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Readers Respond: How Do You Deal with Your Aspirin Allergy?

Responses: 29

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Updated July 20, 2009

From the article: Aspirin Allergy
Being allergic to aspirin can lead to worsening nasal symptoms, asthma symptoms, as well as skin rashes and swelling. Avoiding it can be somewhat difficult since many over-the-counter products contain aspirin and aspirin-like medications. Some people can undergo desensitization to aspirin, but then have to take daily aspirin in order to prevent from becoming re-allergic. How have you coped with your allergy? Share your experiences about the best ways to live with aspirin allergy. Share Your Experiences

Careful is the word

Being extremely careful is the way I deal with my salicylate allergy. It seems to be in everything so reading labels has been important. As for foods, an allergist gave me a list but there are some I just don't want to avoid. Yes, many medical personnel do not believe a person with salicylate allergy can't take Ibuprofen etc. I stay firm and just refuse. I have experienced symptoms with muscle relaxants so I avoid them as well. Thank goodness for acetaminophen and codeine. I've had 4 sinus polyp surgeries since my mid 20's and developed quite severe asthma in my 30's but have never been told the salicylate allergy could be related to/responsible for my adult onset conditions, which I find very disturbing and wonder why the information wouldn't be given freely. During hospitalization for a reaction a nurse told me that each new reaction would be worse than the last. Being extremely careful is the only way I know how to deal with my salicylate allergy.
—Guest Marge

NSAID Intolerance Can Cause Other Issues

I went 25 years without ever having any serious allergy problems. I had NSAID medications only a handful of times in my life, and found that they caused me to get hives- but nothing serious. One day I had a headache and my wife gave me some kind of Korean NSAID... it nearly killed me. I went in and out of consciousness, looked like Rocky Balboa after his bout with Ivan Drago, and couldn't breath. Ever since that single reaction, I have had constant allergies to things that I used to have absolutely no problem with, and indeed sometimes get hives and allergic rhinitis for no apparent reason at all. My problem is no longer an NSAID allergy issue, but a big mystery. I've been to several doctors, and they have yet to find anything that I am allergic to, and yet I have had allergy symptoms constantly for over a year now. I have chronic urticaria, swelling of the eustachian tubes, swelling of the urethra, allergic reactions to alcohol, reactions to tea, reactions, to tomatoes- you name it.
—Guest the dude

it will kill next time

I have been living with my allergy since I was 14 so its been 26 yrs :( its difficult to deal especially since I suffer from chronic pain from inflammation and I haven't had luck finding anything that works. It difficult have to change doctors and having to explain everything all over especially if they had pill seekers using my type of allergy to get pills. Its frustrating and someday it makes me depressed know that most of my pain would be gone with n nsaid. Has anyone tried any thing else that worked for inflammation ?
—Guest k

Watch out for Pepto Bismul

Pepto Bismul also has aspirin in it. The toughest thing for me is not being able to take any anti-inflammatory meds. I rely on ice packs for joint issues.
—Guest Eileen Kopec

New diagnosis

Just diagnosed with Samter's Triad. Seeking a forum
—Guest Stephanie Sargent

Asprin and others

I experience lip swelling, eyelid swelling and hives as well with aspirin and I can also not take Ibuprofen. They were giving me 800mg Ibuprofen after my c-section and I did not realize previously that it can effect those with aspirin allergies, even though they knew I was allergic to aspirin! The only thing I ever take is Tylonal. Trying to find out about aspirin sensitivity in relation to sinus issues because it was briefly mentioned on webmd and I can't find any connection.
—Guest Cathy

Anaphylactoid Shock

I started having allergy problems when I was 17. When I was 19, I would cough uncontrollably through the night. On January 1 of this year, I had the worst sinus headache of my life. I have never taken aspirin before, but had problems with tylenol in the past. I took 2 aspirin because no clinics were open. Within 20 minutes I was on the floor blue, and my husband was left rushing around flagging down paramedics. All of these years, the wheezing with one thing and not with another... It wasn't all in my head. Salicylates are in everything, and I am coping day by day by looking into items I can eat. I am a type 1 diabetic, so it makes things a little tricky. Sodium Benzoate, Yellow Dye, Red Dye, Fragrence... there are many names for salicylates, and I have to read labels very carefully. I know how much my body can tolerate, so every once in a while I give myself a snack, but too much and I'm wheezing again. Acupuncture has helped a lot with pain.
—Guest Robyn B

A.E.R.D. aka Samters Triad

It's real and it can kill you! Many doctors are unaware of this life threatening condition. Who knows how many people go to the ER confused as to why they are suddenly unable to breath. Check your meds, supplements, lotions, detergents, hair/skin products, and food for aspirin (ASAs, NSAIDs, or salicylic acid)! SAlicylic acid is an organic's food natural persticide... The healthier I was eating the more sick I became! Once properly diagnosed (unfortunately it took me being in a coma and intubated for five docs to put it all together after a two year battle) wear a medical bracelet, carry an epipen, and let your friends/family know of your condition!! Once you know the problem and become educated about the disease/condition, it's easier to avoid triggers. Never guess if something is safe!!!
—Guest Aig

