A Case Report: Allergies Possibly due to CholestOff

cholestoffI wanted to lower my cholesterol in a natural way. CholestOff uses plant sterols or Phytosterol to lower cholesterol. I started taking CholestOff around December of 2012. The outside weather was cold. I took the pills as it said in the usage directions till the weather started getting warm. One warm spring day in March I was out and about and sweating a bit. I noticed most of the day I had an itch on both of my inner thighs. I didn’t think anything of it and without check on it continued on with my day. At the end of the day I noticed football sized rashes on the inside of both of my thighs. I contacted my doctor and received a topical treatment. As March rolled on I started getting rashes on other places on my body. My wrists, on the sides of my upper torso, my back, the back of my legs, my knees, and my hands. When the fleshy part of my thumb would start to break out I was always upset because this was very painful, and lasted an entire day. When I went to Florida on April 9, 2012, I got very bad rashes on the sides of my body under my arms, and on my back. I called my skin doctor and he recommend Benadryl. This helped but, the rashes kept coming back. On April 7, 2012 I ended up in the hospital. In the middle of the night my bottom lip started to swell to painful proportions (normally, I look like this). I could barely speak and I checked myself into the hospital. I received injections of Benadryl, Methylprednisolone, and Famotidine. I believe I was also given Epinephrine. After several hours the swelling started to go down and I was able to go home. Afraid this could happen again, I asked my doctor if a prescription for Epipen would be a good idea. He said it was and I started carrying an Epipen wherever I went.

This is what it looked like when I broke out on my wrist. The symptoms of my rashs were itchy and warm. Depending on where the rash was it could be painful. hives wristOn May 4, 2012 my upper lip started to swell up severely. I took Benadryl and waited this one out. It took over a day for the swelling to go down and for my speech to return to normal. On April 9, 2012 I went to see and allergist. He prescribed Zyrtec and Zantac. I was still on Prednisone at this point from my GP to treat my lip swelling. Over time the combination of Zyrtec and Zantac started to reduce the outbreaks. Eventually, I was able to stop taking medication, but from time to time I still have outbreaks. I was diagnosed with chronic urticaria. To this day I still break out in rashes, but it’s not as severe as it was in the past. This is my arm after the needle from a blood test triggered a reaction. On the container there are warnings about taking the pills if you are pregnant, but there is no mention of a rash as a possible side effect.

website cholestoff rash
I did a bit of research in March of 2012 and found the above blog post. Seeing this made me feel a little better because I was not the only one to have this type of allergic reaction.

This is a study I recently found. General information about plant sterols.

11 thoughts on “A Case Report: Allergies Possibly due to CholestOff

  1. Interesting, I’ve been taking this for almost a year without any issues, until the last bottle that I got from Costco, end up breaking up in hives! it looks that they’ve changed something in the formula. will stop taking them immediately! thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m not sure understand what you mean. A year later I started taking statins to control my cholesterol and have not had any allergic reactions.

  2. Started Cholestoff three days ago. Began breaking out in tiny itchy hives on the second day. First around my knee on my right leg, then the whole right side of the leg. Next my abdomen, my shoulders, then my back. Next morning woke up with the back of both legs covered in hives. I take Zyrtek every day-maybe this is a lucky thing. I have to wonder how bad this would have been if I hadn’t had the Zyrtek already in my body.
    PS: I got my Cholestoff from Costco as well, a little over a year ago. (didn’t start till recently.) Hmnnn. I suppose it could be a reaction to the pine in the formula that perhaps I am sensitive to.
    This is the end of my Cholestoff experiment!

    1. I started taking plant sterrol for the first time last night and twenty minutes later ibroke out in hives on my arms knee. Face and ears. I took benadyle . I was not sure it was the sterol but took it 30 mins ago and broke out again so i know now its the sterrol. Will be returning the bottl ed i bought through amazon.

  3. I have been having a chronic cough since before thanksgiving. I started taking Cholestoff regularly since about that time because I can’t take statins. I haven’t had any skin issues, but I started to wonder if it could be a reaction to medications or supplements.

  4. I also broke out in a rash on my inner thighs after taking Cholestoff and it was very hard to get rid of. I had used Cholestoff years ago without a problem, but it didn’t work for me this time. I do tend to be allergic so it is possible they changed the formula in some way. I used the original formula tablets purchased from Amazon.

      1. I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. After many years I still occasionally suffer from rashes, but they are not as severe. I’ve taken Benadryl to control them during the times when it was really bad. To control it on a daily basis, I took a combo of Zirtec and Zantac. Apparently there is some sort of allergy blocker element to zantac that in combination with Zyrtec covers more of the allergy spectrum. Again, I am not a doctor, this is not advise. Please consult a doctor for medical advise.

  5. Thank GOD I found this post!! I have been completely puzzled on what has triggered my rashes! I started taking Cholestoff pretty much last summer and have been having rashes ever since! No idea as to why until I left my house for 2 weeks while we had new floors installed and I just so happened to forget to pack my Cholestoff, by the time I got back after 2 weeks my rashes had almost gone away. Unfortunately as soon as I got home I started taking Cholestoff and sure enough, I’m breaking out in rashes again on my arms, face and ears. I stopped taking it last week after I found this post and a couple other ones indicating some people have the same rash issue. Oh, BTW, I have been crazy allergic to Pine Trees all my life! Just never would have thought it would be used to lower cholesterol. I’ll keep you posted on my results in a couple weeks.

  6. Thank you for this post. I started using it on recommendation from my father. At first I was only taking two a day at night, with my allergy pills. But then a friend said I should be taking it with my meals. So I started taking 4 a day, throughout the day. About 2 days of that and bam! my entire body broke out in hives. I didn’t put two and two together until I started keeping an intake log (on day 6 of this horrible rash). That’s when I decided to research all the supplements I’d been taking and found this post. I stopped taking Cholestoff immediately. My doc had prescribed a steroid cream and I was on Zyrtec and Hydroxizine. Both were helping, but not making it go away. After two full days off of Cholestoff, the rash has VERY SLOWLY been going down. It’s the slowest healing rash I’ve ever had. But there is finally improvement which is doing wonders for me mentally. I’m currently on day 8 of this rash (covers about 85% of my body, everywhere but face and hands), and about half of the hives have flattened out and are no longer itching. They are still red with hyperpigmentation. I have a feeling that will take longer to go away. They need to put a better allergen label on this product!

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