Serum sickness is an unusual reaction to any foreign substance in the body. Venom from insect stings or spider bites and medicines such as penicillin are common causes of this reaction.
Symptoms of serum sickness usually begin between 7 to 10 days after the person is exposed to the substance. A person usually feels generally unwell (malaise) and may have hives, joint pain, fever, headache, and swollen glands.
Having an episode of serum sickness puts a person at high risk for developing a severe allergic reaction if there is exposure to the same substance in the future. A person should avoid any medicine related to serum sickness after it has been identified. Venom immunotherapy may be an option to protect against insect or spider bites that caused the reaction.
Clinical Review Board All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.