The Days of Limitless “Allergies” Are Numbered

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WASHINGTON, DC – Americans have always enjoyed the right to have a limitless numbers of allergies, but after new CMS guidelines were approved this week, all patients will be limited to a maximum of 3 allergies as of January 1, 2015.

Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe“The allergy limitations have been long coming,” says FDA spokesman Bob Ranns.  “Many physicians had predicted a growing problem with our previous, unrestricted allergy system, and in fact we were seeing an increasing number of patients with ludicrously long allergy lists.  If you allow patients to state as many allergies as they want, the list will keep growing indefinitely.”

Allergy drop-down lists in electronic records systems have started to include grass, bad perfume, chocolate, exercise, and even employment.  Anesthesiologist Dr. John Westen has had enough.  “What’s next?” he asks.  “Are we going to add our food preferences and an allergy to mushrooms if we don’t like them?  How am I supposed to anesthetize patients who are allergic to carbon dioxide?”  He added, “Can I be allergic to my mother-in-law?”

Physicians had complained about the time-consuming nature of sifting through allergy lists, so the new allergy regulations limit patients to the three most important allergies of their choice.  Experts feel that this will focus doctors’ limited time on more serious allergies rather than meaningless adverse reactions.

Additionally, doctors will have more options when choosing medications for their patients, as there will be fewer allergies.  This is particularly exciting to emergency medicine physicians, as patients will no longer be able to list allergies to all analgesics other than Dilaudid.

But not everyone is in agreement about limiting allergies.  The most vocal opponents have been gluten-free, non-celiac-disease celebrities.  Tom Cruise passionately believes he has the right to have as many allergies as he wants.  His allergy list currently contains 387 allergies, and he adds more regularly.  “Just last week I ate a burrito at Chipotle and I felt bloated,” he explains.  He also describes an incident of flushing and tachycardia when running, which is why exercise is number 244 on his allergy list.

The Federal Institute of Allergies and Adverse Reactions provides the following simple guide to choosing your 3 allergies:

1. Write down the medications or foods that have previously caused you a near-death reaction and for which you carry an EpiPen.
2. If there are more than 3 items in that list, choose the ones you encounter more often.
3. Avoid situations where you might have encountered your previous allergies so you won’t feel constrained by the allergy limit (hospitals, outdoors, restaurants).

“Allergy restrictions are a step in the right direction,” says Ranns, “but it’s just the beginning.”  Expected to pass in the next legislation is a home medication limit, as well as a medical condition restriction.  Ranns assures the public that “we are on our way to great progress.”

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  • Avatar
    James Milne

    That’s easy… just list NSAIDs as your allergy. If a person’s allergic to fluoroquinolones, we don’t make them list moxi, cipro, levo etc… they just put “fluoroquinolones”.

  • Avatar
    Nicole Moon

    Should we post this on the units?????

  • Avatar
    Jason Butch

    Haha. SMH

  • Avatar
    Mel McKenzie

    Nicole Moon

  • Avatar
    Jill Johnson

    Then educate the person about the differences between side effects and allergies !

  • Avatar
    Jill Johnson

    Not necessarily… gotta look at the whole picture. Foam and paper tape tape- I blister locally (can tolerate paper tape for 10 – 15 minutes, so can handle it post venipuncture). ApoCarotenol (food coloring)- hives and swollen lips. Duricef- periorbital angioedema. BUT, the list of meds that have caused extreme side effects at minimal doses (bradycardic in the 30s “real” enough for you?) is much longer.
    Part of the issue (aside from the drama junkies) is that people don’t know the difference between a true allergy and adverse reactions or extreme side effects (if lawyers did, those late night ads for strokes post-birth control pills wouldn’t exist). It’s up to us to help educate as well as humiliate and judge ;)

  • Avatar
    Ekho Oliver

    I had a patient tell me he was allergic to epinephrine. His reaction was that it made his heart race.

  • Avatar
    Michael Julian

    Turned up in my anaesthetic bay, seriously.
    “And, what can I do for you, then?”

  • Avatar
    PJ Dew

    I think the point being, is that even though it’s a satire (yup, I find a lot of the comments quite funny), there are those of us who do have lots of allergies. See my above posts. I am an auto-immune nightmare.

  • Avatar
    PJ Dew

    Although it is medical satire, I can tell that those of you who have never experienced crippling multiple allergies pretty much believe that we are lying, stupid, or crazy. I totally agree with Cecil Burrows mentioning this, so that you realize that there are those of us who DO have actual multiple allergic or adverse reactions to multiple meds/foods. In the last 3 years, I became allergic to ALL OTC NSAIDS. (I have not tried prescription NSAIDS.). I get hives and angioedema from them that start about 2 days after ingestion and last for about 1 week. I also can’t take Tylenol b/c it interferes with my medical equipment. So, yup, we’re out here and we’re a real pain, but, do you really think I want to have to get a script for Ultram for menstrual cramps when liqui-gel Advils did the trick and are AWESOME for any pain?

  • Avatar
    Brooke Meritt

    This is satire. I doubt the author knows how many allergies Tom Cruise has. It’s a joke.

  • Avatar
    PJ Dew

    I really miss my Advil liqui-gels!!! :(

  • Avatar
    PJ Dew

    Christopher Michael Bourque and Elizabeth Leeman: As one, who in the last 3 years DID become allergic to every single NSAID (I get hives and angioedema-it took 2 years to figure out what was causing it b/c I have a delayed reaction. If I take the ibuprofen on Monday, I get hives and angioedema on Wednesday that last for about 1 week.) This started when I was 42. I’ve taken Ibuprofen all of my life without a problem. I’ve tried every single OTC NSAID and now have the same reaction to all of them. I can’t take Tylenol b/c I wear a DEXCOM CGM sensor (Tylenol interferes with the accuracy of the sensor.) So, now, my endo prescribed me Ultram, which is way more than I need, but the only thing I can take that is not an NSAID, nor narcotic. I’ve been collecting auto-immune diseases over the last decade-T1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s, Oral lichen-planus, and now new allergic reactions to drugs I’ve taken all of my life, so yes, people CAN be allergic to ALL NSAIDs and not be able to take Tylenol. (Again, not allergic-just interferes with my medical equipment. Look it up at Dexcom.com if you don’t believe me.)

  • Avatar
    PJ Dew

    LOL! I’m allergic to that too, then!!

  • Avatar
    Robert Tait

    If only the practice of medicine wasn’t allergic to common sense.

  • Avatar
    Iris Gonzalez

    Propranolol 20 mg: “WAY too strong”

  • Avatar
    John Bercik

    But I’m allergic to everything BUT diuladid!!!!

  • Avatar
    Diana Pasini-Wojnisz

    As an Endo nurse, I’ve heard this a few times!

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Martin Byrd

    Had a patient list “needles” as any allergy. She said she doesn’t like shots. Ugh.

  • Avatar
    Elizabeth Leeman

    yes! yes! yes!!!!!

  • Avatar
    Jaclyn Christine

    Eric Scholten

  • Avatar
    Jaclyn Christine

    Eric Scholten

  • Avatar
    Kelly Curtiss Tompkins

    Well, what about if you have FOUR main ones? Like a small one I know. But seriously Tom Cruise — 244 allergies? Get a life.

  • Avatar
    LeAnn Norton Johnson

    Traci R Swett, when I was a student doing a clinical at Kadkec, I’m sure my instructor chose a certain patient for me as a challenge. She was allergic to seemingly everything, including “city water.” :/

  • Avatar
    Dylan Birkett

    >3 allergies = crazy.

  • Avatar
    Christopher Michael Bourque

    or every NSAID, or tylenol. But suprisingly when the tylenol is in a combination with narcotics, magically that allergy doesn’t exist anymore.

  • Avatar
    Sherri Lapp

    I had a patient state she was allergic to water.

