Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
December 18, 2014, 12:46:32 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: About using Benadryl...and are there other antihistamines of value to the beek?  (Read 2933 times)
SkepWrangler
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 34

Location: Southern Arizona


« on: July 17, 2012, 05:02:01 AM »

So I recently read the thread on how to administer an Epi-Pen.
I liked the information and the ways the contributors addressed their content.
And it got me thinking: would there ever be a use for Benadryl in my bee-related activities? (There was a lot of mention of Benadryl among the posts.)
As for myself, I have never considered using an antihistamine (for bee stings) because I figure that every sting I get just makes me that much more immune to reactions to future stings.
So a couple of questions, for those who have an opinion:
1. Is Benadryl (diphenhydramine) any better for mitigating the allergic response to bee venom than other antihistamines such as, for example Claratin (Loratadine)?
2. Are there any recommendations you have on what--generally speaking--should be the considerations (for the beekeeper) on taking Benadryl before going into the bee yard?  I ask this because I am mentoring a middle-aged gentleman whose spouse continually advocates that he take Benadryl before working with bees "so that he will have a buffer against the reaction to the stings."  I have a hard time imagining that this is a good policy...unless one wants to be groggy while working a hot and highly detailed....
And I read what NIH has to say to the general public about this antihistamine: Diphenhydramine
Thanks in advance for any enlightened discussion on beekeeper use of Benadryl.
SkepWrangler
Logged
JackM
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 537


Location: Washougal, WA


« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 09:06:15 AM »

I will bite on this.  Benadryl is the workhorse of the anithistamines.  Other antihistimines also work but less 'actively' in my opinion. 

The degree that someone is sensitive to the bee sting, the length of time the stinger is pumping venom in, and other medications all will have different amounts of intensity.  For example I got one sting that I couldn't get the stinger out for about 3-4 minutes.  It just kept pumping in venom.  I was already on Allegra as a daily medication, anyhow I got a pretty good reaction even with benadryl on top of the allegra. 

My wife was given Claritin for some stings, about 1/2 hour after, none had stingers in, and she had no response the next day, no itching at all.

Each persons' body will react differently to the venom and the antihistamines.  This is really a topic one should discuss with their medical team, not folks online. 
Logged

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15317


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 10:11:39 AM »

i have always used benadryl because i have some pretty spectacular reactions   grin  a couple of years ago, it was suggested that i try Loratadine before situations where i might get stung...removals, working hot hives, etc.  if there is no sting, no big deal because the Loratadine doesn't make you sleepy.
if i were to get stung, i could follow up with the benadryl later.  i'm with Jack.  i don't think there is anything better.

the idea that getting stung builds your immunity is not completely false, but not necessarily true.  you might, after many stings, suddenly develop a sensitivity and die.  i think it's a good idea to keep benadryl handy.  i keep the childrens liquid everywhere.  barn, car, house.....
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
2Sox
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 169


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2012, 04:12:25 PM »

I use topical 2.5% hydrocortisone or a relatively new topical cream called clobestasol.  It leaves 2.5 hydrocortisone in the dust. Both are generic and are easy to get at the pharmacy with a script.  Recently during a cut out, I got zinged on the chin through my veil (it was too close to my face) twice in the same spot.  (Took about 4 or 5 stings that day. Real pissy bees.) After some choice words, I rubbed in some clobestasol right away.  Got a little swelling, slight pain but it was over a couple of hours later.  Took one tablet of chlorpheniramine before bed for extra measure. Gentle medication and it does what it's supposed to do.   I react badly to Benedryl - disorientation, drowsiness - so I avoid it at all costs.

I've been stung while on Allegra and it seems to make the affect less severe.  But I wouldn't take it prophylacticaly for that reason.
Logged

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15317


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2012, 04:27:14 PM »

Quote
But I wouldn't take it prophylacticaly for that reason.

good point and i wouldn't either if i didn't have massive swelling....sometimes to the point of weeping skin. 
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
2Sox
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 169


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 04:43:29 PM »

Kathy,

I know what you mean.  My wife develops blisters when she is stung!
Logged

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
Javin
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 158

Location: North Virginia


« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 04:56:19 PM »

good point and i wouldn't either if i didn't have massive swelling....sometimes to the point of weeping skin. 

