About 3 weeks ago, Bryan complained of his ear hurting one evening. I immediately took him up to Care Now. The doctor was wonderful. As Bryan slept on the exam table, the doctor looked in both of his ears. The one he had complained was hurting, had an ear infection while the other had the beginnings of an infection. Yippee…our first ear infection ever. What had I done…or rather not done…to cause this? Luckily, the doctor assured me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this from happening.
He asked if Bryan was allergic to anything and I told him, “Not that we know of.” So, off to CVS we went to fill a prescription for a high dose of antibiotics. 400mg of Amoxicillin, twice a day for 10 days. Everything was going great. By the next morning, Bryan said his ear did not hurt. Whew…I’d caught it all quick. Go Mommy!
That was, until 7 days later. I went and got Bryan up for preschool, bringing him into our bedroom and turning on his one TV show…as was our routine on school mornings. I got him his glass of milk and gave him his antibiotics. He looked fine. I went about getting ready and when the cartoon was over, I went to go get him to start the morning cleanup and dress. That’s when I discovered the spots and hives. I swear they came on within a half hour. I had not seen them when I carried him into our room. I knew he was having an allergic reaction to something, I just didn’t know what. I was going over all the things he’d eaten, been around, but nothing was different. Then, it hit me…the amoxicillin. To the internet I went. Sure enough amoxicillin can cause a rash. I called the Care Now…the doctor wanted to see Bryan immediately.
Upon getting to the Care Now, they ushered us back into a room. The doctor came in and examined the rash…which by now covered his body. His little feet were covered in hives and swollen. Bryan had also begun to itch. In my eyes, it was getting worse by the minute. He confirmed that the rash was an allergic reaction, and that Bryan could not take any type of penicillin…meaning anything that ends in “cillin”. The doctor looked at Bryan’s ears and confirmed that they were clear so he opted not to give him anything for the remaining three days of the antibiotics.
Then came the question…”You didn’t know he was allergic to it?” “Of course I didn’t! Wouldn’t I have told you?” I exclaimed. The doctor then said, “Well hasn’t he been sick before? He is four.” When I told him that we do not spend any time at the pediatrician’s office except for normal well visits, not only was he surprised, but he responded, “That’s impressive. What do you do.” I told him that both of my children have been on Shaklee supplements since they came home from the hospital and politely handed him a business card 🙂 I couldn’t resist!!
The doctor made sure to tell us again that Bryan COULD NOT take any “cillin” meds, stressing that if he did it could and most likely would be life threatening. Way to scare me silly, doc! Then the doctor prescribed an EpiPen Jr. for Bryan just in case he had any anaphylactic reactions. Luckily, we have not had to use that. I will say that that between the prescription and the “life threatening”, this whole situation was taken to a new level. It scared me. So much that when I gave him Benadryl (as told by doc) for the itching, I was a nervous wreck. But he was fine. We were also offered a steroid shot, but opted not to give Bryan that as we feared more adverse reactions. The doctor told us that the shot was not necessary and he would recover fine without it.
Apparently, from what I have researched, amoxicillin allergies are quite normal. There is a 10% chance that a person will have an allergic reaction. Most are not life threatening the first time around. But that doesn’t matter, it’s still scary when it’s your baby. According to researchers, penicillin allergies have both genetic and environmental factors. It is more likely that your child will have the allergy if you, your spouse, or both of you also have the allergy. In my case, neither my hubby or I are allergic to penicillin. However, when I was a child, I was allergic to Ledercillin…uh oh, there’s that “cillin”. Over time many people will actually lose their reaction to it and can then be treated safely with the antibiotic. However, my mom is highly allergic to it. So, we are guessing that it’s coming from my side of the family and I just outgrew it. However, my reactions were never as bad as what my son had. Ultimately, we just don’t know. And now I worry about our baby girl. I just hope she never has to take any!!!
For now, I have ordered a bracelet for Bryan to wear. He is going to FROG Camp at church and preschool again in the fall. Although I have noted it in all of his records, my worst fear is that someone will forget..and I know it wouldn’t be on purpose. I may seem paranoid, but I will do all I can to make sure he doesn’t suffer another adverse reaction. Think it’s a good idea? If you need a bracelet for your kiddo, just click on the picture you like and it will take you to the website to purchase it.
There’s nothing we can do to know what our children are allergic to. Everything is a learn as we go process. Bryan’s amoxicillin rash was a bit scary, but now we know and will be keeping our eyes peeled for other allergies he may have. And he will definitely not be taking any form of penicillin!!