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Drug allergies are a group of symptoms caused by an allergic reaction to a drug (medication). Adverse reactions to drugs are common. Almost any drug can cause an adverse reaction. Reactions range from irritating or mild side effects such as nausea and vomiting to life-threatening anaphylaxis. The most common signs of a drug allergy are hives, rash or fever.
Most drug related symptoms are not true drug allergies. Your allergist can help you distinguish between the different types of reactions. Drug allergy occurs in fewer than 3% of the population. However, the causes are numerous and the severity of reactions varies.
The most common cause of drug allergies is penicillin. Other antibiotics and classes of drugs can also cause a large number of drug allergies. Drug allergies are diagnosed by a careful review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms by an allergist. If an allergy to an antibiotic such as penicillin is suspected, your doctor may do a skin test to confirm the allergy. However, skin testing does not work on all drugs and in some cases could be dangerous.
Hives (urticaria), involve red, itchy, swollen areas of the skin that range in size and appear anywhere on the body. They can appear suddenly, and may be the result of an allergic reaction.
Hives are red, very itchy, swollen areas of the skin. They can vary in size from the size of a pencil eraser to as large as a dinner plate, and may join together to form larger lesions. Hives or urticaria arise suddenly and may leave quickly in one to two hours. They often appear in clusters, with new clusters appearing as other areas clear. Other red, itchy rashes are often erroneously attributed to a diagnosis of hives.
Over 20 percent of the population has suffered an eruption of hives at some point in their lives..
Fortunately, even if an underlying cause cannot be identified, the majority of patients with hives can be successfully managed with a combination of medications and other preventive measures. Acute hives are self-limited and resolve in days or weeks. In contrast, chronic hives recur over weeks, months and even years. Hives can be debilitating and can interfere with daily life,.but they can usually be controlled with continuous use of medication. They often resolve following many months or years of treatment.
When most people are stung by an insect, the site develops redness, swelling and itching. However, some people are actually allergic to insect stings. This means that their immune systems overreact to the venom. Insect bites—such as a mosquito or fly bite—can cause local swelling at the site due to the inflammatory effects of the insect’s saliva. However, stinging insects actually inject a small amount of venom into the skin, leading to significant local reactions and in some cases, allergic reactions—including anaphylaxis.
Allergy injection treatment (immunotherapy) contains stinging insects’ venom allergens. These treatments for honeybee, yellow jacket, hornets, and wasp stings have effectively prevented recurrence of anaphylaxis in previously sensitive individuals. See your allergist today for testing and treatment that could save your life.
Primary immunodeficiencies are disorders in which part of the body’s immune system is missing or does not function properly. This can often lead to serious and/or recurrent infections as well as poor growth. Immune deficiency conditions are rare and are not the only reason why a child/adult has had more than their fair share of infections.
Atopic dermatitis (AD), often termed “eczema”, is a chronic pruritic(itchy) skin condition that affects about 10-20% of children and about 2-3% of adults.
It usually begins in infancy or early childhood. AD is closely associated with other allergic diseases, including food allergy, asthma, and allergic rhinitis (hay fever). This progressive sequence is called...
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a food, triggered by the body’s immune system. During a food allergy reaction, the immune system identifies a specific food as a foreign substance. The body then produces allergy antibodies (IgE) to attack the food identified as foreign. The response may be...
Asthma is a chronic disease involving the airways in the lungs. The airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma your airways are always inflamed. They become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways can tighten when something...
Allergic rhinitis is a collection of symptoms, mostly in the nose and eyes, which occur when you breath in something you are allergic to, such...
• Skin Testing – For Both Food And Pollens
• Lung Function Testing
• Allergy Injection Therapy