Evening everyone I am looking for advise please I have had another eventful day at a&e following yet another allergy attack, . This time despite still have blocked ears due to they think allergy. I took my vitamins (just started a week ago) and some decongestant tablets prescribed by gp (started on Thursday) Within 15 min I had a strange burning sensation in my tummy which just lasted a few seconds and then my face started to burn… I have never ad this feeling before but was quite worried and took myself and all drugs used with me to hospital. My arms started to look as though I would come out in hives so I took allergy tablet before I went Blood test were done an after a few hours they said all my bloods were fine, even white blood cells and given oral steriods as they felt it was an acute allergic reaction. They said to get an epipen from gp. Apart from that I elt ok I do have other factors other than the drugs, one I had just put on a face cream about 10 mins before and the other is I have tested positive to cats and I do have to but only enter the room they are in infrequently and they ave a pen outside. Are allergies more common in ms people and any suggestions what might ave occurred. Many thanks Helen


No, allergies are have not been shown to be more common with MS. Although both are problems with the immune system, the immune system is vast and complex, and it’s completely different aspects of it. No correlation has ever been found.

It is possible to develop allergies to things that have previously been OK, though. My dad didn’t have hayfever at all, as a youth or young boy, but was very severely affected from about his mid-twenties onwards. A friend of mine - well actually, my mother’s friend - in her 70s - had enjoyed kiwi fruit all her life, then suddenly became rampantly allergic to them. So you can become allergic to anything, at any time.

If you ever use hair colour, you’ll notice the instructions insist you ALWAYS do a patch test 24 hours before use (I’m very slack at this), even if you’ve safely used exactly the same stuff many times before. So they’re worried you could have become allergic, since last use. It’s also possible to have had a “sensitising event”. I notice most hair colours say you are more likely to have an allergic reaction if you’ve EVER had a henna tattoo (not just recently). So there must be something about it that primes the immune system, in some people.

I’m not saying your problems stem from having a henna tattoo, which you’d certainly know if you’d had, but there may have been some similar sensitising event. My dad always thought his hayfever began only after he’d had an unusually severe allergic reaction to an insect bite - it swelled up like an egg. Can’t prove the two were connected, but he always felt there was a link (and he was an industrial chemist, so not one for mad speculation).

I wonder if you are allergic to something like gelatin, which although not the active ingredient, is used in the manufacture of a lot of drugs? It would be interesting to see if the decongestants list gelatin among the ingredients, as it’s quite a common allergy trigger. But there is almost certainly gelatin in the vitamin supplements too. If you were taking them for a week with no reaction, it’s much more likely to be something that was only in the decongestants.

I wonder if the patient information leaflet lists a reaction like yours as a rare but possible side-effect?