A drug allergy refers to the hyper immune response of our immune system to a certain type of drug. Our body mistakenly considers the medicine input as a foreign substance which may be harmful so it starts to produce some certain chemicals, including histamine, with a view to expel the drug from the body.
Symptoms of a drug allergy
Here are common symptoms of a drug allergy:
– Itching of the skin or eyes
– Skin rash
Anaphylaxis is known as an uncommon, life-threatening reaction to a drug allergy which leads to the widespread dysfunction of body systems. Below are signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis:
– Trouble breathing
– Abdominal pain
– Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
– Dizziness and confusion
– Blood pressure drop
– Rapid pulse
– Hives over different parts of the body
Popular triggers of drug allergy
– Penicillin and related drugs
– Sulfa drugs
– Chemotherapy drugs
– Aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
How can drug allergy be diagnosed?
The doctor will diagnose a drug allergy by asking you to provide information on your medical history as well as signs and symptoms. You might be asked questions like that:
– Which drug do you think cause your problems?
– How much do you take it?
– When did you start taking it?
– Do you quit it?
– How long after taking the drug did you recognize signs and symptoms?
– How long did those symptoms last?
– What have you done to ease your discomfort?
– Have you taken any herbal medications or take vitamin or mineral supplements recently?
In case the doctor suspects that you are having an allergy to penicillin-type drugs, he may request you to have a skin test. In addition, a blood test can be done to diagnose a severe delayed reaction.
How can drug allergy be treated?
At first, the doctor will ask you to stop the suspected drug. After that, you will be recommended some drugs to releasing your current symptoms. Rash, hives, and itching can be reduced by antihistamines, and occasionally corticosteroids. More serious allergic reactions are usually controlled by injections of antihistamines and or steroids. Epinephrine is often given intramuscularly in case of life threatening anaphylactic reactions including breathing problems.
How to prevent drug allergy?
In fact, there is no sure way to completely prevent drug allergies.
If you have experienced a drug allergy, the best way to keep away from an allergic reaction is to avoid taking that type of medicines. Inform your health care provider about your experience before undergoing any type of treatment. Also, you had better wear a bracelet which can be helpful in identifying a drug allergy.