The drugs we use to protect or restore our health can sometimes have unwanted effects. Drug allergy, which is just one of the various causes of drug-related side effects, can also cause mild or severe unwanted effects in some people. Since these severe reactions can rarely result in death, drug allergy is not negligible. In this article, what are the drugs that cause drug allergy, we will mention some important points on this subject that understandable way.

What is drug allergy?

Drug allergy is the fact that our immune system, which protects our body, perceives some drugs as a threat and reacts excessively against them. Drug allergy can affect people of all ages. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment is important at all ages.

What are the drugs that cause drug allergy?

Antibiotics (eg penicillin) and pain relievers (eg aspirin) are among the most common drugs that cause drug allergy. However, it should be kept in mind that almost any drug can be a source of allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms?

The severity of the reactions that can be seen in drug allergy and the location of the involvement may differ. It can be a simple reaction such as itching and redness of the skin, or it can manifest itself with severe reactions called anaphylaxis (allergic shock). People with drug allergies may have symptoms such as hives, swelling of the face / tongue, pain in the throat, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain and vomiting, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

What should I do if I have the symptoms?

Drug allergy can cause anaphylaxis (allergic shock). When this situation is experienced as an emergency that may result in death in the form of sudden shortness of breath, swelling of the throat, dizziness / fainting, it is necessary to apply to the nearest health center and to have an emergency intervention. The patient should be evaluated by an allergist in the period after the emergency situation has subsided. Patients with milder complaints can always apply to an allergist if they think that their complaints are caused by the drugs they use.

How should I prepare when going to the doctor due to drug allergy?

The primary tool that physicians use when evaluating their patients is medical history. Therefore, when applying to your physician, it is important to review your experiences and to mention the names of the drugs you use or bring them with you, remember when you took the drugs, and when the reaction occurred. If you have applied to a health center before because of these reactions, it will be helpful to bring the results of the tests. If a skin test for drug allergy is to be done, you may be asked that you have not used allergy medication about 1 week before.

How is diagnosed?

The most important thing in the diagnosis of drug allergy is the patient’s history. In order to determine that the allergic reaction is caused by the suspected drug, allergy tests can be performed on the skin and/or blood. Tests can also be done to find alternative medications that the patient can use. Allergists are specialist physicians who have been trained to take the most appropriate diagnostic approach for patients with drug allergies.

How is the treatment done?

The main approach in drug allergies is to avoid drugs that cause reactions. For this, it is important to first determine the drug or drugs that cause an allergic reaction. If it is known that you are hypersensitive to a particular drug, you will need to warn your physician and other healthcare professionals in this regard.

Allergy medications (antihistamines) can be used for simple skin reactions such as itching and redness. If there is an anaphylaxis (allergic shock) table in which symptoms such as difficulty in breathing and fainting occur, necessary interventions should be performed in the emergency department.

The more practical approach in patients with drug allergies is to determine the alternative drugs that can be used by the patient. If there is no alternative drug available to the patient or if the drug he uses is vital, some desensitization methods (desensitizing the patient to the drug) can be tried under appropriate conditions.

Is there an herbal treatment for drug allergy?

There is no known proven herbal treatment for drug allergy. If there is anaphylaxis (allergic shock) situation, it is necessary to apply to the nearest health center as it is an emergency that can result in death.

What happens if drug allergy is not treated?

Simple skin reactions such as redness and itching usually go away on the same day as treatment. On the other hand, anaphylaxis (allergic shock) is a medical condition that requires immediate attention, as it can be fatal.


Drug allergy is a medical condition that should be taken seriously as it can cause anaphylaxis (allergic shock). Its diagnosis should not be delayed. Patients and healthcare professionals caring for the patient should be adequately informed.

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