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Q: food allergy, atopic excema, medicaments ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: food allergy, atopic excema, medicaments
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: arvin-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 06 Feb 2004 12:24 PST
Expires: 07 Mar 2004 12:24 PST
Question ID: 304198
What are the best medicaments for food allergy?
Subject: Re: food allergy, atopic excema, medicaments
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 06 Feb 2004 19:32 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi Arvin,

If you truly feel you have a food allergy, your best course of action
would be to avoid the food, entirely. There are no medicines to
prevent food allergies. People with a food allergy may get away with
eating the troublesome food a time or two, but not indefinitely! The
first time we eat a food to which we are allergic, our bodies produce
antibodies against that food.  Antibodies are produced by cells with a
terrific memory, and the next time these cells are in contact with the
offending food, the antibodies will be produced in huge amounts. This
is called ?sensitization?.

Once you are sensitized to a food, eating this food can cause the
following symptoms :

An ?itchy throat??you may have experienced this already - the feeling
that makes you wish you could shove a backscratcher down your throat!




Tongue Swelling

Falling blood pressure

These symptoms can also lead to unconsciousness and even death, and
can appear within minutes to 2 hours after eating an allergenic food.

According to The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis  Network :  ?Strict
avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to avoid a
reaction. Reading ingredient labels for all foods is the key to
maintaining control over the allergy. If a product doesn't have a
label, allergic individuals should not eat that food. If a label
contains unfamiliar terms, shoppers must call the manufacturer and ask
for a definition or avoid eating that food.? And
 ?Most people outgrow their food allergies, although peanuts, nuts,
fish, and shellfish are often considered life-long allergies. Some
research is being done in this area and it looks promising.?

If you have a food allergy, consider carrying an EpiPen with you, for
emergencies. This self-injector will dose you with epinephrine, and is
a safe emergency treatment. Over the counter antihistamines may give
you some short term relief of eczema. Folks with high blood pressure
need to stay away from some antihistamines. Ask the pharmacist what
might work best for you, especially if you have any other medical
conditions, or if you take other medication. Your doctor can prescribe
the best medication for your problem.

Your doctor may also order skin and/or blood tests to determine the
foods to which you may have an allergy.

You can download a brochure ?Do You Have a Food Allergy?? from The
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis  Network here:

About Eczema:
American Academy of Dermatology:

Google Answers - Scroll down towards the end of the answer for some
suggestions for calming itchy skin.


I hope this is the information you were seeking. If any part of my
answer is unclear, please request an Answer Clarification, before
rating. This will allow me to assist you further, if possible.


Search Terms:
Food Allergies

Request for Answer Clarification by arvin-ga on 07 Feb 2004 11:18 PST
Dear crabcakes-ga,

thank you very much for your follow-up which gave some general insight
about allergies.

I feel though that I know a bit about allergies in general and how to
minimise the symptoms. I?m 38 know and have been fighting allergies
and atopic eczema all my life. I have food allergies for most fruits,
vegetables, fish, nuts and specifically eggs. I?ve also allergies for
a range of pollen and house dust. What I can eat is red & white meat
(birds, animals), potatoes, cheese, bread. I can drink milk and water.
It?s though not possible for me to avoid everything that I have
allergy for e.g. if I go to a restaurant. My main rule is to always
avoid eggs, all fruits and all fish. The main symptom I want to avoid
is chronic skin itching and red skin (which is a kind of atopic eczema
that may be triggered or sustained by allergies).

Now back to my initial question: What are the best medicaments for food allergy?

I would hope for some recommendation on both (1) anti-histamines as
well as (2) skin creams/salves to relieve atopic eczema/skin

1. Anti histamines

I?ve used anti-histamines daily for many years, like e.g. Zyrtec and
Clarityn. But lately some new anti-histamines have arrived that might
be more effective (?). These are amongst others Aerius and Xyzall. I
understand that UCB, the company behind Zyrtec, has a new
anti-histamine out. Are there other relevant anti-histamines, are
there any comparisons available?

