Allergy shots for antibiotics?????

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/26/2017 8:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello my fellow allergy and asthma sufferers.

I have allergies as well as a more recent diagnosis of asthma and was hoping to get some feed back about allergy shots for antibiotics.

I've been allergic to Amoxicillin and erythromycin since I was a child. And have just recently developed an allergy to Bactrim.

In college one of the Drs on campus when faced with needing to prescribe me something for an infection suggested I look into having allergy shots to make me less sensitive so I had more options available.
At the time I thought he was crazy. Mainly because I was a college student making minimum wage without health insurance. But as my allergies seem to be getting more severe and more numerous the thought has come to mind.

Has anyone here had success with allergy shots? Especially ones targeted at antibiotic allergy?
Also curious to talk with someone who has asthma.

I developed breathing problems a couple of years ago and was living in California at the time. The Pulmonologist I saw gave me no diagnosis accept sleep apnea. After several sleep studies I was fitted with a cpap. The dr prescribed the highest setting the machine went to and I was completely unable to use it. He refused to lower the setting and I can't sleep if it blows air into me so forcefully that I can't keep my mouth shut. I also have a very difficult time breathing through my nose.

In June of 2016 I moved to Texas to live with my cousin and his family. My breathing was so bad that I was no longer able to care for myself and my cousins family was willing to take care of me and help me get healthy again. At my first Drs appointment my second week in Texas the dr immediately put me on oxygen. She referred me to a wonderful Pulmonologist who diagnosed me with copd and put me on spiriva and symbicort. With the oxygen I was slowly able to do more and more. The medication was working and the dr. Changed my diagnosis to asthma.

I've had many of my Drs ask me what caused my lung problems and I simply have no answer. The doctors have never told me and I don't exhibit the classic symptoms of asthma. I've never experienced an asthma attack where I all of a sudden have trouble breathing. So I'm still questioning my diagnosis. Could someone tell me there experience with asthma. I can't tell when I need to use my rescue inhaler. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to breathe through a wet sponge. But when I check my pulse ox it's 95. So I figure it's not necessary.

I'm also no longer on 24 hour oxygen. I only use it at night. My sleep study shows my sleep apnea is very mild now so I don't understand why I still need the oxygen at night. Just laying down my pulse ox automatically drops to around 93. I sleep on an adjustable bed with the head raised.

I also have Drs ask me if I have been using my oxygen during the day when I've had more difficulty breathing. I don't know how to determine when that's necessary. None of them will tell me a specific pulse ox at which to start using it during the day if I'm having problems.

I think I'm just disheartened right now because of the whole antibiotic fiasco. I was prescribed Bactrim DS twice a day for ten days as well as given a steroid shot and prescribed a six day pack of steroids. Everything was fine until the steroids were done and I continued to take the antibiotics. The evening of the seventh day ( my first day without steroids) my legs were really itchy. I put lotion on assuming it was because of dry skin. When I woke up the next morning the itching was much worse. As the day went on I started to feel some chest congestion. I was already taking Benadryl by this time on recommendation by the oncall nurse who said she didn't like the idea of switching antibiotics and starting me on another round of ten days. I heartily agreed. I ended up having to call again because there was no way I was going to continue the antibiotics when the itchy bumps spread over my entire body. She agreed to call in another round of steroids. I hate antibiotics. I think I would rather die than go through this again.

When I was having respiratory symptoms because of the allergy it felt like it was hard to get air into my lungs and i had to really take deep breaths to get it into my lungs. It made me cough just a little as well and when I did it hurt a little and had a funny taste to it. Almost like blood. Is this what an asthma attack is like?

My mom had a brother who died from cystic fibrosis as an infant and I don't know any of my family history on my dad's side. I've even wondered if that could be a possibility. I know if I mentioned it to a doctor they would think I was a hypochondriac because I'm 37 and overweight.

Just wish the new pack of steroids would kick in and alleviate the itching and chest symptoms.

