Drug allergies - Symptom
Allergic reaction - drug (medication); Drug hypersensitivity; Medication hypersensitivity
- Anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reaction (see below)
- Itching of the skin or eyes (common)
- Skin rash (common)
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Signs and tests:
An examination of the skin and face may show hives, rash, or angioedema (swelling of the lips, face, or tongue). Decreased blood pressure, wheezing, and other signs may indicate an anaphylactic reaction.
Skin testing may help diagnose allergy to penicillin-type medications. Unfortunately, there are no good skin or blood tests to help diagnose other drug allergies. If you have had allergy-like symptoms after taking a medicine or receiving contrast (dye) before getting an x-ray, your doctor will often tell you that this proof that you have a drug allergy. No further testing is required.
- 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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