Allergic to NSAIDs

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/24/2015 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I had an anaphylactic reaction to an NSAID, Zipsor, a number of months ago. I had been taking Zipsor as an alternative to motrin and other over-the-counter NSAIDs for neck pain I have suffered from - whiplash caused by an auto accident a number of years ago. My pain management doctor had prescribed Zipsor because I had been taking up to 12 motrin a day prior to seeing him, and he was concerned about the motrin causing a serious stomach issue. For several years, I had taken Zipsor, as needed, and I never had one single problem with it, and it did a pretty good job of relieving my pain. Then one day at work, I had some neck pain, so I took a Zipsor and within 10 minutes, I had a major allergic reaction to the med. My heart raced in my chest, beating so strongly I could hear it, then my neck and face flushed, then felt like pins and needles were stabbing at me. I immediately felt dizzy and couldn't think properly. The pins and needles moved into my arms and hands, then my legs and feet. My hands and feet went numb. I couldn't stand. I thought I was having a heart attack as my chest hurt, my throat was tightening. For some 15 minutes I thought I was dying - I experienced thoughts and physical sensations I can't even describe.

Somehow my head cleared enough for me to make my way to the medical facility where I work - they thought I was having a heart attack at first. When they took my shirt off to run an EKG, the nurse noticed I was covered in hives. After several normal EKGs, the doc realized I was having an allergic reaction, so he shipped me off to the ER of a local hospital via a company ambulance. After lots of benadryl and steroids, I got back to normal by the next day.

A followup with my regular doctor had him telling me I was likely allergic to all NSAIDs, and I could not risk ever taking one again, which I haven't. But I still have neck pain, and there are issues in which NSAIDs work when something like Tylenol doesn't. Is anyone here on HealingWell allergic to NSAIDs? And if so, what do you do about issues with pain and inflammation?

The doctors I have seen since my reaction don't seem very sympathetic about the issue - it's like, oh, well, you're just going to have to live with it. So far I have, but it's a bit disconcerting that the doctors don't have any recommendations.

- Taygeta

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5024
   Posted 6/25/2015 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Taygeta.

What an experience! It was great you got such good care. Your regular doctor did a good job too.

I don't have this reaction, but there are loads of threads on the forum about NSAIDs. Just put the words you want in the search box at the top of the page and you'll be reading for hours.

Allergies can crop up new at any time. I had a reaction suddenly, like you did, from Albuterol, after taking it previously.

I suggest you look up this allergy because there are a number of foods you'll need to avoid at least while you investigate your new allergy. This link is a general description of part of the NSAID reaction.

Since you have to get informed about foods containing salicylates or other components of NSAIDs and identify which ones might give you symptoms, start keeping a food diary/log/journal. You need to keep a record of everything you eat and drink, any medicines you take, the date, time and what the reaction is and how long after you consumed the allergen you started to have symptoms. There are many threads on this. Just put food journal in the search box.

Best wishes.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3266
   Posted 6/26/2015 5:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Taygeta,
I'm also allergic to NSAIDS and as I have been battling Lyme Disease for many years, pain relief has been a major problem. For a while I did use the stronger meds, Tramadol and Vicodin but they really didn't address the pain fully and contributed to a negative frame of mind, I found.

Recently, I have been looking into more alternative means of painkilling. I've been using turmeric for reducing inflammation, and cannabutter for pain. I'm getting back to doing yoga and I have started seeing a massage therapist which has helped with the terrible pain I've been having in my back. I am also considering using acupuncture. Perhaps some of these things would help you, too.
Allergies and Asthma Forum Moderator

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/26/2015 3:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi achievinggrace,

Thanks for the reply. I was not aware turmeric was useful for reducing inflammation. I will look into that. I use Tylenol now for all pain issues, but I try to refrain from using it too frequently, opting for other options if I can, like exercises and self-massage for my neck. I am also taking magnesium citrate almost every day as I have learned it helps muscles to relax, which is a major problem I had prior to the magnesium because I couldn't get my neck spasms and tightness to go away no matter how much work I did with them. I was experiencing two weeks of severe pain with my neck, with no relief no matter what I did, and I happened to do some searching online and ran across magnesium. From what I read about it, on a gamble, I started taking 250 mg of magnesium citrate a day, and within 3 days, I got significant relief with my neck pain - the tightness and spasms subsiding considerably. They have never gotten back to that point since then - i.e. weeks with no relief. I have been a proponent of magnesium ever since.

I have used acupuncture before, and it was helpful in getting relief for my neck issues. Sorry to hear you are experiencing such pain from your Lyme Disease. I hope I can send good thoughts your way. - Taygeta
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