Drug Allergy Symptoms and Treatment
If drugs have unwanted side effects, there is possibly allergy behind the case. Then, for example, a drug eruption arise: This is an allergic skin rash that often occurs when the body reacts overly sensitive to certain ingredients of the drug. In addition, allergy can cause more different symptoms.
Triggers for a drug allergy are virtually can be all drugs. Some medicines (such as penicillin) often have more allergic reactions than others.
It is also important how to use medicine. How to apply a medicine also has influence on the risk of a drug allergy: An allergic skin rash is caused by drugs by placing externally on the skin is so much more often than a drug eruptions or other allergic reaction to medicines which are used internally (E.g. via injection into the vein or through the mouth).
Mostly a drug allergy is associated with skin reactions.These are mostly :
- Photoallergic Dermatitis
- Contact Dermatitis
- Other organs can be affected in the case of drug allergy.Usually precede the other reactions in the body then allergic reactions of the skin – they represent a kind of early warning system.
What’s The Definition of Drug Allergy?
The term drug allergy refers to an increased or exaggerated allergic reaction of the immune system to specific ingredients of drugs. Especially , a medication allergy causes a drug eruptions – this is an inflammatory rash caused by drugs.
Such allergic rash starts from the connective tissue of the vessels and can be evenly distributed over the whole body or limited to certain parts of the body. In addition to skin reactions, also other form of allergic reactions are possible with a drug allergy.
Virtually any medication can trigger a drug allergy with or without drug eruption. However, medicines contain auxiliary materials such as fillers, stabilizers, flavoring and coloring agents.In some cases , these auxiliary materials can cause a drug alergy instead of drug itself.
What Are The Drug Allergy Causes ?
A drug allergy with or without drug eruption (allergic rash) is caused by dysregulation and excessive defense reaction of the immune system to certain substances contained in medicines.
Basically, all the medication can cause an allergy, but an allergic reaction to some drugs develops much more frequently than others. Each drug can trigger the allergic reactions in the body, on the skin or the adjacent mucous membranes of inflammatory skin rashes (Exanthema).
Internal triggers of a drug allergy with drug eruptions are often following active ingredients:
- Antiepileptic drugs: phenytoin
- Psychotropic drugs: neuroleptics and tricyclic antidepressants
- Sleeping pills (barbiturates)
- Painkillers and antirheumatic: pyrazolones, oxicams, gold preparations and D-penicillamine
- Muscle relaxants: suxamethonium
- Antibiotics and chemotherapeutic agents: penicillins, cephalosporins, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides, nitrofurantoin
- TB agents isoniazid
- Antifungals: Amphotericin B
- Malarials: quinine
- Thyroid drugs: iodine, thiouracils, perchlorate, mercaptoimidazoles
- Hormones: insulin
- Blood substitutes: dextran, gelatin
- Medicines with effect on heart and circulation: hydralazine, procainamide, methyldopa
As causes of drug allergy with drug come in topical application in particular the following active ingredients:
- Local anesthesia (local anesthetics): procaine and lidocaine
- H1 receptor antagonists: antihistamines
- Antibiotics and chemotherapeutics: neomycin, gentamicin, streptomycin, penicillin, sulfonamides, imidazoles
- A drug allergy may be caused by preservatives which can be contained in a pharmaceutical composition. These include benzalkonium chloride, parabens and thimerosal mix.
What are the Drug Allergy Symptoms ?
The problems are caused by a drug allergy symptoms affect skin in 80 percent of cases. In addition, drug allergy can cause to other symptoms on the skin – such as:
- Aqueous hives
The drug eruptions and other skin reactions can occur on the skin, mucous membranes, hair, sweat and sebaceous glands, or the nails. They are usually accompanied by an itching. The lesions due to a drug allergy can vary considerably – Examples of allergic symptoms of the skin are:
Hives (Urticaria), Angioneurotic Edema
Blotchy-looking skin inflammatory rash with small nodules (maculopapular rashes)
Photo allergic Dermatitis
Spotty reddening of the skin (Purpura)
Scalded skin syndrome (known as Lyell’s syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis)
The first allergic reaction to a drug is usually very weak. Repeated contact increase the discomfort of drug allergy. In addition to the reactions of the skin, drug allergy may cause other symptoms – for example:
- Light headedness
- Nettle rash
- Mucous membrane swelling
- Shortness of breath
- Cardiovascular collapse
The severity of a drug allergy can vary considerably. An allergic reaction does not depend on the dose: Even low-dose drugs may cause a distinctive drug eruption or other significant symptoms in an allergic person.Mostly, drug allergies are not severe symptoms. Exceptions are the Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Lyell’s syndrome which can be life-threatening.
Drug Allergy Diagnosis
To diagnose a possible drug allergy or drug eruption (inflammatory skin rash due to medication), you need to seperate responsible medicine: Symptoms disappear after discontinuation of the drug, this is regarded as a clear indication of an allergy.
If someone takes more drugs, the diagnosis of drug allergy is difficult. The reason is that It is rarely possible to conclude from the nature of the allergic reaction to a particular drug.
Moreover, the signs of a drug allergy may resemble other diseases. If a rash develops in the context of medical treatment, it is advisable to consult a doctor (allergist) familiar with allergies, to clarify underlying problem.However,a classic allergy test on the skin is limited for drug allergy diagnosis: It can be proved just an allergic skin rash due to a few medications such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories (cortisone).
Drug Allergy Treatment
In a serious drug allergy with or without drug eruption,the first treatment is to stop using causative drugs.
If you are taking different medications at the same time, it may be difficult to identify whether it is allergy or not.
It is also possible to treat the acute allergic reaction by medication.
Drug Allergy Process and Prognosis
Allergic skin rash due to medication usually shows a favorable course. After you have stopped taking the triggering medication, the rash usually heals within a few days (at most within a week).If result of drug allergy is very strong, there can be some reactions which takes up to six weeks the final healing.
A drug allergy with or without drug eruptions can be connected with various complications if the allergic reaction is not treated properly.Drug allergy can threatens other organs such as :
In the case of complication of drug allergy , one organ or multiple organs(generalized allergic) can be affected together.
Examples of more generalized allergic reactions due to drug allergy are:
- Drug fever,
- Serum sickness,
- Drug-induced autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
How to Prevent Drug Allergy
You can not prevent drug allergy or a drug eruption,because body can basically develop an allergy to any medications. If you have previously developed allergic reaction to drugs, it is advisable always to speak up when a doctor prescribes you a new drug. In the case of a self-medication, if you want to buy prescription drugs without a doctor’s instruction , it is recommended that you inform the pharmacist of the drug allergy.