If you have a reaction to a drug, see your doctor as soon as possible. If the reaction is severe, get emergency help. If you had a past reaction and are now following up with your doctor, here are some things you can do to make the most of your appointment.
- Write down any signs and symptoms before you go to a doctor's appointment.
- Write down any treatments you tried at home, and let your doctor know whether or not they were successful.
- Make a list of any medications, herbal supplements or vitamins that you were taking when you had the reaction. Be sure to include any medications you put on your skin (topical medications) on your list.
- Tell your doctor about any health conditions you have, especially about any allergies.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Oct. 14, 2011
- When did you begin having symptoms?
- Do you only have these symptoms after taking a certain drug?
- Do you have this reaction every time you take this medication?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Have you had a reaction to a drug in the past? If so, what drug was it?
- Do you have hay fever or any other allergies?
- What medications are you taking; when did you start taking them?
- Do you take any vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies?
- Celik J. Drug allergy. In: Adkinson NF. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05659-5..00068-1&isbn=978-0-323-05659-5&uniqId=281389325-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05659-5..00068-1. Accessed Sept. 12, 2011.
- Medications and drug allergic reactions: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/medications-and-drug-allergic-reactions.aspx. Accessed Sept. 12, 2011.
- Drug hypersensitivity. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/immunology_allergic_disorders/allergic_and_other_hypersensitivity_disorders/drug_hypersensitivity.html#v996144. Accessed Sept. 12, 2011.
- Pichler WJ, et al. Drug hypersensitivity reactions: Pathomechanism and clinical symptoms. Medical Clinics of North America. 2010;94:645.
- Granowitz EV, et al. Antibiotic adverse reactions and drug interactions. Critical Care Clinics. 2008;24:421.
- Possible side-effects from vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/VACCINES/vac-gen/side-effects.htm. Accessed Sept. 12, 2011.
- Scherer K, et al. Danger signs in drug hypersensitivity. Medical Clinics of North America. 2010;94:681.
- Romano A, et al. Recent advances in the diagnosis of drug allergy. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunolgy. 2007;7:299.
- Aberer W, et al. Provocation tests in drug hypersensitivity. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 2009;29:567.
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