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Avatar universal

Fed UP!!!! But still fighting!

I posted a while ago about an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite and you all were a great deal of help.  That situation resolved but, unfortunately, it's still summer and mosquitoes still exist.  Since the last post I have been bitten again twice.  Both times I caught the little fiend as she was sticking her putrid poisonous proboscis into me and I executed the monster.  But not in time to avoid the consequence of the bite.  Apparently, I got it fast enough to avoid the huge swelling, unfortunately, other effects developed.  Within an hour of a bite the intolerable symptoms of interferon use descend on me.  I get exhausted, the fog controls my brain, and flu aches start.  There's nothing to be done but go lie down.   And that's not always an option, one of the monsters was waiting for me in the office when I showed up for work and it took several hours to find someone to come take over.  

I talked to the doctor's office (never the doctor, he's too busy) and the feeling there is that this is just one of the side effects of treatment that I get to enjoy.  And I think they are right.  I've looked all over this site and the internet to try and understand this situation.  Most of the stuff I can find on the internet is way beyond my ability to understand, but hypersensitivity to mosquito saliva is a real thing.  It somehow causes the cells to release interferon and so it makes sense that since I'm injecting interferon for tx all this extra my body is dumping would add up to horrible side effects for a bit.  And on this site I have found (very few) others who have had unreasonable reactions to allergies (or allergy shots) and the reactions seem similar to mine.  When I can lie down for a few hours things calm down and the side effects subside.

A couple of days ago I intended to write that this was all too much and I just couldn't take it any more.  Good bye, good luck, all that.  But I was too wiped out to write.  Today, now that I'm feeling better, I'm writing to say that though this is no fun I am tough enough to continue and finish this tx.  And I'm writing because I had such a hard time searching for information through all this (using a fogged brain) that I wanted to post something so that some future person starting a search for allergic reaction could find this and see that it's just another side effect.  

And I'm wondering about the unexplained bad days we all have from time to time.  I know about this allergy and can see a causal relationship between a bite and horrible malaise.  Now I'm wondering if some of other people's bad days could be exposure to a mild allergy they may not even know about?  Or, maybe I am making too much of this.

8 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
Hang in there Carol; sorry to hear you’re getting whacked like this from the mosquitoes. Have you tried popping a benadryl yet? You can buy them generically from WalMart or the local drug store under the name ‘diphenhydramine’ for four or five bucks; they’re generally considered very liver safe, and I doubt they’d hurt to try.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anyone else that experienced this as a result of interferon use, so there’s not a lot of guidance from others on the topic. Did you have problems previously with them? In the tropics, you can buy candles and smoky incense cones that keep mosquitoes at bay; we might have to take up a collection around here and buy you a net for your bed, too :o).

Here’s an article on bug bites from Mayo; maybe something in there will help?


Good luck, gal—

Avatar universal
Congratulations on getting the little monsters and doing away with them.  It makes perfectly sense to me that because of this treatment, a mosquito bite could cause adverse reactions that normally would not be bother you.  With a mosquito bite, remember, your body is being attacked by an outside invader.  

I'm wondering about those unexplained bad days that we all have from time to time too.  For the most part, I haven't suffered any physical ill effects, but I had an emotional storm over the weekend that was intense, causing a great deal of mental anguish.  Also, today, I can't pinpoint what is wrong, but I just feel blah.  I don't have a headache, I'm not suffering nausea, I really can't find the words to describe it, other than I just don't feel good.  

I also feel reclusive -- it is hard to talk to people, and I just don't feel like it.  It is hard to open my mouth and just talk.  Nothing seems to interest me.  I feel the mental fog and I catch myself just sitting and staring at the walls.  

I'm glad you are hanging in there -- you will get through this.  Nothing in life stays constant, it is forever changing.  

Do you live in a moist climate?  Is there any mosquito-repellant medication that you can spray on any exposed body parts that would ward off this pest?  I'm not even sure that would even be a good idea -- maybe you could ask your doctor, or a pharmacist about it.  

