What is usually the cause of serum sickness?
What causes it? Serum sickness is caused by nonhuman proteins in certain medications and treatments that your body mistakes as being harmful, causing an immune reaction. One of the most common types of medication that causes serum sickness is antivenom. This is given to people who’ve been bitten by a venomous snake.
Can serum sickness last for months?
Treatment of serum sickness-like reaction Affected children usually recover within a few days of ceasing the offending medication, without any consequences. There have been reports of prolonged rash and/or joint symptoms lasting for several months but these have eventually resolved completely.
How long does serum sickness last?
Serum sickness usually improves in 7 to 10 days, with full recovery in 2 to 4 weeks. However, it may lead to nervous system disorders and a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, so it is important to get medical treatment.
Is serum sickness an autoimmune disease?
During serum sickness, the immune system falsely identifies a protein in antiserum as a harmful substance (antigen). The result is an immune system response that attacks the antiserum. Immune system elements and the antiserum combine to form immune complexes, which cause the symptoms of serum sickness.
What drugs can cause serum sickness?
Certain medicines (such as penicillin, cefaclor, and sulfa) can cause a similar reaction. Injected proteins such as antithymocyte globulin (used to treat organ transplant rejection) and rituximab (used to treat immune disorders and cancers) can cause serum sickness reactions.
What does serum sickness look like?
Serum sickness is an immune-complex-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that classically presents with fever, rash, polyarthritis or polyarthralgias. It was first recognized as an entity in the early 1900s in patients who had received heterologous antisera, which was historically used to treat infectious diseases.
Can serum sickness fatal?
Serum sickness is typically self-limited and resolves within days. The prognosis of serum sickness in patients without internal organ involvement is good. Although occasional reports show mortality resulting from progressive glomerulonephritis or severe neurological complications.