Answering FAQs about Drug Allergies

The potential for an allergic reaction exists with any drug, whether it is a medication that has been prescribed to you or an over-the-counter medicine. If you have had an unexpected reaction to a drug, you should see an allergist to be tested for a drug allergy. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about drug allergies.

What are the symptoms of a drug allergy?

The symptoms will differ depending on the drug and the circumstances of the allergic reaction. Some of the most common symptoms experienced with a drug allergy include coughing and wheezing, breaking out in hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling in the face, and sudden high blood pressure.

What should I do if I have an adverse drug reaction?

If you are reacting negatively to a drug you are taking, stop taking it right away. Then, contact your physician. To determine whether you have an allergy to that drug, you’ll need to be tested by an allergy doctor. If the test shows that you do have a drug allergy, your physician will help you find an alternate option for treatment.

What is anaphylaxis?

It’s important to be able to distinguish a mild to moderate drug allergy from anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that needs to be treated as a medical emergency. Warning signs of anaphylaxis include dizziness, irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 911 right away.

Allergy & Asthma Specialists SM has been providing advanced care for people who are living with allergies and asthma since 1989. Our goal is to improve quality of life for every patient we see. If you’d like to make an appointment with an allergist at one of our eight locations in Lansdale, King of Prussia, Collegeville, Doylestown, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Philadelphia, and Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, call 1(800)86-COUGH and select option 2.

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