Discussions By Condition: Allergies

23 month old with serum sickness from antibiotics

Posted In: Allergies 12 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 13, 2006
  • 09:18 PM

My gorgeous little girl developed and ear infection on a sunday morning so i took her to the doctor and she was given ceclor anitbiotics ( an antibiotic she has used 3-4 times b4 for ear infections) She took the full course and ended it friday night.

Saturday morning Leah (23months old)developed an angry looking purple rash like nothing i had ever seen b4 , So i took her down the Emergency department of our local hospital at 9.30am she increasing got grumpy and started saying "hurt hurt". By 11 am my duaghter could no longer stand and she had started to swell up in her back ,hips,belly legs and feet. The doctor came to access her at 12 and we had to move her from her pusher which she had refused to get out of the whole hour b4. When we moved her she was in agony .. she couldnt move her self and just the act of laying her down was terrible for her..

The rash was diagnosed as erythemia multiforme and at this sateg the doctor thought the pain and swelling was also a result of the erythemia. They gave Leah a dose of strong antihistamines and some steroids , and over the next couple of hours the pain and swelling went down and we were sent home with the instructions to return if the stopped eating/drinking swelled up again or vomited.

She ran around and played and had fun saturday evening and seemed to have recovered but she was still stiff and limping..

Sunday morning she could only just walk and was very unhappy , she was itching like mad .. not eating not drinking, i mashed up some soft fruits thinking maybe she had a sore throat and gave it to her to eat ( shes very independent) she got some on the spoon and in trying to get it in her mouth tipped it on her hair becuase she couldnt bend her elbows, So being messy and grumpy i gave her a bath.

After her bath she couldnt move at all and her limbs looked purple, she then swelled up like nothing i have ever seen she was so swollen her skin was hard and she was like carrying a lump of wood . We took her back to the hospital she was spaced out and unable to move. she was unresponsive to everything except her pain..I have never seen my child in so much pain adn just getting her into the hospital was terrible for her , in and out of the car, in and out of the pram and onto the bed.All i could say was "im sorry baby mummy doesnt want to hurt you""im sorry" "im sorry".

They checked her over once again and found all her lymph nodes were inflammed her liver and spleen were very enlarged, she was dehydrated, the pain was in her joints and she had joint swelling , her belly was so inflammed she looked like one of those pregnant women becuase her belly button was pushed inside out and she was hard from shoulders to toes.You could not even hold her hand it hurt her too much.She was diagnosed with serum sickness.They took blood and urine samples .

She was admitted and given steriods and antihistamine and painkillers once again.. but this time the swelling did not go down she did however start to move around 5 pm sunday night

monday morning she was running around like a mad swollen penguin she was not as swollen but still a bit puffy around the edges and her belly was still the same.. around mid day she stared to swell up more again and got limited movement , i of course freaked out her swelling got worse the second day and i thought the third day would be worse again( i was serouisly worried thinking her face and airway and...... "freaked" lol) but they had given her a heap of medication . and some more when she started to swell up and that stopped it.

By monday afternoon she was off the pain killers and running around like any normal 2 year old her swelling in her limbs and face had gone down and she was extremely agressive and grumpy but happy at the same time.. The doctor explained it to me the swelling as it subsides realeases toxins in to her system which gives the moody/agressiveness but she happy to be moving lol.. She was biting hitting throwing things screaming hurting other kids. throwing herself on the floor ( acting like a teenager?? lol) Leah is usually a very happy and helpful little girl she loves helping mummy and is always praised at how good she is when we go out anywhere, she shares with her big brother and is always giggling.

It is now thursday Leahs birthday today my princess in 2 and we got home tuesday night , she is still very grumpy but i have managed to get her off the antihistamines last night.. her rash has all turned to bruises and she looks like she has been bashed up it is all over her face arms legs belly.. Her belly button only returned to normal last night and her urine came back with white cells and bacteria in it so i had to take her back yesturday for another wee test ( should find out the results today)

I have been advised to get leah on the medic alert registra and she can never have this antibiotic again (it will kill her)

Im sorry its so long winded but maybe someone who has had this can relate.. I am still trying not to cry its her birthday after all . im covered in a stress rash and am suffering from bad anxiety(what if her urine comes back again and she needs antibiotics again????) I m so alone no one understandsa me not my friends my husband no one...

