Bethenny Frankel had an allergic reaction to fish and almost died

Bethenny Frankel had to be hospitalized for two days after having an allergic reaction to fish in a soup she was eating. She has a non-shellfish fish allergy, which can be hard to avoid as fish is often a hidden ingredient. She tweeted that emergency services and 911 saved her and that her blood pressure was dangerously low.

That’s so scary and I’m glad she’s ok now. Apparently her new boyfriend, Paul Bernon, saved her life. He’s a film producer and real estate developer. Thank goodness he was with her at the time. Bethenny knew that she was allergic to fish as she had an earlier reaction during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia that was aired on the last season of Real Housewives of NY.

I’m not allergic to anything that I know of, but I’m so afraid of something like this happening to me or a loved one that I keep an Epipen in my purse and at home. You hear so many stories about random allergies, even to things people used to not be allergic to. Have you heard about people becoming allergic to red meat after getting bit by a tick? Thank goodness Bethenny had an Epipen and was able to get medical attention right away.

I use the word Epipen like I might write “Kleenex,” but due to price gouging the original Epipen is prohibitively expensive. There’s an alternative generic version called Adrenaclick that is $110 for a two pack at CVS. Here is a link to a legitimate $25 off coupon from the manufacturer. (I got the link from Consumer Reports, it used to be $100 off but that coupon is expired.)

Bethenny promises that she’s going to work to bring Epipens (hopefully their generic equivalent) to schools. Of course she’s responding to an a-hole who is complaining about life saving opiate overdose treatment, Narcan, being free. (It’s only free through community outreach programs or if your insurance covers it, and apparently this was a meme that deplorables were posting. It’s $100 at CVS, even if you don’t have insurance or a prescription.)

F-k this person complaining about saving people’s lives like we can only afford to save people from allergies but not overdoses. I hate this disgusting idea that some lives are more valuable and worth saving. It’s a good thing to bring Narcan AND Adrenaclick to communities that could benefit from them. It’s a real commentary on the state of US healthcare that reality stars have to do this type of work instead of it being the standard. Bethenny helped in Puerto Rico after the deadly hurricanes, when the US government failed them too.


I know her tree is tacky but I kind of love it. I used to have one of those 50s silver trees and it was so much fun.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like bubble gum…..

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photos credit: WENN and via Instagram

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41 Responses to “Bethenny Frankel had an allergic reaction to fish and almost died”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    I’m glad that she survived this. How terrifying to know that you were at deaths door. I used to loved Bethanny and now I don’t. But I appreciate the work she did for Puerto Rico and if she want to stand up for those who need assistant in their healthcare then I’m on board.

  2. damejudi says:

    I work in a public library and about 6 months ago, we got trained on using Narcan to revive someone having an opiod overdose. Never thought we’d use this training.

    4 months later, staff revived someone in the restroom with Narcan.

    This is our sad reality.

    • Lizzie says:

      our local library has locked bathrooms and before you go in, they tell you they are monitoring your time b/c so many people have OD’d in the bathrooms. it is tragic.

  3. H says:

    I was just at the allergy clinic yesterday getting tested for various new food allergies, so I understand Bethenny’s situation and wish her well. Who knew at 45, I would suddenly become allergic to cilantro?

    • Erinn says:

      My mom has had some horrible hives/breathing problems for the last 5 or 6 years. She’s been to specialists and nobody can figure out what she’s having a reaction to. But it only developed in her mid 50s. It’s terrifying.

      I remember getting allergy testing as a kid – I’m off the charts for dust, and have a lot of pollen/tree allergies. I’ve started getting a slightly itchy throat when I eat certain kinds of frosting – which is a pain because I can’t track down what in them is getting to me so that I can avoid it.

    • boredblond says:

      It happens..I became very ill while working overseas, and my immune system went haywire and became hypersensitive to several foods I had eaten all my life. Just when I thought I knew what to avoid, years later, I developed hives and swelling from another food (mushrooms!).

      • elo320 says:

        My aunt was around 85 when her face and throat started to swell while she was eating fish that she made for dinner. Luckily she was quickly taken to the hospital… She never had any problems with it before. Just bizzare.

  4. Eric says:

    The other RHONY ladies exclaim:

    “Quick! More fish!!

    • Surely Wolfbeak says:

      At the risk of exposing myself as a lover of nadir tv, Ramona 100% knew there was fish in that soup in Cartagena.

