December 9, 2022

Woman goes into anaphylactic shock after using popular oral painkiller: ‘It felt like swallowing a telephone pole’ | Tracey Madness

* This is a work of non-fiction based on actual events which I have witnessed firsthand; used with permission.

I have crowded teeth. Sometimes they hurt. It’s a pain I’ve compared to teething pain, or the feeling you get when your wisdom teeth try to break through the surface of your gums. Until recently, I always kept a bottle or tube of oral painkiller with the active ingredient benzocaine on hand.

One day my mother decided to borrow my benzocaine without asking. Borrowing things without asking wouldn’t normally be a problem for me. She is welcome in everything I own.

The problem was that she wasn’t following instructions.

“Never use a product without following the directions,” my mom said. “I learned my lesson when I exceeded the recommended amount of an oral painkiller and ended up going into anaphylactic shock.”

My mother had a sore mouth where her dentures were rubbing. She knows I always have something for everything, so she went through my stuff to see if I had anything that could help. It was then that she found this product, which I intentionally do not call by name.

The day started well. My mom was expecting a family member for a visit, and she was freshly showered and ready for her day. Everything was fine except for a painful little bump inside his mouth.

My mother applied the oral painkiller once, twice, and three times, using progressively larger amounts to numb the pain. Then she went into the kitchen to make roast beef for lunch.

She didn’t get very far before she noticed that her lips were starting to swell. They felt pout. Every time she looked in the mirror, her lips appeared larger than the last time. Then her throat started to tingle.

My mother was flabbergasted that something as simple as an oral painkiller could have such intense side effects. Then she started whistling.

“I felt like I was swallowing a telephone pole,” she told me. “My throat was so tight.”

I called 911. The paramedics came and injected him with epinephrine. Twice. Then they gave her Benadryl intravenously and rushed her to the hospital with their sirens blaring and their lights on. Fortunately, the treatments worked. She was in the hospital all day and her lips were still visibly swollen when she got home, but she was alive.

I wrote a letter to the company that produces the oral painkiller that sent my mother to the hospital. I asked if they would compensate my mother for medical expenses not covered by her insurance.

Since my mother has excellent insurance, her uncovered medical expenses were a single prescription for an epi-pen to keep with her in case of anaphylaxis: $690. We thought it was the least they could do, but they sent us a letter saying their policy was not to pay for such things, and a long form for their research and development team to fill out. about my mother’s allergic reaction. We have chosen not to complete the form.

Although I never suffered any side effects from the product, I decided to stop using it myself. I don’t even want it in the house.

Have you or someone you know ever suffered from anaphylaxis? It’s terrifying and deadly. Comments are welcome.