  • Avatar
    Cathy Stratton

    Yes. I was being sarcastic when I said I guess those were her three allowed. LOL

  • Avatar
    Chris Myers

    Even funnier than satire articles…comments from people who believe it’s real bahahaha

  • Avatar
    Jodi Herritt Dreiling

    This confirms my theory that more than 3 equals 0

  • Avatar
    Ken Rakers

    Broccoli is my number. Green grass makes my heart beat fast! :)

  • Avatar
    Angela Rini Wilson

    Gomerblog is medical satire.

  • Avatar
    Robert Turley

    You do realize this is a satire blog?

  • Avatar
    Grace del Real

    Gave her a metallic taste in her mouth, right?

  • Avatar
    Helen Aanstoos

    Need to put warning signs on all call buttons: This call light contains high levels
    of latex, NSAIDS, and other unknown substances.

  • Avatar
    Cecil Burrows

    I have a three page list of drugs I can not take because they cause me to develop R on T which sends me into wide complex V-tach with a pulse. I sure don’t like the idea of a doctor shocking me to reset my heart because they are to lazy to list my allergies in their database.

  • Avatar
    Jackie Hairr

    I had an OB patient tell me she was allergic to Pitocin.

  • Avatar
    Kim Thurston

    Then we need to come up with an a acronym for the “Tylenol, Motrin, tramadol, naproxen” combo that shows up on everyone’s list.

  • Avatar
    Evgueni Minev

    But diet coke is ok! LoL

  • Avatar
    Christy Burlison Shaw

    I had one of those, when I worked in Dialysis no less!

  • Avatar
    Christy Burlison Shaw

    Impressive, even better than “allergic to Norco, but not Lortab”, or vice versa!

  • Avatar
    Amy Bueno Bigbie

    My favorite is a codeine allergy because of nausea.

  • Avatar
    Victoria Morgan

    Remember: administer 0.5 mg of Ativan for each allergy greater then 2

  • Avatar
    Ashish Sud

    3 am. Emergency surgery. Allergic to water… So I tell her: no problem. I’ll add it to ur allergy list

  • Avatar
    Tori Lown Atkins

    Devin Seth

  • Avatar
    Cathy Stratton

    Well..my mom is red dye..hives. IV contrast dye to hives and edema of the face and tongue. She can’t take any medicine with dye. And Ishe gets hives from strawberries. So I guess it’s a good thing she only has 3..I can’t believe Tom Cruise lists 387.

  • Avatar
    Brandy Acklin Bradford

    Absolutely especially when half the list are psych drugs hmmmm

  • Avatar
    Serena Shirley

    I have a patient with allergies to “toradol, tramadol, motrin, tylenol, and codeine” who gets morphine bid and percocet q 4 with no adverse reactions. Hmmmm. She will need to reevaluate.

  • Avatar
    Kimberly Malka

    Ooooo also someone who was allergic to “low dose dilaudid”…. But NOT high dose!

  • Avatar
    Kimberly Malka

    We had someone who was allergic to “Normal Saline”. We told them that was incompatible with life…

  • Avatar
    Nadine Richards Blair

    Best allergen listed when taking a hx….Golytley. Of course I asked what reaction they had and of course it was diarrhea.

  • Avatar
    Denise Wittenbach

    I had someone tell me they were allergic to ALL generic meds. I told them that is about all we have in the hospital and I can’t put that in their chart :)

  • Avatar
    Angie Ray Moye

    Love when they are allergic to Benadryl

  • Avatar
    Jenni Yarbrough Silva

    If they are allergic to Toradol….watch out! Lol

  • Avatar
    Marjorie Haney

    No more “codeine makes me vomit, and epinepherine makes my heart race, and benadryl makes me sleepy,” listed as allergies

  • Avatar
    Alanna Brown Angel

    Courtney Ashley Burton…lol!

  • Avatar
    Jen Kephart

    Had a lady who claimed to be allergic to multiple drugs as well as dairy, nuts, chocolate, all berries, and bananas. I wanted to put a banana split in front of her…

  • Avatar
    Kris Schultz

    Is it just me, or does it seem like the length of the allergy list positively correlates with a more nutty person?

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