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After eating almond had tightness in throat and scratching, no hives and skin irritation. Took Benadryl. Suggest?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2581 Questions
I ate an almond about four ago which I haven't eaten in a long time. I experienced tightness in throat (may have been from anxiety) and slight scratching however no hives or symptoms. I also took Children's Benadryl about three hours ago ( 3 teaspoons in case) Should I be concerned? How long do I wait before I can fall asleep?
Posted Wed, 4 Sep 2013 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Prasad 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It doesn't appear very concerning.

Detailed Answer:

Food allergy is a known entity. We regularly see couple of cases of allergies in a month at the ER here where I work. The most severe cases of allergies present with multiple “hive” like lesions on skin, rashes, swollen face/lips and so on. Low blood pressure, breathing difficulty and dizziness are indicators of anaphylactic reaction which needs immediate fluid therapy and steroid shots.

What you described is not as severe as some of those cases that I have seen. Therefore I would not press the panic button yet. I would observe the symptoms for a few more hours. Typically food allergies gradually reduce and disappear in 4-12 hours. And since it is more than 4 hours now, I would not be very concerned.

I would observe the symptoms for an hour or two more. If needed I would repeat benadryl 5ml; maximum dosage is under 40ml roughly equivalent to 8 tsp, if there is no other pre-existing medical illness. You can go back to sleep without apprehension if you do not develop any more new symptoms in the next 2 hours.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: After eating almond had tightness in throat and scratching, no hives and skin irritation. Took Benadryl. Suggest? 6 minutes later

Thanks for your answer. Do I have any risk for anaphylaxis? Can I fall asleep now?
Answered by Dr. Prasad 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No risk of anaphylaxis.

Detailed Answer:

Four hours past the first symptom, the risk of anaphylaxis is nil. You can sleep at peace now. If you still have itching, you can apply a layer of claritin. That should take care of it.

And yes, inform about this incident to your doctor sometime tomorrow and he can record this in the list of allergens for future references.

Good night!!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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