Drug allergies - Prevention
Allergic reaction - drug (medication); Drug hypersensitivity; Medication hypersensitivity
There is generally no way to prevent development of a drug allergy.
If you have a known drug allergy, avoiding the medication is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction. You may also be told to avoid similar medicines. For example, if you are allergic to penicillin, you should also avoid amoxicillin or ampicillin.
In some cases, a doctor may approve use of a drug that causes an allergy if you are pretreated with corticosteroids (such as prednisone) and antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine). Do not try this without a doctor's supervision. Pretreatment with corticosteroids and antihistamines has been shown to prevent anaphylaxis in people needing to get iodinated x-ray contrast dye.
Your doctor may also recommended "densensitization." This procedure must be done under close medical supervision. It involves giving very small doses of the medicine over a specific period of time. Do not try this without your doctor.
- Reviewed last on: 6/29/2010
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Paula J. Busse, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Celik G, Pichler WJ, Adkinson NF Jr. Drug Allergy. In Adkinson NF Jr., , eds. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Mosby Elsevier; 2008: chap 68.
Grammer LC. Drug allergy. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 275.
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