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Allergies

Allergy testing and ranitidine

02/01/2008

Question:

Ten years ago I had one session of allergy skin testing where I was pricked on my one arm with maybe 18-20 different needles containing possible allergens. Soy, chicken and oak came up positive, some others were iffy.

I was (and still am) having issues with diarrhea, etc. My prior gastro tests revealed "leaky gut syndrome" and "possible" colitis. I am also being treated since 1982 for gastric reflux.

When I have a reaction to food it starts with sinus issues, where I can only breathe, with difficulty, through my mouth. That reaction starts within seconds. My chest and throat flushes, I get very bad stomach cramps, and then diarrhea which might last for several days after exposure.

Today in searching for some other information online, I ran into a summary of a study in the November-December 2007 Allergy & Asthma Proceedings. The article was called "Ranitidine (150 mg daily) inhibits wheal, flare, and itching reactions in skin prick tests."

I take 3x that daily dose of Ranitidine, and would have been taking that when I had the allergy testing, and disclosed that in my medical history at the allergist`s office.

Have there been other studies suggesting that Ranitidine dilutes reactions to allergens? Should I consider retaking the allergy tests? How long would I have to be off Ranitidine to do that? Are there alternative treatments for gastric reflux that wouldn`t suppress reactions to skin prick allergy testing?

Thanks for your time, and any information!

Answer:

Ranitidine has a minimal suppressive effect on skin tests. This usually lasts less than 24 hours.

For more information:

Go to the Allergies health topic, where you can:

Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati