Friday, July 25, 2014

Table of Contents

Alternative Names

Apitoxin poisoning; Apis venenum purum poisoning; Apis virus poisoning


Home Treatment

If you have an allergy to bee, wasp, or yellow jacket stings, it is important to always carry a bee sting kit (which requires a prescription) and become familiar with its use. The kit contains medicine called epinephrine, which you should take immediately if you get a bee sting.

Call poison control or a hospital emergency room if the person who is stung has an allergy to the insect or was stung inside the mouth or throat. People with severe reactions may need to go to the hospital.

To treat the bee sting:

  • Remove the stinger from the skin (if it is still present).
  • Carefully scrape the back of a knife or other thin straight-edged object across the stinger if the person is able to remain still, and it is safe to do so. Otherwise, you can pull out the stinger with tweezers or your fingers, but avoid pinching the venom sac at the end of the stinger. If this sac is broken, more venom will be released.
  • Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Place ice (wrapped in a washcloth or other covering) on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes. Repeat this process. If the person has circulatory problems, decrease the time that the ice is on the area to prevent possible skin damage.
  • Give the person diphenhydramine (Benadryl) by mouth if he or she can swallow. This antihistamine drug may be used alone for a mild symptoms.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Type of insect, if possible
  • Time of the bee sting

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Review Date: 10/04/2009
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)