Drug allergies

What are drug allergies?

Drug allergies are allergic reactions to drugs or medications you might be given or might take. There are many different chemicals in medication – other than the drug itself, there may be dyes or food products that can also trigger a reaction. Symptoms can range from a skin rash or hives to life threatening anaphylactic shock. However, death from a drug allergy is extremely rare.

Only 10 % of adverse reactions to drugs are true allergic reactions to the drug. This means that in only 10 % of cases, the drug or other ingredients in the medication binds to IgE (a chemical involved with immunity), which then triggers mast cells (a type of white blood cell) to release histamine (another chemical involved with immunity, its effects on the body are responsible for your signs and symptoms). In the majority of cases, adverse reactions to drugs are due to variations of drug metabolism which can lead to drug sensitivities. These will be discussed later on in this article.

Drug allergies Guide Index:

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