I made some paragraphs to make your post easier to read.

Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 11/26/2017 7:52:14 AM (GMT-7)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16409
   Posted 11/26/2017 10:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lallie, sorry to read about what you have going on. Are you by chance a smoker? I have severe allergy reactions to penicillin & the sisters to it. This happened in my early 30's & came out of no where. However, this is not uncommon, it can happen with any medication. I have never heard of someone being desensitized to antibiotics, at least it has never been offered to me. Just know that because you have has reactions to these antibiotics, there are many more that you can be treated with. My drs just work around what I cannot be given.

I have COPD from smoking. I ended up in the ER & spent a week in the hospital getting my oxygen levels straightened out. I went home on oxygen 24/7. I was that way for many years. Over time I was able to only need it at night. During the day I will use it if I start to feel a little winded or start wheezing. I can tell when to use it during the day. The winter is really a hard time for me, I use it more during the day then. I know of a couple people that were dx'd with COPD that never smoked in their life.

Asthma is something a person can develop at any time. You do not have to be born with it. Since your dx was changed to asthma I wonder why the dr made that determination. I would have asked. Asthma can either be mild or severe. Often the same medications are used to treat both.

If your oxygen drops at night, I am not convinced its asthma causing. The sleep apnea could also be a culprit. It sounds like you had a terrible dr that gave that dx. May be worth considering being re-tested. If your oxygen level is dropping down at night, something is going on to cause. Low oxygen makes the heart work harder, apnea also affects the heart.

One thing I will caution you on is the steroids. They should not be used very often or for long term. They affect the adrenals & have some nasty side effects. Most people will tell you its a love hate relationship, love how they make you feel but hate what it does to the body.

If yu haven't seen the pulmonary dr in awhile, it would probably be worthwhile to be retested. Not just breathing into a spirometer. Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2017
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/26/2017 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your concern Susie.
No I am not a smoker. I have an appointment for a breathing test next Friday and then will see the Pulmonologist the following Wednesday. I really do like the Pulmonologist I'm seeing however my insurance will be changing from regular Medicare to a Medicare advantage hmo so I don't think I'll be able to keep him as my dr anyway. I'm praying that I'm making the right decision by joining the hmo. The freedom I had with regular Medicare was nice but very expensive. My out of pocket medical expenses this last year have been over $20,000.
The problem with the antibiotics is that I'm allergic to so many and such a wide variety that most Drs have a hard time finding one to fit the specific type of infection that I happen to have at the time. Not all antibiotics work for every type of infection. They usually want to give me Cipro or Levaquin. I get bad side effects from them as well. Not allergic those class of antibiotics are just really hard on your body.
The steroids will not be long term. I've had a couple surgeries on my stomach so steroids in pill form are not a good idea for me anymore. The first six days of steroids were to help me function while I was sick. I had extreme fatigue. However they were suppressing the allergy symptoms from the antibiotics. So on the day after I finished the first six day course of antibiotics I started to break out in a rash and have difficulty breathing. That's why I was given the second six day course. To stop the allergic reaction. I understand the love hate relationship now. They also make it very difficult for me to sleep. Something I already have trouble with.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post and share your advice and concern.
Hope you have a wonderful day

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16409
   Posted 11/26/2017 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Lallie, did you check to see what a supplemental policy would cost to go with regular Medicare? I have a supplemental to my Medicare. I want no part of an HMO because I like being able to see any dr I want that takes Medicare. Some of those plans are very limiting & people have a hard time getting referrals they need from the PCP.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Sr Sailor
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 426
   Posted 11/27/2017 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Here is a link to some serious reading:

My take is that the practice of 'shots' (desensitization is the proper word) to overcome an allergy to a certain antibiotic (like penicillin) is quite rare and should only be done in a hospital setting when absolutely necessary.

Post Edited (Sr Sailor) : 11/27/2017 2:23:15 PM (GMT-7)

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