Zyrtec

I take an aspirin a day for heart therapy. I now think this is what is causing the big hives all over my body. At first I thought it might be peanuts but I could not give up peanuts so I have found that if I take 1/2 of a zyrtec every 1 1/2 days the hives go away. I overdid it working on putting tile down in my house the other day and was very sore so I took three aspirin. Several hours later I had the big hives all over my body again. I now think it must have been the aspirin all this time and not the peanuts that was giving me the hives. Either way, all I have to do to get rid of them is take that 1/2 zyrtec about every 1 1/2 days when I sense the hives are coming back and the 1/2 zyrtec makes the hives go away.
—Guest Gary

Severe Anaphylaxis to NSAIDs

My son had a severe allergic reaction to NSAID’s—child’s Motrin. When he was 2 years old, it took 2 ambulances and several shots of epinephrine, as well as, Benadryl on the way to the ER to open up his airway and decrease swelling. Several times prior to the reaction, I noticed—but didn’t put two and two together—that his fingers would get puffy after I gave him Motrin or OTC cold meds. I was almost yelled at by the ER doc that if he does not carry an EpiPen and has another reaction, it would be fatal. He is also sensitive to food coloring, preservatives, and additives. He will react with hives and skin rashes. I’ve been noticing NSAID warning labels on OTC meds. I did not know about sunscreens and lotions, however. We try to stay with all natural products now, just in case. He is now 12 … I was wondering about deodorant esp. since the “natural” product is not successful. Thanks for the information!
—Guest the Wright Crew

Scary experience

I took 2 alca seltza (ive had it a few times before) within 5 minutes I had painfull pins and needles/burnin on every inch of my body. I went very red and rashy all over. My lips were burning and my scalp felt like it was on fire. It lasted half an hour, but Idid feel the bit of pins and needles for 24 hours after. I didnt know whether to go to hospital and ended up not going. If this happens again, what do I do?
—Guest Emma

aspirin allergy?

I am a 61 yr old woman that has had crohns disease since I was 17. I have always taken aspirin, or ibuprofen products all my life I seem to have been able to tolerate them fine. I recently had cosmetic surgery and the Dr. gave an anti-inflamitory medication that contained aspirin. I seemed fine, then 2 weeks later I had a headache and took 2 aspirins and within 3 hrs was covered in hives and a red rash. I was so puzzled, called the Dr. He said it was probably nothing, take 2 benadryl , the rash got better . A few days later I took 1 aspirin and I woke up and was covered in hives and this rash that is so itchy. I am now on a dose pack of prednisone and benadryl. After all these years I have developed an allergy to aspirin! I guess it can happen. Thanks for the web-site!
—barbaraannboyle

Allergy to Ibuprophen and aspirin

I discovered I had an allergy to ibuprofen (specifically Advil-might be the coating??) after I had my first baby. Everytime I would take Advil I would start sneezing like crazy, get itchy red eyes, swollen lips, and wheezy breathing. I thought it was a dust mite allergy that the allergist said I have but it happened every time I took Advil. I do not take it ever anymore but the result of the allergy attacks has left me with a chronic sinus infection which I am considering surgery for. I have also recently discovered that I am allergic to aspirin after taking some Excedrin for a migraine. I should have stuck with the Tylenol.
—Guest Kerry

deadly results

I realized when I was a teen that anacin had caused me to develop an asthma attack. Later, diagnosed with Sampters Triad (aka ASA TRIAD) - asthma, salicylate sensitivity, and nasal polyps (4 surgeries thus far). One anaphylactic shock left me hospitalized for 7 days with a very close call on a heart attack - took 3 days for tests to show it was not a heart attack. Be careful - salicylates occur in many fruits, vegetables, plants. Search under salicylate allergies - a hospital in Australia has some awsome information on it and has a list of what fruits and veggies are high. Eating salicylates may not cause me to have an asthma attack, but they do affect my nasal polyps.
—Guest fuest

Also includes topical NSAIDs

I have had a known NSAID allergy since my early 20s. I have had doctors forget or not believe me but have avoided problems for 5+ years. I have had polyps so that puts me in a higher risk group. I went through a successful descentization process but quit taking the aspirin so the allergy returned. I went to a podiatrist the other day and he gave me a prescription for a cream that included an NSAID. He said that I could take that instead of an oral NSAID. When I put it on, I had a reaction a few hours later. It was not as severe as normal but I still had an allergic reaction of wheezing and trouble breathing. Luckily, I had 2 benedril in my house and took those. It is scary how serious this allergy can be.
—Guest Carol

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How Do You Deal with Your Aspirin Allergy?

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