Pediatric Serum Sickness Medication

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Tova Ronis, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

The objective of medical therapy is to ameliorate the symptoms that result from deposition of the immune complexes in the various tissues. Antihistamines are useful in controlling urticarial lesions. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to treat fever and minor musculoskeletal symptoms. Corticosteroids are necessary to treat the more severe symptoms.

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Antihistamines

Class Summary

These agents are used to treat urticaria and pruritus. Classic H1-blocker antihistamines block the histamine-mediated increase in vascular permeability. Some second-generation antihistamines may also reduce the release of vasoactive amines.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Anti-Hist, Aler-Tab, Diphen)

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic and sedative adverse effects. It is used for treatment of allergic reactions.

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Class Summary

This class of drugs acts by inhibiting cyclooxygenase, thereby blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are powerful mediators of inflammation. These drugs are useful in relieving fever and musculoskeletal pain.

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Provil)

Ibuprofen is a member of the propionic acid group of NSAIDs. It has moderate efficacy and a good safety profile and is used in children for various conditions, including fever and arthritis. To avoid gastrointestinal (GI) complications, it should be taken with food.

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Corticosteroids

Class Summary

These agents elicit anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. They modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Prednisone

Prednisone is a corticosteroid with salt-retention properties that is used for its potent anti-inflammatory effects. Because of its well-known adverse effects, it is used only in cases in which the systemic symptoms are severe.

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