Drug Allergies

Medications drugs help treat people from a wide variety of conditions. But there are times that these same drugs may also be a cause of an allergic reaction in some people. Since most drugs used to treat different ailments may contain a variety of ingredients, there are some instances when some of these ingredients may cause an allergic reaction to the body.

A drug allergy usually happens when one has a harmful reaction to a specific type of medication being used. A certain ingredient in the drug may be causing the body to trigger an immune reaction thinking that it is a harmful substance. Drug allergies can be mild with the symptoms going away after a few days. But they can also be serious and severe, depending on how the body reacts to the drug.

Why do some medications cause allergic reations?

Most drugs may cause some side effects that is not intended for its actual use. These side effects can range from the simple to the adverse. Certain drugs can cause an allergic reaction serious enough that can trigger the body to develop an immune response. With the body sensing a threat in the drug, it tries to produce certain chemicals such as large amounts of histamines to try and attempt to get rid of the drug from the body.

Depending on a person, any medicine can cause an allergic reaction. Most of the common types of medication include penicillins, barbiturates, insulin and sulfa medicines. Vaccines may also cause the body to trigger an allergic response. Some anti-convulsants as well as medication to treat hyperthyroidism may also contain certain substances that may cause an allergic reaction. When a person is allergic to a particular medicine, he or she may also be allergic to other medicines that may be similar to it.

What are the symptoms of drug allergy?

Symptoms of drug allergies range from mild to severe. Many drugs may cause some side effects to occur such as an upset stomach or irritation to people who may not be allergic to it. The symptoms that come from drug allergies usually stem from the body’s release of histamine during an immune response. Symptoms include skin rashes, itchy skin and eyes, the hives, nasal congestion, and swelling. More severe symptoms may include fainting, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal problems.

How are drug allergies treated?

Treatment of drug allergies usually concentrates on relieving the symptoms. Rashes, hives and itching caused by drug allergies can usually be treated by antihistamines or corticosteriods. For symptoms that include coughing and lung congestion, bronchodilators which help clear the airways are used. Severe and life-threatening allergic reactions may require the use of epinephrine.