While anyone can have an allergic or nonallergic reaction to a drug, a few factors can increase your risk. These include:
- Having a past allergic reaction to the same drug or another drug. Even if past reactions have been mild, you may still be at risk of a more severe reaction.
- Taking a similar drug to one that caused a reaction in the past. For example, if you've had a reaction to penicillin, you also may be sensitive to some other antibiotics.
- Having a weakened immune system from conditions such as the Epstein-Barr virus or HIV/AIDS.
- Having a history of other allergies, such as hay fever.
- Taking several drugs at the same time, or taking frequent doses of the same medication.
Those who have a greater risk of developing a more severe reaction to medications include people with:
Oct. 14, 2011
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
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- 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.
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- 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.
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