Ahhhh, and I thought it was just me.  I took a sting to the finger a while back that was such a bad reaction that I sincerely thought my skin was going to split.  I'd never had a swelling reaction like that before, and I even took benadryl twice to try and get the swelling down.  (And I am NOT one to take meds... Ever.)  The skin started to "seep" and that's when I started to get a little panicky.  I'd never seen that before, and was just sure it was about to rupture and spill hand-meat all over the place. 

Glad to hear someone else has had the experience (in a way... Sorry it happens to you too!)  Been trying to find a way to regularly get stung on purpose so I don't have that kind of reaction again.
Logged
SkepWrangler
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 34

Location: Southern Arizona


« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 05:39:52 PM »

you might, after many stings, suddenly develop a sensitivity and die. 

Thanks KathyP
Thanks. I was indeed hoping to get some new insights, so I'm pleased to see some info that is totally outside my box. 
I had never considered that I might "...suddenly develop a sensitivity...."  I'm not contradicting you, I'm just wondering about the basis for the statement.  Is this commonly accepted amongst beekeepers?  Toxicologists? Allergists? Emergency responders? We don't know because the deceased don't have much to report?  Have we ever buried a beekeeper because he/she got stung in the grocery store parkinglot and went into anaphylactic shock?  Not trying to be sassy here, just wondering....
Well, now that I'm recovering from the shock of your comment, I guess we should treat my question(s) above as somewhat rhetorical.  I've learned a lot on this site...but now my mind is blown...I typically get stung 4 or 5 days a week, sometimes as many as 200 stings in a day.  I always tell myself "...now you are that much more immune." And "Wonder how many stings I can handle in a day until I get a lasting response?" (Sorry if this is in the TMI category, too much [personal] info.)
Do I understand you to be saying, in some degree, that "There is such a range in human responses that one never knows how a given person may respond in the future?"
Again, thanks,
SkepWrangler
Logged
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15317


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 06:36:09 PM »

Quote
The skin started to "seep" and that's when I started to get a little panicky.  I'd never seen that before, and was just sure it was about to rupture and spill hand-meat all over the place. 


ice it or do cold water soaks.  use anti-inflammatory meds like motrin or aspirin.

 
Quote
Been trying to find a way to regularly get stung on purpose so I don't have that kind of reaction again.

do not be sure this will work.  in all these years it has not worked for me...although i have not gotten worse.

Quote
  I'm not contradicting you, I'm just wondering about the basis for the statement.  Is this commonly accepted amongst beekeepers?  Toxicologists? Allergists? Emergency responders? We don't know because the deceased don't have much to report?  Have we ever buried a beekeeper because he/she got stung in the grocery store parkinglot and went into anaphylactic shock?  Not trying to be sassy here, just wondering....

yes, it is commonly accepted...as you can suddenly develop an allergy to many other things.  beekeepers do die from stings after many years of beekeeping....as do other people who have been stung in the past with little or no reaction.  sometimes a body will develop a resistance to a thing once exposed.  sometimes it will go the other way and develop a sensitivity.

Quote
"There is such a range in human responses that one never knows how a given person may respond in the future?"

more or less   Wink
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
2Sox
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 169


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 06:52:51 PM »

"200 stings in a day"  Is this a typo? Were you wearing protective gear?

The only person I know who would be able to get that many stings in a day is "the naked beekeeper" - who BTW really exists.

How did it happen?

Logged

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
SkepWrangler
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 34

Location: Southern Arizona


« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 07:26:16 PM »

"200 stings in a day"  Is this a typo? Were you wearing protective gear?
Well 2Sox, it isn't a typo, so I hope I'm not establishing myself as some kind of nut case.
There ARE a lot of Africanized colonies here.  Sometimes, if wearing just a commercial bee suit and just commercial beekeeper leather gloves, the whole colony will become agitated. The gloves get so stung up, they look fuzzy. I had that once last week. I changed gloves and they didn't bother the new glove as much.
Here's an example of a recent 200-sting day. The first dozen or maybe 20 happened when I decided I needed a particular photo, which I couldn't take with a gloved hand, so presto, a good photo and a quickly-replaced glove.  Then the veil came in contact with my neck, another dozen.  Later I bent over and my chin came in contact with the veil.  By late in the day, it reached about 200. Then there are those that hide on your clothes until you go inside and take off the protective gear. Once they get the idea they can "do some good" as I seem to hear them say, they pile on. 
In order to not have a 100-plus sting day once in every week, I typically wear gear I have adapted myself from rugby shirts/etc. instead of just commercial bee suits, which are known to be inadequate.  So yes, 200 stings are not an uncommon experience.  On such days, the family doesn't even notice at the dinnertable. 
On one occasion, moving an apiary, a tie-down strap failed.  We affectionately refer to our experience as "smokeless nightime roadside beekeeping with Africanized colonies."  It was some multiple of 200 that night, and at breakfast, the family DID notice, but it quickly passed (without considering using Benadryl) so I figure I'm just that much more immune?
The good part about such colonies is they never, ever have any trace of varroa nor any other maladies.  And they produce more than twice the honey of the average "EHB" hive in Arizona.  I consider them "bulletproof" but some of them can be a bit ornery.
Maybe I should've just said "...not a typo."
SkepWrangler
Logged
2Sox
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 169


