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Allergy to medicines


Allergies are a fairly common problem today. And many are prone to its manifestations. There are many allergic manifestations, depending on the pathogen that causes it, including the reaction to medications. [1,2]

Patients with allergies to drugs are conditionally divided into three categories according to the form of diagnosis:

  • primary professional
  • secondary induction  
  • secondary combination drug allergy.[1]

Occupational allergy to medicines is common among the category of people who have to constantly come into contact with medicines in connection with their professional duties (doctors, pharmacists, technologists, etc.). [one]

Acquired drug allergy may occur as a result of treatment of another disease or with constant contact with a certain category of drugs, with prolonged use of medications. [2]

People who are most likely to develop drug allergies are:

• have a hereditary tendency to allergic reactions;

• self-medicate uncontrollably;

• take medications in large doses;

• suffer from other types of allergies. [1,2]


There are certain groups of medicines, allergic reactions to which most often occur.

  • Allergy to antibiotics .

The most common allergen in this group is penicillin and its derivatives (ampicillin, amoxicillin, etc.).

  • Allergy to anesthetics .

There have been cases of allergic reactions to local anesthetics during outpatient operations, in particular, reactions to novocaine and lidocaine.

  • Allergy to antipyretics .

Popular allergens in this group are paracetamol and aspirin, which can cause rashes and hives.

  • Allergy to iodine -containing drugs .

A fairly common reaction to medications used in the treatment of thyroid diseases and contrast agents containing iodine.

  • Local allergic reaction to tuberculin .

To determine the presence of antibodies to tuberculosis pathogens in the human body, tuberculin is administered internally, resulting in a local allergic reaction in the form of a red spot.

  • Allergy to sulfonamides .

This is a group of chemotherapy drugs, the side reactions from the use of which are the most severe, Quincke’s edema can often occur and anaphylactic shock is possible.

  • Allergy to vaccines .

The main components of vaccines are protein preparations, to which there can be allergic symptoms of all types of complexity.[1,2]


As it manifests, an allergy to medications can be:

Immediate – occurs almost immediately when the drug enters the body. Most often, an immediate drug reaction is observed with the introduction of drugs of the penicillin group, and the severity of this allergic reaction varies depending on the person’s immunity. [1,2,3]

Delayed – occurs a few days after the introduction of medical devices, which greatly complicates the identification of the allergen. As a rule, delayed allergic reactions to medications are accompanied by a significant increase in temperature, urticaria, joint pain, and changes in the structure of the blood. [2,3]

Symptoms of drug allergy :

  • Allergic reactions that can occur with any type of allergy:

– redness of the skin;

– itching;

– urticaria;

– allergic rhinitis;

– allergic conjunctivitis;

– suffocation.

  • Complex manifestations of allergies:

– bronchial asthma;

– angioedema;

– anaphylactic shock.[1,2,3]


If signs of allergic reactions to medications appear, stop taking them and consult a doctor to correct treatment.

If the manifestations of an allergy to medicines are not life-threatening, then you can take the following steps yourself:

If the allergy appears as local redness or itching , take a cool shower and apply a soothing compress or anti- allergic cream to the affected area. Reduce physical activity, rest.

With dizziness or weakness , you need to increase blood flow to the brain. To do this, lie down so that your legs are higher than your head.

If the allergy is causing swelling and difficulty breathing , then calm down first. If possible, take an antihistamine and contact your doctor immediately, noting the exact name of the drug you are taking, the dose, and when you took it.[1,2]


Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent drug allergies, but allergic reactions can be reduced.

First of all, do not self-medicate. Drugs that have helped one person will not necessarily have the same effect on your body . If you have a disease, you should consult a specialist.

Secondly, when prescribing medication, warn your doctor about the medications you are currently taking.

Do not take medications to which you have experienced allergic reactions in the past.

Do not increase the dose of drugs on your own. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of increasing the dose or changing the drug.

If you have a severe allergic reaction to the drugs you are taking, wear a drug allergy identification bracelet, which will make it much easier to diagnose in an emergency.

Follow a diet, do not eat so-called allergic foods, as a food allergy can be superimposed on a drug allergy, which will significantly worsen your health!

Strengthen your immune system, do not neglect outdoor activities and sunbathing and be healthy!

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