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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Which is better, which is worse?

 isthedrin - Sat Mar 19, 2005 1:14 pm

I've been invited to participate in a clinical trial involving skin prick allergy testing, RAST blood tests and 2 allergy shots. However, I have a history of vasovagal syncope sometimes with convulsions. In general, which is better--to avoid shots at all cost to minimize the risk, or to try to "get over" the involuntary response by "unlearning" it through desensitization while lying flat throughout the procedures and waiting a while before leaving the office? I've heard recommendations both ways.Or might it be better to get a regular shot first, like a tetanus booster that I'm due for, to see how that goes first, lying down? Basically I don't want to be someone who avoids medical care because of fear of adverse reactions --generally I am not afraid of needles perse, just the vasovagal response that has often happened after injections, bee stings, eye drops, sunburns and surgery. I would very much like to get over it but don't want to attempt it if it would be unnecessarily risky. (Note: on normal occasions I might ask for a Valium or some sedative or antihistimine before a stressful procedure but I don't think I'll be allowed any other drugs in the trial.)
Thanks for your insight.
 DeLWolcott - Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:04 pm

If you are predisposed to these reactions in fully tested procedures, I would advise not participating in a trial where you will now have TWO unknowns.

Working through your fears to overcome them is a very effective treatment. But this should be started with projects where the outcome is definite. Once the trials have been completed by others and if they are shown to be successful, you will have more confidence in facing your fear of the procedure.

Good luck!

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