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 07:35:49 PM »

That is one heck of a story!.  I sure would not have liked to have been you at those times. And I definitely would prefer pissy EHBs over AHBs any day!  My all time high was about eleven in a day and I was wondering how it would affect me later on.  I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary.



Logged

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism
hardwood
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3482


Location: Osteen, Fl (just south of Daytona)

Alysian Apiaries youtube.com/MrBeedude


« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 09:58:34 PM »

Skep, my father is one of those that developed an allergy to bee venom. He's the one who got me into bees back in the 70's. He kept bees as a hobby and had to give it up one year. A couple of years later he was stung by a bee and had a systemic reaction. That was maybe 20 yrs ago or so and, even after going through two years of shots at the allergist's he still has to carry an epipen wherever he goes.

Scott
Logged

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Nature Coast Beek
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 124


Location: Florida, Nature Coast

Suck it up, buttercup!


WWW
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 07:37:37 AM »

OP, haven't read thread...

Benadryl is a first generation antihistamine. It is a wide spectrum antihistamine which simply means it will block many more allergens than the likes of Allegra, Zyrtec and Claratin, next-generation antihistamines. One of the biggest side effects of first generation antihistamines is causing drowsiness (Benadryl, diphenhydramine is a main ingredient in most over-the-counter "PM" medications). If one were to have an allergic reaction, a serious one, and went to an ER they would treat with epinephrine and fast-acting Benadryl administered through shots (ask me how I know Wink ).

Delivery:
Oral tablet of any med is the slowest form for release. Capsule is next fastes and gel-tab is faster acting yet. Elixir form is the fastest release of oral meds. Of course shots are one of the fastest of all delivery methods. Children's Benadryl can be found in elixir form. Note: Benadryl is safe for canine consumption and can be used to treat Fido if concerned.

Allergies build over time and can become worse with age. Many people do find general allergies developing in middle age when they were never allergic before. Just because a person is presently not allergic to something DOES NOT MEAN THEY WILL NOT BECOME ALLERGIC at some point. Allergies and allergic reactions are all about exposure and exposure levels. Too much exposure over a brief amount of time without having built up a tolerance through previous exposure is the recipe for developing allergic reactions (reason why a beek could become allergic one day when they previously weren't allergic...too many stings too fast or too many stings which cause residual antihistamine build up to increase and stick around). Of course all allergies and reactions are specific to individual and the nature of the exposure.

Yes, you can use other antihistamines to treat your allergy exposure. It is usually a good idea to either randomize or alternate your choice of next-gen. antihistamines over time since their effectiveness can wane with use. Often people find that a specific next-gen antihistamine works better than another, hence the reason to alternate.

Best course of action when stung is to remove stinger, cool area to minimize swelling (ice) and get some sort of antihistamine on board, the wider the spectrum the better. Having an antihistamine on board before exposure can and will help with easing allergic reaction intensity. Epi-pens should not be USED unless there is a KNOWN severe allergy or OCCURING severe reaction. Hope this helps. 

 
Logged

SkepWrangler
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 34

Location: Southern Arizona


« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2012, 08:44:19 AM »

He kept bees as a hobby and had to give it up one year. A couple of years later he was stung by a bee and had a systemic reaction. Scott
Thank you Scott.  I really appreciate knowing about an actual event of a beekeeper becoming allergic.  I don't imagine I'm next in line to drop out of the business, but ever since reading the Epi-Pen post, I think about it every sting I get.
So, trying to get a handle on the significance of the allergic reaction of a former hobbyist beekeeper without trying to pry too much into your father's personal medical history:
1. Would you say he, prior to developing the allergy, had been stung enough to consider himself immune, hence his developing the allergy was unexpected? (Versus "he was a hobbyist beekeeper but back then, the bees were so gentle and he wore such protective gear that he wouldn't have known he was allergic because he never let himself get stung.")
2. Did he "...have to give it up..." in in the wake of a particular allergic event, such as a snakebite or massive stinging event by which he became suddenly sensitized beyond his hobbyist level of immunity?
3. Do you figure "it was just in the cards he was dealt" that he was able to get stung occasionally over the course of x years and then he became allergic?
I'm very curious to know if there is more to your dad's story.
Best regards,
SkepWrangler
Logged
JackM
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 537