      • DesertReal says:

        I know! When I saw this headline, I had the same thought. She’s almost 50, she knows she has a severe allergy to fish, she even had a reaction on the show- so it’s not a “surprise.”
        She doesn’t have an epinephrine pen because…?

  5. Spicecake38 says:

    This is becoming increasingly more common,for people to suddenly develop food allergies,even later into their life.My friend took a bite of a Reece cup one day,and was going into anaphylactic shock seconds later.She was lucky to not be alone,she was at work ,luckily as a nurse where the other medical staff were able to inject her.

    • Amelie says:

      Did she suddenly develop a peanut allergy?? How frightening!

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yes when she would have been approximately 28-30 ,so we all must beware.

      • Amelie says:

        Yeah I know it can happen at any moment. At some point in college, my sister was diagnosed with Celiac’s. It’s not technically an allergy in this case (and medical literature will tell you there is no such thing as a gluten allergy even if your body may not digest it) but an auto immune disease. She doesn’t need an epi pen. I’ve never heard of someone with Celiac’s going into anaphylactic shock due to accidental gluten ingestion, just severe vomiting in my sister’s case and I don’t think it’s possible for people with Celiac’s. She had eaten gluten all her life for years and then all of a sudden her gastro issues started acting up again (she is also lactose intolerant and has been since she was a baby) and she self diagnosed herself before getting the official diagnosis from the gastroenterologist.

        But I guess like allergies, auto immune diseases can just be triggered for reasons unknown.

      • elo320 says:

        Stress, hormonal changes, and even Lyme according to sme doctors can trigger autoimmune diseases. Plenty of women develop hashimoto after giving birth. And I’ve just read yesterday that having an IUD or being on the pill can trigger autoimmune diseases or make them worse… no wonder they are much more common among women.

      • rabbitgirl says:

        I suddenly developed an egg allergy and have had it since.

    • Giddy says:

      My husband has a life-rhreatening poison ivy allergy. Our new doctor had to be convinced that poison ivy was so dangerous to him before she would prescribe epipens. So we changed doctors again!

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Crazy isn’t it that a physician should need convincing on something so simple,yet so necessary?!Hope your husband stays healthy.

      • rabbitgirl says:

        To be fair, epi pens are dangerous too and should ONLY be prescribed for life threatening allergies. That shot can send you into A FIB or cause your BP to skyrocket and in turn a stroke. Which is why if you use the epi, you always have to go to the ER right after.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s actually how a lot of allergies work. You’re not allergic today, and then tomorrow you are. You can be stung by a bee several times to no ill effect, and then with the next sting, your throat starts to swell. All the more reason to make epipens more affordable.

      • This is exactly what happened to my friend. She’s in her 40s, never had any type of allergy. One day she gets stung by a bee, can barely breathe and needs to be taken to the hospital. That’s it, she needs to carry an Epi-pen with her for the rest of her life. It’s just crazy how that can happen.

        I’m glad another company started producing Epi-pens. It’s never a good idea when a company has a corner on the market. But, IMO, things like that should be free, all of them.

    • me says:

      “To be fair, epi pens are dangerous too and should ONLY be prescribed for life threatening allergies. That shot can send you into A FIB or cause your BP to skyrocket and in turn a stroke. Which is why if you use the epi, you always have to go to the ER right after.”

      Rabbitgirl, this is incorrect. Epipens are not dangerous for the *vast* majority. The average person is already scared of them – the last thing that’s needed is for people to think they’re dangerous. Also, the reason one must go to the ER after using an Epipen is not as you stated – instead, it’s due to the potential for rebound reactions (i.e., needing a second injection hours later).

