Allergic to Essential Medication?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 22, 2016


Serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, occur when mast cell chemicals flood the body, causing an array of acute symptoms.

What do you do when your body is not tolerating a medication that you need?

Patients fighting cancer, severe infections, autoimmune disorders, and many other conditions may become sensitized to the very drugs that are most effective in treating their diseases. These patients can suffer serious allergy symptoms, such as hives, flushing, itching, shortness of breath, wheezing, hypotension, and even anaphylaxis – a severe life-threatening allergic reaction.

Because of the potential allergic reaction upon re-exposure to these drugs, these patients are often told that they can no longer be treated with their best medication. A technique called drug desensitization can be used to help these patients get back on their medications.

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Ringing out 2012 – Most Popular HealthHub Posts

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 1, 2013

The blog team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital would like to close out 2012 with a selection of our most popular posts.  We’d also love to read about your favorites in our comments section.

We wish you a safe and happy New Year and look forward to sharing more health stories with you in 2013.


1.  What’s in a Face?

After suffering a disfiguring injury, Dallas Wiens receives the gift of a new face – the first full face transplant in the U.S. – at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  The life-giving surgery, performed by a team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents , provides Wiens with the typical facial features and function of any other man.


2.  Prostate Cancer Screening – Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Dr. Anthony D’Amico, Professor and Chief of Genitourinary Radiation Oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Chief of the Prostate Cancer Radiation Oncology Service at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of prostate cancer screening, particularly for younger men.

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The Daily Triumph of Living with Cystic Fibrosis – as an Adult

Posted by Blog Administrator May 30, 2012

Beth Peters

Beth Peters is working with the Adult Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Program to help the CF community better understand and cope with the disease.

2012 is the year that, for the first time, more adults than children will live with cystic fibrosis (CF) – a chronic, inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 U.S. patients. Just 50 years ago, most CF patients didn’t live past elementary school. But modern medicine works wonders, and various treatments have helped most CF patients live into adulthood – often into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.

It’s tempting to end the story there – on a positive note. But for CF patients, the story is complicated – because the triumph comes at a cost.

Beth Peters is a 31-year-old CF patient, a high school teacher, and a theater director. With much of her lung function restored through a recent lung transplant, she considers herself lucky. She’s vibrant, smart, funny, and wears a bright smile. She looks great.

And that gets confusing for those around her – because often she doesn’t feel great.

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