Location: Washougal, WA


« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2012, 09:02:54 AM »

Quote
But I wouldn't take it prophylacticaly for that reason.

good point and i wouldn't either if i didn't have massive swelling....sometimes to the point of weeping skin.  

Me too if they really get me.  BUT they don't always get to pump in a lot of venom, and those stings don't do much more than itch.

Now to address the build up immunity/have true allergic response.  One can go to an allergist and get sensitivity shots, which is similar to getting the small stings on a regular basis.  This causes the body to build up a 'tolerance' to the venom, but even during those shots the doctors advise you to keep an epi pen, and watch you closely after the shots.

The true allergic reaction will have shortness of breath, sweating, high heart rate, light headedness, low blood pressure, swelling airways, maybe vomiting.  This will happen in usually 5-20 minutes after exposure and can end in death in as little as 5-6 minutes if not dealt with properly.

Best this is to wear protection and be careful if you have a severe response like Kathy describes.  Again, if the stinger actually penetrates, how long it is in pumping, how many pumps it makes, etc., all are factors in how great the response is.  
All the medications listed are functional for the issue, and like one said, what works best for you?

(I do not advise just getting stings to build up a tolerance, it could backfire, go to the doc)
Logged

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast” – Ronald Reagan
hardwood
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3482


Location: Osteen, Fl (just south of Daytona)

Alysian Apiaries youtube.com/MrBeedude


« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2012, 09:42:00 AM »

Skep, I would say he took maybe 3-4 stings a week over the course of years and never had a problem...no unusual reactions...until after he gave them up.

Scott
Logged

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
David McLeod
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 701


Location: Hampton

Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution


WWW
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2012, 10:17:20 AM »

I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet but I do try to stay informed. As others have said all of the literature and actual case histories point to the possibility of both build up of some sort of immunity and the sudden onset of life threatening reations. Now not knowing which may happen has led me to always be conscious of what might happen, even though my own mild to no noticable reactions tend to make me complacent, I do keep a bottle of childrens benadryl onhand at all times and will be picking up a scrip for an epipen. I seriously think that we as beekeepers really do need to keep it in mind that our very next sting may be our last and behave accordingly. Not just from the what medication to keep on hand but to letting folks know where we will be when working with the bees, trying to have a second responsible person on hand, not taking undue risks, knowing the location and numbers of the nearest hospitals. Basically be responsible and educating our loved ones and those around us of the what ifs and how to properly react to life threatening circumstances. It should be SOP just like how to respond to threatening weather and other natural calamities.
Logged

Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
Javin
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 158

Location: North Virginia


« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2012, 10:29:57 AM »

The true allergic reaction will have shortness of breath, sweating, high heart rate, light headedness, low blood pressure, swelling airways, maybe vomiting.

You just perfectly described the morning after a typical Friday night for me.
Logged
David McLeod
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 701


Location: Hampton

Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution


WWW
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2012, 10:34:59 AM »

I have a colleague near here that is probably the best herper (snake catcher/collector) in the state and he has a rather extensive collection of hots (venomous snakes). His protocol for handling hots is rather serious and he has a set in stone method. Each cage is locked, the room is locked and he never enters that room without notifying a responsible person that he is doing so. Only one lock is open at any given time. He also has compiled a rather extensive three ring binder that contains a folder on each species contained in that room to include identification of the species with full color photos, the full description of the type of venom of that species, full description of symptoms of envenomation and a complete set of current medical protocols for treatment of envenomation along with sources and locations of antivenin. There are two copies of this binder, one that is located outside of the room and in the possession of the responsible party to be made available to first responders and medical personnel and the other is on a chain and worn around his neck while actually in the room. The one he wears will be open to the folder of the species he is currently handling so that in the event he is rendered unconscious first responders will know which species and which treatment protocol.

Now I'm not saying beeks need to go to this length but this guy loves his family and wants to come home to them each night. I hope we do too. Be careful, please.
Logged

Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.45 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page December 17, 2014, 02:36:13 PM
anything