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Fire Ant Bites Medication

  • Author: James P Ralston, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
 
Updated: Oct 08, 2014
 

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.

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Antihistamines

Class Summary

These agents are for mild-to-severe reactions.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Benylin)

 

Diphenhydramine is used for symptomatic relief of symptoms caused by release of histamine in allergic reactions.

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Class Summary

These agents relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Ibuprofen (Ibuprin, Advil, Motrin)

 

Ibuprofen inhibits inflammatory reactions and pain by decreasing prostaglandin synthesis.

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Corticosteroids

Class Summary

These agents have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. Corticosteroids modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli. A short course may be used for severe local reactions.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Sterapred)

 

Prednisone may decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity. Many dosing regimens have been used.

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Anaphylaxis treatment kit

Class Summary

This agent is used for anaphylaxis reactions.

Epinephrine (EpiPen, Adrenalin)

 

Epinephrine is the drug of choice for treating anaphylactoid reactions. It has alpha-agonist effects that include increased peripheral vascular resistance, reversed peripheral vasodilatation, systemic hypotension, and vascular permeability. Beta-agonist effects of epinephrine include bronchodilatation, chronotropic cardiac activity, and positive inotropic effects.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

James P Ralston, MD President, Dermatology Center of McKinney

James P Ralston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Ronald P Rapini, MD Professor and Chair, Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Distinguished Chernosky Professor and Chair of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston

Ronald P Rapini, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Society for Investigative Dermatology, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Received royalty from Elsevier publishers for independent contractor; May receive consulting fee from FDA panel for consulting in future, since I am on one of their committees, but at this time so far have received zero from FDA.

Specialty Editor Board

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L Foster School of Medicine

Michael J Wells, MD, FAAD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Jeffrey J Miller, MD Associate Professor of Dermatology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; Staff Dermatologist, Pennsylvania State Milton S Hershey Medical Center

Jeffrey J Miller, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology, Association of Professors of Dermatology, North American Hair Research Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Joe Alcock, MD, MS Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Joe Alcock, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Daniel J Hogan, MD Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine (Dermatology), Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine; Investigator, Hill Top Research, Florida Research Center

Daniel J Hogan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Dermatology, American Contact Dermatitis Society, Canadian Dermatology Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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  2. Hoffman DR. Ant venoms. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Aug. 10(4):342-6. [Medline].

  3. More DR, Kohlmeier RE, Hoffman DR. Fatal anaphylaxis to indoor native fire ant stings in an infant. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2008 Mar. 29(1):62-3. [Medline].

  4. Smith KE, Fenske NA. Cutaneous manifestations of alcohol abuse. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 Jul. 43(1 Pt 1):1-16; quiz 16-8. [Medline].

  5. Ford JL, Dolen WK, Feger TA, Hoffman DR, Stafford CT. Evaluation of an in vitro assay for fire ant venom-specific IgE. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Sep. 100(3):425-7. [Medline].

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  8. deShazo RD. My journey to the ants. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2009. 120:85-95. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  9. [Guideline] Moffitt JE, Golden DB, Reisman RE, Lee R, Nicklas R, Freeman T, et al. Stinging insect hypersensitivity: a practice parameter update. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct. 114(4):869-86. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  10. Williams DF, deShazo RD. Biological control of fire ants: an update on new techniques. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004 Jul. 93(1):15-22. [Medline].

  11. Lee YC, Wang JS, Shiang JC, Tsai MK, Deng KT, Chang MY. Haemolytic uremic syndrome following fire ant bites. BMC Nephrol. 2014. 15:5. [Medline].

  12. Burroughs R, Elston DM. What's eating you? Fire ants. Cutis. 2005 Feb. 75(2):85-9. [Medline].

  13. Champion RH, Burton JL, Burns DA. Rook/Wilkinson/Ebling Textbook of Dermatology. 6th ed. London, England: Blackwell Science; 1998. Vol 2: 1436-7.

  14. Cotran RS, Kumar V, Collins T, eds. Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 1999. 1212.

  15. Dambro MR, Griffith JA. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999. 570-1.

  16. Ellis AK, Day JH. Clinical reactivity to insect stings. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Aug. 5(4):349-54. [Medline].

  17. Freedberg IM, Eisen AZ, Wolff K, eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 1999. Vol 2: 2693-5.

  18. Odom RB, James WD, Berger TG. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2000. 559.

  19. Rakel RE. Conn's Current Therapy 2000. 52nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2000. 753-5.

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Imported fire ant national distribution map. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Red imported fire ant worker. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Fire ant mound in lawn. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Venom sac and stinger of a fire ant. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Fire ant worker biting and stinging. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Pustules and blisters formed following fire ant stings on the arm. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Pustules and blisters formed following fire ant stings on the hand. From http://fireant.tamu.edu. Reproduced with permission from B.M. Drees, Texas Imported Fire Ant Project Coordinator, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.
Fire ant bites on the foot.
 
 
 
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