what is drug allergy?
A drug allergy can be described as an allergic reaction to any particular medication. But it should be noted that the side effects of the drug are not similar to the allergic reaction caused by it. The allergy can be caused by any medication be it a prescription or an over-the-counter drug.
Even some herbal medicines are also capable of causing allergic reactions in our body. The condition occurs only when the body’s immune system abnormal and adverse reactions to the medication. Some of the commonly observed symptoms of a drug allergy include rashes, fever, hives etc. Timely detection of the allergy can lead to successful treatment
what are the causes of drug allergy?
Our body’s immune system is generally designed to fight foreign invaders like bacterias and viruses protecting it from infections and diseases. Sometimes our immune system mistakenly rejects certain drugs entering our body considering them to be foreign invaders. In such a scenario external allergic reactions are observed due to an increase in inflammation.
what are the symptoms of drug allergy?
The symptoms of the drug allergy can vary depending upon the body’s response to the drug. This can vary depending upon individuals immune strength. The symptoms of drug allergy are commonly visible on the skin. Some of the common symptoms of allergic reactions caused by various drugs include
1. Development of severe rashes and itching on the skin
2. Shortness of breath
3. Wheezing, Running Nose and Watery Eyes
4. A considerable decrease in blood pressure
5. Significant swelling in the upper throat that could eventually lead to difficulty in breathing
Sometimes the symptoms may be very mild and also subside gradually with time. But certain life-threatening reactions have also been observed in some patients. One such allergic reaction is known by the name Anaphylaxis. This is one of the life-threatening allergies and is characterised by symptoms like
1. Nausea, Vomiting and Abdominal Pain
2. Rashes, hives and itching on the skin
3. Difficulty in breathing and slurred speech
4. Fainting spells and palpitations
5. The skin, lips and nail beds become bluish
Another drug reaction that is known to occur is called Serum sickness. Unlike Anaphylaxis the offset of symptoms is delayed n this case. The symptoms are known to develop only after 7 to 21 days of the initial exposure of the drug.
The reaction time can be faster if you have already been previously exposed to the drug ones. Some of the important symptoms of serum sickness include joint pains, rashes, nausea and also fever.
how is a drug allergy test done?
Most of the times the doctor can diagnose drug allergy by looking at the symptoms that the patient might give developed. But in some cases, it is also important to undergo a drug allergy test. A typical drug allergy test can be of three types.
1. If the doctor suspects the allergy to be caused by drugs like penicillin they may recommend a skin test. A small amount of the drug is injected into your skin to see if there is any reaction.
2. Next, a patch test can also be used to check for reactions to antibiotics or anticonvulsants. To carry out the patch test, the drug is applied on your skin, and the reactions are recorded after 2 to 4 days.
3. Sometimes the diagnosis cannot be carried out using these superficial tests and hence blood tests may be recommended. Depending upon the severity and condition of the allergy the doctor may prescribe an appropriate test for you.
what are the treatments for drug allergy?
The primary drug reaction treatment could be stopping the suspected drug immediately. Next alternative medications are prescribed as a drug allergy rash treatment. For example medications like diphenhydramine, fexofenadine or cetirizine are provided if itching is one of the major symptoms. Sometimes anti-allergic drugs for skin are also prescribed by the doctor if there are more severe reactions on the skin.
Example of one such drug is the oral steroids called prednisone. The hypersensitive cases like anaphylaxis may also even require hospitalisation as they might need constant monitoring.
The drug allergy treatment at home can only be done if the nature of the reaction is quite mild and does not possess any life-threatening risks. Treatment, in this case, could include the administration of anti-allergic drugs.
when do you need us?
If you develop any of the above symptoms of drug allergy, it is important that they are attended to on time. In the event of a severe reaction from a drug, we at Portea can help you treat the same. Our team of expert doctors are qualified to suggest further course of treatment. Any severe reactions you contact us immediately.
how can we help?
We at protea have an experienced bunch of doctors who not only can assist you in screening for the drug allergy but also suggest the suitable drug rash treatment. Our team of qualified doctors asses the problem and also come up with corrective measures.
Allergic drug reactions can be caused by a number of drugs, but some of the most common ones associated with the drug allergy include
• Antibiotics like Penicillin
• Drugs used during the chemo sessions for the treatment of cancer
• Medications administered during the treatment of some autoimmune diseases
• Pain-relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen
The reasons and causes of the drug reaction could be many hence it is important to undergo screening and avail timely treatment. We at Portea, have the best facilities to screen for the allergies and the drug allergy test cost is quietly affordable.