FCAAIA Notes: Despite the warnings of this article, chlorhexidine (an antiseptic used on the skin) is really quite safe. Nonetheless it can trigger severe allergic reactions. I have taken care of a few patients with chlorhexidine-induced anaphylaxis, none of whom I reported to the FDA (maybe I should have?). This suggests to me that the FDA’s awareness of 52 cases is a gross underestimate of the prevalence reactions.
Just because something is over-the-counter (OTC) it is not necessarily safer than prescription medications. Many OTC medications were once only available by prescription Continue reading “FDA: CHLORHEXIDINE GLUCONATE MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTIONS”
FCAAIA Notes: Here’s another one of those chicken and egg questions. Are children at risk for allergic disease more likely to require antibiotics (for ear infection, for instance) than those without great risk? Or, do the antibiotics increase the risk? Or both
Antibiotics (and other things) change the human microbiome (the bacteria that normally live in and on us). Alterations of the microbiome have been associated with numerous diseases (including allergies and asthma) over the last several years and is a major area of on-going research.
My vote on the chicken/egg question here? “Both.” Continue reading “EARLY‐LIFE ANTIBIOTIC EXPOSURE INCREASES THE RISK OF DEVELOPING ALLERGIC SYMPTOMS LATER IN LIFE: A META‐ANALYSIS”
FCAAIA Notes: We are ALL guilty of over-prescribing antibiotics. Not everything that feels like it needs an antibiotic for relief does. Viral upper respiratory infections (colds), nasal allergies, and even barometric pressure changes can cause symptoms that mimic those of sinusitis. But, none will get better with an antibiotic.
Similarly, “bronchitis” is rarely a bacterial disease in non-smokers, especially young ones (young is defined as anyone younger than I am!). In fact, the most important thing that happens in asthma is inflammation of the bronchi (“bronchitis”) if you translate to Greek). Viral infections can also cause bronchitis.
There’s an old saying: “If I give you an antibiotic, this will get beet in a week. If I don’t, it will take seven days”. So, if we sometimes suggest waiting to use an antibiotic and trying other things first, there might be a good reason! Continue reading “INTERVENTIONS CURB ANTIBIOTIC SCRIPS IN THE SHORT-TERM”
FCAAIA Notes: Up to 95% of people who are labelled allergic to penicillin (amoxicillin, etc.) are not allergic. Some never were; either they had something happen that was while taking the antibiotic but was unrelated to it, others avoid it because a family member had a reaction, whether it was allergic or not), and other don’t even know why they carry the diagnosis.
Of course, there are clearly people who had true allergic reactions to penicillin, but even they lose their sensitivity over time so that after 10 years only about 10% are still allergic. Continue reading “ALLERGY QUESTIONNAIRE HELPS DETERMINE TRUE PENICILLIN ALLERGY IN CHILDREN”