Severe Drug Allergy - Michelle's Story

MichelleMichelle has faced a severe allergic reaction to drugs, known as DRESS, drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms, several times in her life.

“I was 38 when I had my first experience with DRESS. I had just had heart bypass surgery. I was given antibiotics to help clear up an infection. I remember the pain being excruciating, my body swelling, my skin being very sore to touch and very red. I actually blistered in a few places. it felt like I had had third degree burns. I couldn’t hold knives or forks to feed myself, I couldn’t do anything for myself without being in excruciating pain.

“My second experience with DRESS was when I was 40 years old and had just had lap band surgery. Even after having tests for allergies to different antibiotics, I still must’ve come in contact with something I was allergic to. It wasn’t as severe as my first experience for my skin but I did come out in a very red rash all over my body and my kidneys did deteriorate a lot during this time.

“My third experience with DRESS was a year later. It was while I was having some scans (fortunately in hospital) and I came in contact with contrast for one of the tests. I believe that caused the DRESS. It seems that each time DRESS attacks my body it deteriorates and my health does not recover as well.

“If I could help one person by not going through the pain of DRESS through the information being gathered I would 100% be there. It is not only the patient but their families that go through this”, she writes. 

Read more about Dr Jason Trubiano and the Austin Health research team here...

Content created October 2019

©2019 Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia