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Should I take prednisone for swelling due to insect bite?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2007
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I was stung by a insect yesterday...did not see it but suspect a wasp, or a deer fly. My arm and elbow are quite swollen, and elbow sore due to swelling. Went to a walk in clinic Dr. gave me a steriod cream and a round of prednisone. I have not started the prednisone yet as I had a bad reaction last time I was on it - face swollen like a baloon, agressiveness, weight gain, lots...etc. Dr drew a line with ink around swelling and said if it increases too much past the line I need to start taking the pred. It is getting close to that skin is very tight...if I do not take the pred what is the worse that could happen?
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Kiran Kumar 12 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

After going through the description provided by you, I feel you might have developed an allergic reaction to the insect bite. The normal reaction will involve pain, redness, swelling around the site of insect bite.

Some people can develop generalized symptoms such as rashes, joint pains elsewhere in body and fever. You seem to have a reaction which is localized to the arm and elbow.

You will need to take an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy medications after discussing with your primary doctor. Steroids are recommended if there is a concern of spread of reaction all over the body.

So you should be taking a Cetrizine + Ibuprofen tablets to take care of allergy and inflammation.
Only if the symptoms does not improve with these medications, steroids will be recommended.

Again, if the reaction had to spread to the body, it would have happened over first few hours. Your insect bite was yesterday and its quite unlikely that it will spread.

Since, you had problems with prednisolone last time, try and avoid it if possible.

You should improve with cetrizine and ibuprofen only.

Hope this answers your query. Please get back if you need any further information.

Thanks and Regards,

Dr Kiran.
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