Most patients experience between two and five days of symptoms after Bee Venom Therapy (B.V.T.) while others may have some symptoms that last up to 2 weeks. These symptoms may include itching, swelling, redness and warmth in the area that has been stung. This type of reaction is not cause for alarm. Swelling of an entire limb (arm or leg) may occur but it is not a cause for alarm unless the circulation to the foot or hand is compromised by external wrap or cast. Use ice, elevate and rest, it may take two to four days for this type of reaction to subside and the next treatment will be done with a lesser dose of bee venom, but treatment should not be discontinued.
Hives, swollen lips or tongue or difficulty breathing do warrant immediate treatment.
To help minimize the discomfort after treatment, apply ice, calamine (not caladryl) lotion, Vitamin E oil, aloe vera, sunburn lotion with Benzocaine, or even toothpaste to the affected area. If, despite these measures, the discomfort, especially itching, is still severe and is interfering with your life (sleep, etc.), you can take 25 mg Benadryl and speak to your doctor about a prescription for a topical Lidocaine ointment or patches. Gel cold packs are available for purchase at any good pharmacy.
To maximize the healing potential of B.V.T. we recommend nutritional supplements:
- Vitamin C, 2000 to 4000 mg a day
- Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) 50 to 100 mg
- Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 50 to 100 mg
- Other supplements may be helpful; this should be discussed with your doctor or his assistant.
Certain steps should be taken so as to not interfere with your therapy:
- AVOID taking anti-inflammatory drugs
- AVOID taking antihistamines (Benadryl/Diphenhydramine) unless absolutely necessary
- AVOID hydrocortisone and alcohol, as these will suppress the response of your body to BVT
- AVOID prolonged exposure to heat or sun as these may cause an exacerbation of symptoms
- AVOID white food (sugar, white bread, rice milk, ice cream, etc) that have all the nutritional value bleached out of them
- AVOID coffees and teas with caffeine
- AVOID tobacco use
- AVOID scratching, if you must scratch, use a soft bristle brush or a soft cloth.