  6. Green_Eyes says:

    I can relate to how Bethenny must feel. I went to a famous teaching University Hospital in October to have another double heart Cath done to see if a heart condition I have had improved enough to start treating another of my illnesses called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Dressed in my hospital gown I & sitting up in the hospital bed going over my long list of medications & drug allergies with a Nurse in the unit, I commented that my Scleroderma must be flaring because my lips and mouth felt funny (swollen & sore). Next thing I know I’m having trouble breathing & my face looked like I’d went thru 10 rounds w/ a ticked off prize fighter. Ironically the nurse & I had just joked how I was allergic to Benedryl which is what most give you to treat allergies. I didn’t know it at the time but apparently after the joke I went into anaphylaxis shock! Two epi pens, numerous breathing treatments, and a intubation later I woke up in ICU w/ more Drs added to my medical team, a new list of medications I can and cannot take.. as some can cause an allergic reaction even if taken 20 yrs (such as my b/p meds), and a still unknown deadly way of reaction but to what we still don’t know.
    I have been thru chemo before (20 yrs ago for Ovarian cancer), and I have been on a form of chemo & immuno suppressant (Imuran) for the last 5 yrs and it seems things I could tolerate I can’t anymore and things I couldn’t.. either have gotten worse or I now can. There is no rhyme or reason to the craziness of how I react to things anymore. Food, smell, etc. I now have to carry 2 epi pens everywhere & I keep being reminded I need to get an emergency ID card/ & either a medical ID bracelet or pendant that indicates my illnesses & deadly reaction to unknown source so next time when it happens 911 will be called. I was told had I not been in the hospital and the Emergency response team called into action stat I would not be here today. The scariest thing if all.. those pens are hard to get. I am on a waiting list.. every pharmacy in my state literally has a waiting list. It’s both sad & scary.. I hope I’ll never need to use & replace the 2 pens I now have, but if I do I hope my name isn’t too far down that waiting list!
    Bethenny really has her boyfriend to thank for his quick thinking.

    • Giddy says:

      Green Eyes, about 20 years ago I had a serious reaction to a shot. My doctor was determined to find out why, and finally found the answer: a peanut oil based fluid had been used as a carrier for the drug. He couldn’t believe that it had gone all the way through FDA testing without problems. It has now been changed.

      • Green_Eyes says:

        Oh my gosh Giddy, I’m glad you made it thru as well. You are so right though the unlisted ingredients in things is very unsettling. It’s still a mystery to all of us as I didn’t eat or drink anything for 10 hrs due to procedure & had not taken any new meds that day. I actually had skipped most & only took my Parkinson’s meds that day. Even those were hours prior & I still take them. At that point I hadn’t even gotten my iv yet.. drs say we may never find out but I may develop even more allergies. The last few years cinnamon is a new one for me. Like peanut oil it is not always listed or is under “spices”. I hope neither of us go thru those ordeals again. ❤️

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Wow,Green eyes,I’m so glad you’re alright.It’s a very long story but very interesting,I’ll try to paraphrase.A friend of mine who is much older so I didn’t know her when it began,was diagnosed with mesothelioma ,it was in one lung.She went into surgery,was placed under general anesthesia,and the cancer removed successfully.I believe she said she had trouble waking up after.In the immediate time frame after and in the 30-40 years since she has multiple crazy food allergies-not a difficult time with them,but true anaphylactic reactions to things like chicken,onions,milk.She also has many medication allergies,and some medications she can take,but in terms of side effects she gets what we in medicine call the paradoxical effect meaning her body can and often will respond the exact opposite of what medical experts believe should/will happen.When I saw her some years ago I commented on her weight loss,she said she was told by her MD to expect weight gain as a side effect,and she drastically lost instead.Anyhow,I hope you will come to a place of healing and prolonged good health.You sound like you’ve been through medical hell,and you should always remember how strong you are!

    • rabbitgirl says:

      You poor thing. Scleroderma is a horrific, evil disease. You are in my thoughts!

  7. The Voice says:

    I didn’t read the tweet that way. It sounded like Ruthie’s Rescues was saying it was unfair that some meds are free (or more affordable) and some aren’t when they should both be free given that they save lives. Anyway I think since Bethenny is on it, she’ll actually do some good. There’s still a part of me that loves her (and her humor) even though she’s been a bit mean and narcissistic over the last few seasons. She’s been under so much stress from her ex-husband that it’s bound to come out in negative ways. Doesn’t give her a pass but I certainly understand her behavior.

    • Elaine says:

      I don’t agree with your reading because of the “go figure”… it says it all.

    • Another Anne says:

      I didn’t read the tweet that way either. It would make sense for every establishment (especially schools and food service places) to have epipens on hand, just like Narcan is. Why isn’t this the case?