Take care,

Avatar universal
Hi Carol,

Sorry you are going through this. Something just doesn't add up. Have you always been allergic to the bites?

Please don't take this wrong but I think this may be in your head and may just be the anxiety of getting bit. What you describe can be symptoms from the treatment drugs. I would think that what is happening to you has more to do with the tx drugs then anything to do with the mosquito bite.

Just my opinion.

In the mean time I would use mosquito repellent rest of the summer.

Best of luck
Avatar universal
I've always been allergic to mosquitoes and they have always caused huge welts when they bite me.  They will pass over any number of tempting arms and legs (belonging to other people) to torture me and no bug spray I have found keeps them away.  I am considering a net outfit though.  Head to toe!!!

A couple of weeks ago one bit me on the face.  It resulted in several times the usual swelling and, as another put it, horrible disfigurement.  The maximum allowable dose of benadryl through that day and the next brought me back to normal.  I did not feel at all well though.  And then when the next bit me and I felt the same sick, it just seemed obvious why.  I called the doctor and they, again, suggested benadryl.  I wasn't sure I had communicated how bad I felt so I started looking for answers myself.  

Somewhere on this site is someone who needed allergy shots and had excessive swelling and the same symptoms I have:  brain fog, exhaustion, and a flu like feeling.  AHA!, I thought.  So then I started looking for mosquito allergies on the internet.  Don't ever put in "hep c treatment and mosquito allergy" because all you'll find is that mosquitoes don't spread hep c.  But there is information out there on mosquito hypersensitivity and what it does (very seldom anaphylaxis).  The mosquito saliva, for those of us with hypersensitivity, causes the immune system to attack and part of that attack is interferon.  And the symptoms that follow a bite sure feel like an interferon reaction to me.  I can't explain the process properly, most of what I read was over my head, but this is happening to me, and for whatever it's worth, I'm not usually prone to hysterics.  I will admit to some overreactions while treating, but I don't think this is one of those times.  I'm calm now.  Shoot, I read that hyper sensitives such as myself are more likely to get Dengue fever if bitten by an infected mosquito and I'm not at all worried about that because it isn't around here.

I live in ranch country.  The irrigation ditches make for great mosquito breeding grounds and there is no avoiding them.  

If I'm crazy and this is all in my head that would be a good thing.  But my doctor, even though he hasn't seen me, thinks it tx and allergic reaction.  My limited research ability bears out his opinion.  So until convinced otherwise, I think I will start shopping for netting ;)

Avatar universal
Thanks for clarifying. If you were allergic all along then that is different. Sorry I cant help with any other suggestions.

I do remember before I treated that mosquitoes just loved me and no one else would get bit but me. Maybe there is something with the HCV infected blood that they like. Or many people with HCV have higher glucose and maybe they like the extra "sugar" in the blood?

Oh well hope it gets better for you.

Avatar universal
You that OFF has that new clip on thing that is supposed to repel them without having to appy thing to yourself.  Avon's Skin So Soft is also another good non chemcial repellent.  HTH!
1118724 tn?1357014191
FWIW. The story goes if you see the mosquito bite you, hold your breath. It closes the pore holding the plunger long enough for the poison to be injected and withdrawn! Of course, it fixes the mosquito in place allowing instant death OR easy capture for late night mosquito dissection parties. Don't know this would help your allergies but come on, the dissection thing sounds good eh?

I admire your decision to hang tough. Lots of people here to help through the low spots. All the very best.
Avatar universal
My uncle's version of that story, shared with me when I was twelve, was that if the mosquito is allowed to drink his fill he will pull the poison out for future use.  One beautiful summer evening he coached me through watching mosquito after mosquito drink his fill on the open bar of my arms.  I didn't sleep that night since I had two inch welts overlapping other two inch welts.  Now, I don't go for the capture.  They must die!!!!

Interestingly, if you are not allergic, mosquito bites that do not carry diseases offer some immunity to a bite from a mosquito carrying a disease.  Your immune system gets used to the mosquito saliva and recognizes anything else introduced immediately.  

Sorry for going off topic.  I'm kind of obsessed lately.

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