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12 Replies:

  • If you are still out there checking this site. I understand. My son who is 3 1/2 years was just released from the hospital 2 days ago with Serum Sickenss. He had the almost the same symtoms as your daughter. Same senerio too! He was also sent home the first time after given a dose of strong antihistamines. The next day he was fine in the morning although covered in spots, Then sure enough he blew up like a balloon in his knees, hands and ankles and feet and could ot move without crying. Sad thing is we were vacatioing in Disneyland when this all happened. So he was taken by ambulance to University Childrens Hospital where he spent a few days on IV antihistamines and Steroids. Today was his last day on the Steroids and we are hoping it does not flare up again. MOst of his bruising is gone now. So now we are looking in to the med alert bracelets and of course now he a nasty cold to top it all off.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 1, 2007
    • 07:41 AM
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  • My 3 Year Old Son Has This Right Now From Taking Amoxicillin So They Say They Have Him Os Steroids, But It Doesn,t Seem To Get Any Better. He Has Had This For A Little Over A Week, Been To The Pediatrcian And The Er. He Looks Like A Little Marshmellow Man Half The Time, But They Keep Sending Him Home With More Medications, And Creams. They Told Me He Had Erythema Multiforme And It Was Getting Better, But All It's Really Doing Is Covering His Whole Body. I'm Really Trying To Find Some Answers And It's Nice To Find Someone Going Through This, Or Been Through It, Because I Am Going Crazy. My Son Rarely Gets A Good Night Sleep, And Cries About His Stomach Hurting All The Time. Did You Ever Have Ane Test Run To Determine What She Had? My Pediatrician Just Keeps Telling My It Is An Allergic Reation And Not To Worry. Thats All I Do Anymore Is Worry About Him. I Sleep In His Room Most Of The Time Just To Make Sure He Is Okay.
    CUPCAKE 3 Replies
    • February 23, 2007
    • 09:06 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi. I've had problems with antibiotics before in the past as well. I had taken Tetracycline for over a year (acne problems) and then, all of a sudden, got a MASSIVE outbreak of hives all over my body. I can't have anything in the tetracycline family now, and have since discovered I am allergic to two other types of antibiotics as well (hives).I'm so sorry to hear what happened to your daughter- it's a real nightmare. Sometimes you hear even worse- babies getting disease preventing shots at birth and having SEVERE reactions. How is Leah now?BTW-Make sure that you and your family (and when she is old enough, Leah as well) makes a point of stating her allergy EVERY time she sees a doctor. You should also make SURE she carries a bracelet or something indicating the allergy. Ever since my allergy to tetracycline, I've made a note of it on every medical paper I've had to fill out, yet on more than one occasion a doctor has tried to perscribe a tetracycline antibiotic- they do NOT always look at your file/chart/allergy history and so it is YOUR responsibility to make sure.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • HI again it took leah a full 12 weeks to recover from her illness and where she had few allergies before she now has many. she did get a urine infection and was put back on antibiotics , which again made her rash worse, but she didnt swell up and the doctor kept her on them. the swelling went up and down for about 6 weeks but seemed to only affect her feet and hands after the first week , she had pain relief for a full 8 weeks and the rash on her body took 12 weeks to go . She has had a perminent rash on the tops of her arms ever since and now cant go near animals with out getting hives.. She has had a problem with medicine before she reacted badly to her immunisations She had a reaction to her 2 month shots and got bad diareah that lasted 4 weeks, ended up severely anemic, cuaght RSV had double ear infections and was hospitalised for a week then. She had very high platlets and was very unwell. Got tested for everything under the sun . had a ultrasound on the belly . an MRI on her head, xrays on her head and a million and one blood tests. (her head stuck out and inch more on one side then the other so they thought she had fussed bones in her head or a tumour).. They decided it was cuased by a rection to the shots... She then got her 4 month old shots at 10 months(august) as we thought she would be better able to cope with them when she was older. After this lot she got diareah for 4 and a half months and got put on iron supplement and didnt end up too unwell but was still sick at christmas( we called the doctor out xmas day).. so needless to say Leah is not fully immunised which means she doesnt qualify for an child care benefits in the country...I worry becuase i would hate for her to start kindy with out her immunisations being up to date..Anyway Leah is her happy self she is 2 and a half now a gorgeous http://i19.tinypic.com/47i48pc.jpg here is a picture of her her dad and brother on christmas dayHer brother has never been in hospital for anything other then a broken arm and he is 6 , Leah on the other hand has been probably 10 times for reactions ,concusion, asthma, rashes, you name it .. lol little pain She is happy and healthy though and the sweetest little girl you'll ever see
