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Allergy: Insect Sting (cont.)

Medications

  • Epinephrine is the most important treatment and may be lifesaving. Epinephrine is usually given as an injection.


  • H1 type antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) usually is given by mouth or injection to decrease the histamine reaction. This relieves the itching.


  • H2 type antihistamine (H2-blocker), such as ranitidine, famotidine, or cimetidine, may be given to augment the effect of diphenhydramine.


  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol), are often given to decrease swelling and suppress the immune response.
  • If you are given antihistamines and steroids, you may be advised to continue to take them by mouth for several days after you leave the hospital.

For more information on allergy medications, see Understanding Allergy and Hay Fever Medications.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Anaphylaxis »

Portier and Richet first coined the term anaphylaxis in 1902 when a second vaccinating dose of sea anemone toxin caused a dog's death.

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