Allergic Reactions and Extrapyramidal Symptoms

Different symptoms, similar treatment.

Some of the most commonly-used and prescribed medications can also cause severe allergic reactions with similar treatments but very different appearances.

Allergic Reactions to Ibuprofen, Naproxen or other NSAIDs

Ibuprofen, naproxen and NSAIDs are all used to reduce inflammation and relieve mild to moderate pain. They are all used to treat and relieve symptoms associated with a variety of ailments including dental pain, muscle aches and strains, arthritis and fever. These medications are produced under a variety of generic and brand names, which can make it difficult for patients with allergies looking to avoid them.

In rare cases, these medications can cause severe allergic reactions almost immediately after consumption. What do the symptoms include?

  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath

Another dangerous reaction to these painkillers and anti-inflammatories can include extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS). These symptoms are much more subtle and can be very frightening for patients experiencing them. They can include:

  • Uncontrolled muscle spasms and contractions in the head, neck, torso and limbs
  • Restless energy
  • Tremors
  • Stiff posture
  • Uncontrolled facial movements including blinking or chewing
  • Irregular breathing

How Can These Reactions Be Treated?

Treating these frightening reactions can be done in a few different ways. Of course, once a reaction has been recorded, it’s important for patients to avoid using these medications again until their doctor has time to order testing and make recommendations. If the patient is experiencing extrapyramidal symptoms, drug interactions and tapering will often be considered before stopping the drug entirely. In other cases, diphenhydramine and diazepam can be used to calm extrapyramidal symptoms.

Prepare for Allergic Reactions and Improve Patient Safety with Vetters Enterprises

Vetters Enterprises specializes in practice management, private practice business support and revenue cycle optimization. We can perform in-depth assessments of your practice or facility and identify potential issues. Let us keep your business as healthy as you keep your patients! Give us a call at (443) 352-0088.

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