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • my daughter went through the same exact thing when she was two years old. she was given ceclor in the er for a severe ear infection that cause a fever induced seisure. she developed severe serum sickness within five days. when her regular md saw her he looked at me and immediately said "who the ***l gave her ceclor?!" i later found out that this antibiotic is not recommended for childred under five for this exact reason! it should only be given when other treatment have failed because 2 out of every 100 children who take it have this reaction. if i had been informed of the possibility in the er i never would have agreed to the med, and you know if the drug manufacturer admits to a 2% reaction response the number of actuall cases is probably twice that! it took two months of steroids to get her back to functional and two more months before she was completely herself again. this med was a nightmare!
    cherylanne 13 Replies Flag this Response
  • My son had the same thing when he was 18 months old on day 9 of taking Augmentin. We went to the doctor every day for 3 days and they said to give him benadryl. On day 4 he had circular bruises from the hives from head to toe, fever of 105, joint swelling, and his hands and feet were blue. We went to the ER, got IV hydratation, a diagnosis of Eythema multiform, and was sent home with steroids. Luckily, I am a nurse and met an allergist at the hospital on night while working, who was taking care a little girl with this. He told me it was called serum sickness, and there is NO way to allergy test for it.My son is now 5 years old, and has serum sickness again, this time from Omnicef (cephalosporin). It started the same as last time, hives on day 9 of the antibiotic. Luckily, I knew what it was, so went immediately to the ER, and insisted on orapred, when the ER doc wanted to write a script for it, but hold off on starting it. His rash luckily went away by the next morning, so it totally is not as bad as last time since the steroids were started immediately. Unfortunately, today is day 5 of the reaction, and he started with fevers yesterday at noon. He was 103, and reaches 104 now, every time the Tylenol wears off. He's also been very lethargic and just not himself all week. I guess we just have to wait it out, continue the meds, and make sure he doesn't get any penicillin or cephalosporin drugs ever again.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Our Daughter is almost 4 and is on her second day of what the doctor's believe to be Serum Sickness. I am shocked to hear the other stories on this thread. Kate's symptoms are practically identical to the 23 month old girl. Kate is a sweetheart and keeps saying " I can't dance daddy, I never will".. It literally breaks my heart... Her symtpons swollen hands, knees, fingers, ankles, etc. She develops horrible hives and joint pain as the Prednisone wears off. She took Amoxicillan for an inner ear infection and on the 6-7th day she started with scratching on her foot and then a hives break out on her back. The following morning she woke up with swollen knees and ankles and could not walk.. Her rash spread across most of her body. Luckily she still takes naps and while she is sleeping the symptoms seem to discipate. I am hoping this will resolve itself in the coming days as it is almost unbearable to see her this way. It looks as this may take time and I can only prey she does not have longer term complications with this. I will look into an emergency bracelet. She takes ballet(Creative movement), so important to her, as her mom was a ballerina into her collegiate years... Any words of support or further ideas as to help her is appreciated..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Our 2-yr daughter was given Amoxicillan for a strep infection in Nov-09 . She started reacting on day 7 of 10 day treatment. We took her off per the Dr's orders. On the follow-up visit and they did a strep check again and found it positive two days later. Another Dr. in the office prescribed a strong dose of Cephalexin Oral Suspension (250MG/5) for a 23 lb toddler.On Dec 24, 2009 she got a bad rash while on the second antibiotic. Much worse than she had with the strep infection (scarlatina). These allergic reactions included dairy, eggs, citrus, canola oil and basically any processed food (crackers, chips, cookies, etc), all of which she had eaten regularly before.Early Jan-10, we took her to an Allergist and explained the development of the allergic onset during the second antibiotic treatment. He prescribed steroid cream (Mometasone Furo Cream 45gm 0.1%) and Prednisolone Sod Phosphat Syr 15mg/5m. We applied the steroid cream to the worst areas like the back of her knees and under her chin while keeping her diet free of known allergens. The rash cleared up quickly but the skin behind her knees thinned out significantly. After researching Prednisolone online, we chose not to give her that prescription and we stopped the steroid cream. We switched to over-the-counter Hydrocortizone 10 ointment which worked well and was not as strong as the steroid cream. The Allergist also had her blood tested for known allergens and foods that we knew she wasn't allergic to. He told us at this appointment that it could be serum sickness. In the follow-up visit with the Allergist, he said the blood tests all came back negative to food allergies. He was upset we didn't give her the Prednisolone, even though she was pretty clear. He DID NOT listen to us when we told him we knew she was allergic to certain foods, because the test results showed her blood wasn't reacting negatively to the different food types. We told him she did react within minutes if we messed up (ie. Good Times Bambino burger buns are NOT dairy free!). He told us it was a coincidence and we could feed her anything. We researched