  8. Marigold says:

    As a mom of a child with a life threatening food allergy, I actually love that she’s bringing attention to her reaction and what saved her, as well as less expensive alternatives. I’ll further add that the critical tweet is mild compared to ones I’ve seen comparing Epipen pricing and Narcan pricing. I’ll go on the record as saying-everyone deserves saving. If you have a problem with price, take it up with MYLAN, not people who suffer from addiction and those who want to save them. I should also note there is a massive shortage of Epipens right now with very little to offer as explanation or solution from Mylan. I loathe that company so much, I hope they get f*cked over thoroughly by competition that is currently getting final FDA approvals.

  9. LORENA says:

    Gosh! I am not allergic to anything, nor is anyone in my family. This sounds so scaryyyy!

  10. Angela82 says:

    Around age 48 my mom all of a sudden developed an allergy to crustaceans (shrimp, crab, lobster). She had a reaction to shrimp the most but doctors said to avoid all three. She can eat fish, shellfish (oysters, etc), calamari, scallops. Its really weird. The doctor said she was probably born with a sensitivity and bc she loved shrimp so much and ate it all the time the allergy built up. Seafood is supposed to be one of the more deadly ones. She would get hives on her mouth region and her throat would close. It never got so bad that she was near death but I wish she would be scared enough to tell restaurants about her allergy bc you never know if they’ve made the way onto your food. Even her hands get itchy if she handles shrimp when cooking. She does carry an epipen everywhere though. I should add she is also sensitive to some skin products but not on a deadly level. She recently found out she had a mild heart attack so when she went to get her arteries checked they even gave her allergy meds for the iodine they use in the procedure just in case.

    I have been lucky and so far all I have an allergy to is penicillin and only hives, not life threatening, just a pain in the a$$. My brother has allergy to nuts and raw fruit, but again not deadly. I think bc of my mom’s allergy I always feel nervous eating some seafood vs other foods.

  11. Kerfuffle says:

    I didn’t read that tweet that way at all. BOTH treatments are life saving, but while there is at least some legislation working to curb the opioid crisis, lawmakers aren’t exactly lining up to confront Big Pharma.

    Epi pens are a great case of price gauging, their prices are inflated significant in relation to their cost. And there are far more requirements with epi pens, so drug manufacturers essentially have a captive audience. Epi pens are required for children at schools (and in our district, parents must provide them or the child cannot start the school year). They expire. Parents usually need multiple, to be kept in multiple places. Not to mention, once used they absolutely need to be replaced. All at an EXHORBITANT price (Narcan isn’t nearly as expensive) because there is no alternative and this is a captive audience.

  12. Pandy says:

    But I can see why Ruthie says go figure. I mean, you do have the choice to not use opiates but I don’t think you can choose to not have an allergy?

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Many opioid addicts were originally prescribed opiates for legitimate reasons, and they become addicted while taking it for medical reasons. I wouldn’t exactly say that people have a “choice” if their doctor determines it is the best thing to treat their condition.

  13. rabbitgirl says:

    I have a dangerous egg allergy that started in my 20s. The first allergic attack was hives. I had no idea what was going on or what had caused the hives. So I took a Benadryl and the hives went away. A few days later (again, I did not know why), I had a second attack, but this was hives + swelling of my face, hands and feet. This time I went to the ER and they thought I may have a food allergy. So they told me to reduce my food to one ingredient type things. So thinks like bread were not allowed. I could have an apple or a piece of chicken or an egg, but I could not have anything with more than one ingredient. So I boiled an egg. Within a few minutes of eating it, I was not only covered in hives, I was unable to breath and was shivering on the floor. I had to call 911, but lost consciousness before they got there. So not only do I carry an epi pen, I have one in every room of the house, in my car, at my job, etc. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to use it because some foolish person decided to be creative with something that normally does not have eggs. The problem with epi pens though is that once you use them, you have to call 911, because you an go into A FIB.

  14. countryrds says:

    I work beside the facility that makes the epipen and the CEO and her Father are from my county. That isn’t the only thing the CEO has done. Never received her Masters Degree from the University, also in the same town as the pharmaceutical company, then she jacks the prices when she is from one of the poorest states in the country. Her Father is a US Senator named Joe Manchin and I suggest you all complain to him.

  15. Carli says:

    Her tweet seemed so attention hungry. Couldn’t she just have said: ‘had a scary, close call with my whatever allergy. Many thanks to 911 and life saving Epipen.’ I’m a very private person though and prefer to default not sharing than looking attention seeking. To each her own 🤷🏻‍♀️ I agree with other posters saying I used to like her more than I do now. But there’s something that endears me to her.