Drug allergies - Treatment
Allergic reaction - drug (medication); Drug hypersensitivity; Medication hypersensitivity
The treatment goal is to relieve symptoms and prevent a severe reaction.
Treatment may include:
The offending medication and similar drugs should be avoided. Make sure all your health care providers -- including dentists and hospital personnel -- know about any drug allergies that you or your children have.
Identifying jewelry or cards (such as Medic-Alert or others) may be recommended.
Occasionally, a penicillin (or other drug) allergy responds to desensitization, where increasing doses of a medicine are given to improve a person's tolerance of the drug. This should only be done by an allergist.
Most drug allergies respond readily to treatment. A few cases cause severe asthma, anaphylaxis, or death.
- Life-threatening, severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- Severe swelling beneath the skin (angioedema), can be life threatening if it affects the throat, tongue, or lungs
Calling your health care provider:
Call your health care provider if you are taking a medication and seem to be having a reaction to it.
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have difficulty breathing or develop other symptoms of severe asthma or anaphylaxis. These are emergency conditions.
- 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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