What is drug allergies?

Adverse reactions to drugs are common, and almost any drug can cause an adverse reaction. Reactions range from irritating or mild side effects such as nausea and vomiting to life-threatening anaphylaxis.

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Drug allergies

Drug allergies are a group of symptoms caused by allergic reaction to a drug (medication).

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Drug Allergy

A drug allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a medication. A number of drugs can cause a drug allergy, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. The most common signs of a drug allergy are hives, rash or fever. You can have an allergic reaction to a drug even if it caused no reaction in the past.

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Drug Allergy

A drug allergy or sensitivity happens when your body is irritated after taking a drug or medicine. You can even become allergic to medicines or drugs that you have taken before. You cannot spread an allergy to other people. It goes away when you stop taking the drug and the drug is out of your body.

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Drug Allergy

Allergic reaction is an uncommon and unwanted side effect of medication.


Allergy is the term used to describe an adverse (bad) reaction that the body has to a particular substance. Most things that cause allergies are not harmful, and have no affect on people who are not allergic.

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An acquired hypersensitivity to a substance (allergen) that does not normally cause a reaction. It is essentially an antibody-antigen reaction but in some cases the antibody cannot be demonstrated. The reaction is due to the release of histamine or histamine-like substances from injured cells. There may be a genetic predisposition to acquire a particular allergy. The number of exposures necessary to produce enough antibodies to cause an allergy varies. An allergy may occur the second time a person is exposed to a particular allergen, or may not occur until years later when repeated exposures have produced sufficient antibodies. Manifestations most commonly involve the respiratory tract or the skin. Allergic conditions include eczema, allergic rhinitis or coryza, hay fever, bronchial asthma, urticaria (hives), and food allergy. The immune system is a highly complex defense mechanism that helps us to combat infection. It does this by identifying "foreign bodies" and mobilizing the body's white blood cells to fight the infection. In some people, the immune system wrongly identifies a non-toxic substance as an invader, and the white blood cells overreact and do more damage to the body than the invader.

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Drug Allergies Symptoms and Treatments: Penicillin, Sulfa Drugs ...

Feb 6, 2009 ... Do you have a drug allergy? Learn more about them from the experts at WebMD.

Read more on www.webmd.com

Drug Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Allergy ...

Mar 20, 2011 ... Get information on drug allergy causes, symptoms and signs (rash, wheezing, hives), diagnosis and skin testing for drug allergies and ...

Read more on www.medicinenet.com

Drug Allergies

A drug allergy is an allergic reaction to a medication. When the drug enters the body, it triggers a response by the immune system, which creates specific ...

Read more on my.clevelandclinic.org

Drug allergy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A drug allergy is an allergy to a drug, most commonly a medication. Medical attention should be sought immediately if an allergic reaction is suspected. ...

Read more on en.wikipedia.org


Exams and Tests
An examination of the skin and face may show hives, rash, or angioedema (swelling of the lips, face, or tongue). Decreased blood pressure, wheezing, and other signs may indicate an anaphylactic reaction.

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Medical advice
Call your health care provider if you are taking a medication and seem to be having a reaction to it.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
Most drug allergies respond readily to treatment. A few cases cause severe asthma, anaphylaxis, or death.

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Possible Complications
Anaphylaxis (life-threatening) Asthma Death

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There is generally no way to prevent development of a drug allergy.

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Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:Anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reaction (see below); Hives (a less common type of rash); Itching of the skin or eyes (common); Skin rash (common); Swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; Wheezing ; Abdominal pain or cramping; Confusion ; Diarrhea; Difficulty breathing with wheeze or hoarse voice; Dizziness ; Fainting, light-headedness; Hives over different parts of the body; Nausea, vomiting; Rapid pulse ; Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)

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The treatment goal is to relieve symptoms and prevent a severe reaction. Treatment may include: Antihistamines to relieve mild symptoms such as rash, hives, and itching, Bronchodilators such as albuterol to reduce asthma-like symptoms (moderate wheezing or cough), Corticosteroids applied to the skin, given by mouth, or given intravenously (directly into a vein), Epinephrine by injection to treat anaphylaxis. The offending medication and similar drugs should be avoided. Make sure all your health...

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