Apparently, serum sickness is nothing but a delayed response to certain anti-serums or medications that is more common with children, a type of hypersensitivity reaction to certain medications, you may say. Well, Pediatric serum sickness is a rare possibility these days primarily due to the limited use of antitoxins, but it is still seen amongst children taking the antibiotic of penicillin and others like fluoxetine, cephalosporings, to name a few.
Causes and Symptoms
Pediatric Serum Sickness is like any other allergy you get which occurs when the body misinterprets the protein of the serum as something harmful to t he body and activates the immune system to battle it out and commonly occurs in children. Symptoms vary from individual to individual though initial ones include redness and itching around the injected area. These could be followed by joint pain, malaise, swollen lymph nodes, flushing, wheezing, diarrhea and more.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnosis is based on the symptoms primarily and if the doctor suspects it to be a drug reaction, medical tests are not required. In case of doubt lab tests are considered and in rare cases biopsy. The diagnosis is positive if the lab tests show increase in WBC, proteinuria on UA, ESR and CRP while positive results for biopsy include perivascular neutrophils and eosinophils invasion as well as lymphocytic vasculities with decrotic debris.
A medical treatment is needed when such a conditions occurs even though it is said to subside within a week or 10 days, in rare cases it could cause serious nervous system disorders anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction.
In order to subside the symptoms or reduce them, medications like analgesics, medications to relieve you from the itching caused and corticosteroids like prednisone only in serious cases are prescribed by the consulting doctor.
Home remedies – Do’s and Don’ts
The traditional acupuncture therapy could be tried as it is known to be an effective means of decreasing the body’s sensitivity towards the allergic reactions.
Generally, intake of food rich in vitamin B, iron, anti-oxidants and avoiding meats, cold water fish, refined foods, coffee, to name a few, is a good idea. Drinking around 8 glasses of water and exercising for 30 minutes daily also helps a lot. But, you need to talk to your health consultant before trying out nutrient and supplement intakes.
A massage is a strict no no as a treatment for serum sickness because it not only aggravates the inflammations, but might lower the blood pressure as well.
Well, Pediatric serum sickness is generally considered to be a self limited disease that usually gets cured automatically on stopping the respective drug intake. Having said that, consulting your doctor is still highly recommended for avoiding complications, pain relief and speedy recovery of your child.