serum sickness and found a list of foods to avoid. The list included many of the foods that we knew she was reacting to.We've researched more and one theory we're pursuing is a Leaky Gut diet. There can be many causes, including antibiotics, that damage the small intestines. This damage allows not fully digested food to enter the bloodstream. The body reacts negatively to the undigested food which causes food allergies. Hopefully, this will help her own body to heal itself rather than treating her with more antibiotics and steroids (note: Some cases listed above seem to have been serious enough to warrant steroids.).It's now Mar-10 and she's never FULLY cleared up (ie. patchy rashes on her skin) and she has new outbreaks periodically. This seems to be lasting longer than serum sickness is supposed to last. Her symptoms from a reaction also include itching scalp and dandruff; skin rashes, especially behind her knees and under her chin by the neck; increased irritability; her hands get cold and her lips turn blue; more severe reactions include eyelid and lip swelling and she gets chilled.We're supplementing her with probiotics, digestive enzymes and a yeast-free diet.Our hearts go out to your children and their pain and suffering.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My son developed severe allergy to Omnicef. He had taken this medication before when he was 2 yr old but did not have any side effects. The allergy specialist put him on this medication for 21 days! (for sinusitis). He was fine till day 15 but everything changed on day 16. He could n't walk, had swollen wrists, knees, elbows, foot and was very fussy. We have never seen him behaving like this before. He has been very happy and enthusiastic kid. Anyway, we need to go to ER on day 16 th evening. ER people gave him Benedryl and Prednisone, kept him for a couple of hours and sent him home. Next day things went from bad to WORSE. We were scared to death and did not know what to do. We went to see his MD who suggested us to increase the dose of Prednisone (twice daily). Swelling came down on day 4. Our research suggests that it is not advisable to give steroids to kids but there was no way out. We stopped steroids. Now it is 17 days after the first ER visit he is still on Benedryl (twice daily). He gets hives behind knees, around wrists,and on his back. If we stop Benedryl he can't tolerate itching. We are concerned with giving him antihistamines for this long. We don't know the long term effects of Benedryl on such a small kid. Omnicef is a poison and we will never never give him again. Could someone tell how long this skin rashes (hives or urticaria type symptoms) will last as it is a nightmare for him and for us to go through this everyday. There is no day so far for him without Benedryl and we are just waiting to see him happy and playful like before.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My daughter's allergist said he's seen it last up to 1 year. Serum sickness is serious and if your child's physician doesn't take you serious you should go to someone else. Repeat exposure to the allergen can lead to anaphylactic shock and death.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 8, 2011
    • 07:40 PM
    • 0
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  • to the Original Poster. what country/state are you in? with an exemption form you will never have to put your child through another horrible vaccine reaction and she can attend shool, daycare etc. Vaccines are NOT compulsory.My baby is 13 months old, 100% unvaxed (never had a needle in her life =)) and she is honestly the most healthy child i've met in my life. she's been "sick" twice.. for 2-3 days each time (my mum is a nurse so she's always being exposed to bugs and things.)This is an exert from the Lancet, 2003, in regard to the complexity and perfection of an unaltered Human Immune system... ‎"Human beings have a highly complex immune systemthat evolved from the fairly simple system found ininvertebrates. The so-called innate invertebrate immunesystem responds non-specifically to infection, does notinvolve lymphocytes, and hence does not display... memory. The adaptive immune system, shared byvertebrates, displays both specificity and memory, and isdesigned to provide protection against almost allinfections. Furthermore, polymorphisms in genes thatcontrol the immune system ensure that the species as awhole can generate sufficient immunological diversity tosurvive any new infectious onslaught"So, in short, WE ARE BRILLIANT CREATURES! We do not need man made vaccines to protect us, these are more likely to be the CAUSE of much of the chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, atopy etc etc which we see more of today than at any other time in history. Do not be worried, keep your daughter's immune system strong with good nutrition, sunlight, exercise etc and she will fight any illness she comes across BETTER than an immune-comprimised, sickly, vaccinated child! <3
    mummy_emz 4 Replies
    • October 9, 2011
    • 05:38 AM
    • 0
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  • I too wonder what damage all that swelling has cause to my 5 year old. She couldn't walk for 4 days and now is completely back to normal. The paralysis in her hands and arms prompted pediatrician to have her sent to a children's hospital where serum sickness was likely culprit stemming from amoxicillan taken for a tooth ache one week earlier. EM is a common diagnosis due to "target" rash but severe pain/swelling scream of serum sickness.
    easycoolbreezy 1 Replies
    • January 20, 2014
    • 07:32 PM
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