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Systemic Immediate Hypersensitive Reactions after Treatment with Sweet Bee Venom: A Case Report

Journal: Journal of Pharmacopuncture (Vol.18, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 59-62

Keywords : anaphylaxis; bee venom; hypersensitivity reaction; sweet bee venom; systemic immediate;

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Objectives: A previous study showed that bee venom (BV) could cause anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity reactions. Although hypersensitivity reactions due to sweet bee venom (SBV) have been reported, SBV has been reported to be associated with significantly reduced sensitization compared to BV. Although no systemic immediate hypersensitive response accompanied by abnormal vital signs has been reported with respect to SBV, we report a systemic immediate hypersensitive response that we experienced while trying to use SBV clinically. Methods: The patient had undergone BV treatment several times at other Oriental medicine clinics and had experienced no adverse reactions. She came to acupuncture & moxibustion department at Semyung university hospital of Oriental medicine (Je-cheon, Korea) complaining of facial hypoesthesia and was treated using SBV injections, her first SBV treatment. SBV, 0.05 cc, was injected at each of 8 acupoints, for a total of 0.40 cc: Jichang (ST4), Daeyeong (ST5), Hyeopgeo (ST6), Hagwan (ST7), Yepung (TE17), Imun (TE21), Cheonghoe (GB2), and Gwallyeo (SI18). Results: The patient showed systemic immediate hypersensitive reactions. The main symptoms were abdominal pain, nausea and perspiration, but common symptoms associated with hypersensitivity, such as edema, were mild. Abdominal pain was the most long-lasting symptom and was accompanied by nausea. Her body temperature decreased due to sweating. Her diastolic blood pressure could not be measured on three occasions. She remained alert, though the symptoms persisted. The following treatments were conducted in sequence; intramuscular epinephrine, 1 mg/mL, injection, intramuscular dexamethasone, 5 mg/mL, injection, intramuscular buscopan, 20 mg/mL, injection, oxygen (O2) inhalation therapy, 1 L/minutes, via a nasal prong, and intravascular injection of normal saline, 1 L. After 12 hours of treatment, the symptoms had completely disappeared. Conclusion: This case shows that the use of SBV does not completely eliminate the possibility of hypersensitivity and that patients who received BV treatment before may also be sensitized to SBV. Thus, a skin test should be given prior to using SBV.

Last modified: 2015-12-30 10:40:43