Woman develops persistent hives and itching after taking Covid vaccine

A rare case of a 35-year-old woman who chronically developed hives (skin irritations) and pruritus (itching) after receiving two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was reported this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. , the American Physicians Association and the American Heart Association.

In the article, the doctors describe that the patient had a history of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a disease that affects connective tissue, mainly the skin, joints and blood vessel walls), as well as mild persistent asthma and allergic rhinitis.

Approximately seven hours after receiving the first dose of the immunizer, the patient reported having developed generalized itching and hives. The next day, she noticed angioedema (swelling under the skin) in her lower lip.

The urticaria persisted and after four days the woman sought care in an emergency department.

She received injections of methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory) and was instructed to take diphenhydramine (antihistamine) and famotidine (histamine H2 receptor antagonist).

Her personal physician also recommended the use of prednisone, another anti-inflammatory, and referred her to an allergy clinic.

“His hives were not associated with a recent viral illness, new medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, alcohol, food, or physical stimuli, including changes in pressure or temperature,” the doctors described, adding that laboratory tests also showed normal patterns.

The patient decided, after a risk-benefit assessment, that she would take the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. At that moment, she was still using the medications, she had some redness on her face, but without the resurgence of itching and hives.

When completing three months since she had taken the first dose of the vaccine, the woman tried to stop the drugs and had hives again.

“Further attempts to wean antihistamines have resulted in generalized itching and hives lasting longer than six months after vaccination,” the doctors reported.

The authors of the article are unable to trace an exact relationship between the patient’s preexisting conditions and the development of urticaria.

“Patients with ECU [urticária crônica espontânea] often have comorbid autoimmune diseases, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common comorbid autoimmune diseases seen in patients with CSU,” they suggest.

It should be noted that vaccines against Covid-19 approved by regulatory agencies have proven to be extremely safe and effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths from the disease, with adverse effects such as this being extremely rare.


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