Medical Questions? Ask a Doctor Online!
So clearly this is an allergic reaction
But is not an anaphylactic reaction, the dangerous, deadly form of sever allergy
You have been properly treated
And the phenergan helping makes sense as it is a good antihistamine and antihistmines are the standard treatment for mild to moderate allergic reactions
The one thing that has not been given that is probably not needed at this point is an epinephrine shot....
but that is reserved for anaphylaxis
I am surprised, however, that you were given a burst of steroids and not a tapering dose
other than that I think this is good treatment and that you will get this resolved soon....
The Weeds and seeds department think the ants may be fire ants but they have not confirmed this as their expert is not here until Monday. I am worried that I may have a worse reaction to these ants as I had not encountered them before The Tuesday
it doesn't matter what the ants are... what matters is that whatever bit you caused a rather impressive allergic reaction, but not the most dangerous reaction called 'anaphylaxis', which is deadly if not caught early
the reason I say it doesn't matter
there are only a few insects whose bite specifically requires an antivenom
and there are not any ants that do this
So basically just keep taking phenergan and keep having the cool showers until the rash goes away
yes, I'm not sure if you can get benadyl (diphenhydramine) over the counter... it's a bit better as an antihistamine, so you might adjust there
but if you do not notice great improvement and resolution within the next few days I do think I would speak with your physicain
about possibly doing a steroid taper
Should I get tested for an allergy with these ants in case of further contact?
as the steroid burst, in the setting of an allergic reaction, often allows for a recurrence of the initial reaction, whilst the taper tends to prevent this
I think it's safe to say you are allergic
the question is are you allergic to the point that you should carry an epipen witih you at all times, and to do this might require the aid of an allergist
so yes, it might be worthwhile
I have read that if I get bit again I have a 60 percent chance of having a similar reaction or worse as I reacted badly to my first bite from these ants. So as they have suddenly appeared in my garden I am concerned there will be another encounter
I share your concern
your concern is valid
fist, your friends who are going to identify the ants can probably tell you how to get rid of them
you should definitely talk with your phsyician about getting an epipen just in case whilst they sort out if you have an anaphylactic allergy to these ants.
THIS WILL BE A GOOD LINK FOR YOU TO READ
Should I also take in any information the department of weeds and seeds give me to show the doctor so she can be ready if anyone else has a similar experience?
that would be nice, I'm not sure how helpful it would be... at least up here fire ants are all over the place and they are appropriately named... it's not a medical mystery, but still, it might be nice to warn your friends and let your doctor know what they discover.
They aren't native to Australia but they are appearing everywhere here
then it will be very important indeed if they end up being fire ants to spread the word.
Thanks for the advice I will make an appointment to see the doctor early next week and see what she can do for me
do you have any final questions about this for me?
if the rash gets worse should I go to the hospital
the rash will likely wax and wane and it is not of primary concern... read the link I gave you and that will give good detail... but basically.... increasing shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, nausea, wheezing, tightness in the throat... if those symptoms come on then consider calling the ambulance.... but since you have had steroids this is very unlikely to occur... don't just take the phenergan or benadryl when you have symptoms... take it four times a day... and then when you see your doctor, follow his or her advice past that.
yep sure does thanks a heap!
have a wonderful morning (?) down under... love Oz dearly... thanks for your question and if this has been helpful positive feedback is always appreciated.
good night from Tennessee.
lol its early afternoon but Thanks heaps for the info!
you are most welcome
The ant that bit me was called Paratrechina longicornis or the longhorn black crazy ant. It isn't deemed a pest species here and poses no threat to the general public.
They don't have a stinger but likes to bite and swing its abdomen around and squirt a formic acid solution into the would its making as it chews. Normally placid I inadvertently disturbed its new nest and they defended it well.
After I emailed you the rash spread to inside my nose and inside my ears and by the afternoon I had a nose bleed. Saturday night I woke up with breathing problems and my heart racing but thought it was from the steroids and stayed calm and did manage to go back to sleep. Sunday morning I woke with the taste like I had been sucking on coins or metal. I took my dose of Phenergan and slept for most of the day. By that afternoon I had issues swallowing but as it did not get worse and I could still breathe I again stayed calm and kept taking phenergan and Monday I went and made an appointment. Tuesday the rash was now just on my arms and talking to the doctor he informed me the symptoms with my breathing weren't from the steroids and I should have gone to the hospital though he did praise me for staying calm and not panicking.
I in the past, I have shown an allergic reaction to an ant they call the Bulldog ant or Inch ant. Its a native species and considered a venomous ant and as I found out, from the same family. They took this into consideration when I went back in to see them.
The Doctor I saw at that appointment and the Doctor who treated me the Thursday, both recommended that I need to have an epi pen and also advised me to get a medialert bracelet or something similar for in case of anaphylaxis.
I have been given an epi pen and steroids and have been told to avoid any ant as most in Australia are of the same family Formicidae. They think it is to do with the formic acid the ants produce.
I just have to call the exterminator to spray my yard and house as well as wear closed in shoes and use insect repellent and be a little bit more vigilant when I go outside.
I still have a couple of rash patches but they are now not as maddeningly itchy and getting smaller by the day.
Thank-you for your advice as it did help to keep me calm and hopeful.