled, but sitting there for a while. This happened with a meat that I cooked, and also with a chocolate cake. There is no way in hell I'm allergic to meat/chocolate in general, I eat them all the time, and I'm completely fine (as long as they're fresh, I suppose).

I haven't gone on any new medication, I don't know what is going on. The allergist wasn't able to give me any answers, only confirmed what I already knew from experience. I went in for x-ray/blood testing and I am completely healthy.

I don't know what to do or to make of this. Does this mean I'm allergic to all painkillers now? What if I need a painkiller for something, or if something urgent happens, what do I tell doctors/etc? I THINK I'm allergic to MAYBE ALL over-the-counter painkillers? 

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi

    What kind of painkillers are tylenol and advil?  I can only take paracetamol and opiates for complex reasons, but even with the codeine, if it I take too much or for too long I soemtimes get an itching all over my body.  I goes quickly when the codeine is out of my system but them I'm still left with the original pain as paracetamol does nothing for me.

    Lizzie

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    • Posted

      I can't take any NSAID's due to tummy problems and iron loss, I've never had any problem with pracetamol apart from the fact that it is absoultely useless for me.  My gp now prescribes 30mg codeine phospahte up to 8 a day which I find helps with the pain and no bad reactions so long as I don't overdo it as I have been known to take more than 8 when the pain gets bad.  It might be worth exploring to see if it helps you but you can only get them on prescription.  I know my anxiety can affect my skin conditions sometimes but if you saw one of my other posts you'll know I'm doing well at the moment using a high quality moistureiser called Zerobase and it can be bought legit online, for me it has stopped the itching which means I don't scratch the rash.

      Wishing you all the best

      Lizzie

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  • Posted

    It might be a silly theory but have you looked at the ingredients in Meds that you react to because I do know some Meds have food derivatives in, so maybe its a colouring or a flavouring that could be affecting you. I know that sounds silly but some tablets have hidden things in that you would never of thought of. In which case it could be in the same food stuffs that you had in the fridge.

    What would happen if you took antihistamines?

    It may be a long winded way of finding out but worth it if it helps you. A shop bought chocolate cake has lots of hidden things in as does sauces you may have cooked your chicken in.. Pectin, waxes, colouring, flavouring, penicillin etc, all added to painkillers.

    Hope this helps a little as I feel your pain 100%

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    • Posted

      The antihistamines help only for the hives, but not really if my face gets swollen. I was prescribed prednisone a few times and that worked well in such a case.

      I would understand if I were suddently allergic to one of these foods, but I'm not, I eat them all the time. The problem seems to appear only if they're old. 

      Thank you for your time and advice!

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  • Posted

    Hello....

    I won't get into my own case but over the last four years I have gained a bit of knowledge in regards to the tests, meds and treatments I have had. I am on a low histamine diet. Which means trying to avoid eating refrigerated leftovers, processed frozen foods, canned tomatoes, blue cheese, aged cheese, grapefruit and anything salted such as pickles. Search HISTAMINE DIET for the complete list. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    About the reaction to Tylenol etc. you could try taking it in another format. I am allergic to benadryl given through an IV but am fine taking it orally. I have a reaction to any needle when a alcohol swab is used but am fine with iodine. Strange but true..
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  • Posted

    I had this and it was caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. I would get urticaria and angiodema on my face and especially if I took aspirin. I take 2,000 ui of Vitamin D3 a day now and haven't had another episode since getting my levels into the optimum range.
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    • Posted

      Hello Student/Midwife

      Thank you for the suggestion. Doctors have me taking 1000 MG Vitamin D3. Also 10 MG daily of Alendronate which is a bone mass stabilizer since I am on 2.5 MG of Prednisone long term. I am going to show my doctors what you suggested. I have been examined by approx. 60 doctors, some one on one and some in groups. They have yet to find a cure or even a way to stabilize my rare and constantly evolving condition. Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      Best wishes for finding a answer. It's the most debilitating condition to have. There is a bit of research on vitamin d deficiency and urticaria available if you want to show your doctor some peer reviewed research to consider.
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    • Posted

      What it come down to is even while I am taking a number of medications, receiving Xolair injections every 3 weeks, having UVB light therapy treatments 2x weekly, a low histamine diet, numbing creams and other prescribed creams and lotions, six months of IVG Treatment, tested for everything imaginable by monthly not much changes. I have an intolerance to water, rain, snow, my own perspiration, snug clothing, warm temperatures, fight or flight emotion, and stress. Rain hitting my head causes welts, if I try to wear gloves in the winter my hands swell, if I'm startled my lips or eyes will swell. My blood pressure drops when I shower and is so painful I take dilauded when necessary. Ketchup, mustard etc make my lips swell, toothpaste makes my mouth breakout. I could go on but as my sister says it is all just proof I am the weird sister. One thing for sure I always have something to talk about. It all started with a rash on my stomach four years ago. Sometimes I cry sometimes I laugh .....it is just plain weird. I Could bath in champagne but water is torture. Thanks for reading/listening.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the suggestion! It hasn't occured to me that it could be a vitamin deficiency. I recently started taking fish oils and multivitamins as supplements, but I don't know if it affected my reaction to painkillers. 
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  • Posted

    Hi if you have urticaria in any form you cannot take anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). Although tylenol is mostly paracetamol it has another ingredient that you must have had a reaction to. Only use over the counter Paracetamol. Codeine can also be a trigger. Look up high histamine foods so you can reduce these in your diet. Leftovers however increase in histamine so always eat fresh.  Do you live in the UK?
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    • Posted

      I wasn't aware of that, thank you for sharing. 

      I have looked at histamine rich foods before, but I eat a lot of them all the time, and I don't seem to have a problem with it. I think it's only when they're leftovers and have been sitting for a while. 

      No, I live in Canada.

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    • Posted

      Try to get an appointment with a specialist in urticaria a dermatologist doesn't necessarily know much about it unfortunately and sends people to an allergist. Urticaria is not necessarily caused by allergies! Cross into the US if you have to.
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