Drug Allergy

St. Louis Allergist for Drug Allergy

Adverse reactions to medications are common, yet everyone responds differently. One person may develop a rash or other reactions when taking a certain medication, while another person on the same drug may have no adverse reaction at all. Only about 5% to 10% of these reactions are due to an allergy to the medication. When you react once to drug, most people feel anxious about taking the drug again. Our St. Louis allergy clinic will diagnose your reaction, give you the allergy relief you need, and determine whether it is safe for you to use the medication again.

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, in this case a medication, which triggers an allergic reaction. Sensitivities to drugs may produce similar symptoms in St. Louis residents, but do not involve the immune system. Only an allergy doctor can determine whether your reaction was due to allergy or not.

Our St. Louis allergy clinic finds certain medications are more likely to produce allergic reactions than others. The most common drug allergies in our St. Louis allergy clinic are:

  • Antibiotics, such as penicillin
  • Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy
  • Chemotherapy

The chances of developing an allergy are higher when you take the medication frequently or when it is rubbed on the skin or given by injection, rather than taken by mouth.

Symptoms of Drug Allergy

Adverse reactions to medications range from vomiting and hair loss with cancer chemotherapy to upset stomach from aspirin or diarrhea from antibiotics. If you take ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors for high blood pressure, you may develop a cough or facial and tongue swelling.

In many cases, it can be difficult without the help of a St. Louis allergist to determine if the reaction is due to the medication or something else. This is because your symptoms may be similar to other conditions. The most frequent types of allergic symptoms to medications are:

  • Skin rashes, particularly hives
  • Itching
  • Respiratory problems
  • Swelling, such as in the face

Anaphylaxis (an-uhfuhlak-sis) is a serious allergic response that often involves swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure, and in severe cases, shock. If anaphylactic shock isn’t treated immediately, it can be fatal. A major difference between anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions is that anaphylaxis typically involves more than one system of the body. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical attention because the result can be fatal.

If you think you might be allergic to a medication prescribed by your doctor, our St. Louis allergy allergists advise you to call your physician before altering or stopping the dosage.

St. Louis Allergy Clinic for Drug Allergy Treatment

Your allergy doctor in St. Louis will want to know:

  • When symptoms began
  • A description of your symptoms
  • How long the symptoms lasted
  • Any other medications taken during this time, including over-the-counter drugs

If you have a history of reactions to different medications, or if you have a serious reaction to a drug, you will benefit from consulting with a St. Louis allergist, who has specialized training and experience to diagnose the problem, and provide allergy help and develop a plan to protect you in the future.

Any time you experience an adverse reaction to a drug, we recommend consulting with a St. Louis allergist. Determining whether your reaction was due to allergy or a sensitivity will help you prevent future incidents by identifying clearly the problematic substance. Our allergy clinic is currently accepting new patients in St. Louis. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with the allergy doctor of your choice.

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