2. Skin treatments

I know that there?s supposed to be a new skin cream and salve with the
name of Protopic. This is somewhat similar to Cortison products but
without the negative effects. I would appreciate some feedback on
Protopic and possibly similar/alternative skin treatments.


So, a list of possible drugs related to allergies and atopic eczema
(e.g. as comparison, pro/contra, strengths/drawbacks) is highly

Kind Regards,

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 07 Feb 2004 13:56 PST
Hi Arvin,
 I'll look around for your clarification request, and post when I find
it, but in the meantime:

In my original answer, I posted a link to the last question I answered
on eczema. It has some information on Protopic, and other creams,
therapies etc. Please hava nother look at the original answer link...
I have copied and reposted the most of the information here again:

According to the National Eczema Society (and my granddaughter?s 
dermatologist), there is no need to fear using topical steroids ?as
long as steroids are used appropriately and as directed by your
doctor, the likelihood of side effects is very rare. Reported
side-effects have been largely due to the use of very potent steroid
preparations over long periods of time.?

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) cream can help alleviate itching.

--Oral steroids, in very severe cases

--Topical Immunomodulators: New drugs such as Tacrolimus ointment
(Protopic) and Pimecrolimus cream (Elidel)
You can read a factsheet about Tacrolimus here.
(This site is written in frames, which does not allow me to give you
the direct link. In order to reach the pages to which I am referring,
you will need to click the ?About Eczema? link in the right hand
column of the page, and then click on the links such as ?What is
Eczema? and ? Is There a Cure for Eczema?
 You can read a factsheet about Pimecrolimus here:

Protopic lotion is a new prescription steroid-free immunomodulator for eczema

--Phototherapy  Photo-therapy using UV light may help. The
ultra-violet B rays help suppress the immune response in skin cells.


Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 07 Feb 2004 22:09 PST
Hi arvin,
I just wanted to let you know that I have not abandonded you! I will
be finishing your clarification on Sunday, and posting it when I have
finished.Thank you for your patience!

Request for Answer Clarification by arvin-ga on 08 Feb 2004 05:36 PST
Dear crabcakes-ga,

I will await your feedback.

Kind Regards,

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 08 Feb 2004 08:52 PST
Hi Arvin,

I?ve got some more information for you. I?m afraid none of the
creams/ointments are totally free of side effects. Xyzal does not
appear to be sold in the US or the UK. I found few sites about it, and
they were in German and French. If you speak either language, I?ll be
happy to supply you with the links. It is made by UCB.
Here is a bit about Xyzall in English, from UCB

From Lumens: The BClear system, a phototherapy treatment, originally
for psoriasis, is now developed for eczema.

About Protopic (Tacrolimus):

This topical cream may take several weeks to see improvement. Even
though your skin may start to get better, its important to continue
using this cream for the time period your doctor recommends. When
using Protopic, you may become sun-sensitive, so stay indoors as much
as possible, or cover up when going outdoors.  Side effects could
include skin infections, swollen lymph nodes, increased skin
sensitivity. Infection with chicken pox, shingles, or cold sores (all
herpes viruses) is possible, and should be reported as soon as
possible to your doctor.

Online Health


Medical Wellness Center

Aristocort(Contains cortisone)
Pharmacy Health

Temovate(Contains cortisone):


DermaSmooth (Contains cortisone and peanut oil)
Hill Derm

Yale NewHaven Health
This page has a list of all cortisone containing creams

Some folks swear by Sorbolene, a non-medicinal, over the counter
barrier lotion from Australia

Vegesorb, a sorbolene like product, made with vegetable oils.
Natures Organics

Eczema and Homeopathy
Dr. Madhavi

 A personal eczema story

The Eczema Society Of Australia recommends moisturizing throughout the day.
Evening Primrose Oil

Oral Antihistamines


Antihistamine Database:

New Zealand Dermatological Society lists many oral antihistamines here:

Better Health

arvin-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00

Subject: Re: food allergy, atopic excema, medicaments
From: crabcakes-ga on 09 Feb 2004 07:48 PST
Thank you arvin, for the tip!

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