Preparing for your appointment

See your health care provider if you experience symptoms that may be related to a drug you recently started taking or take regularly. Be prepared to answer the following questions. These details are important in helping to determine the cause of your symptoms.

  • What symptoms did you experience? Don't leave out details even if they seem unrelated.
  • When did the symptoms start? Be as specific as possible.
  • How long did the symptoms last?
  • What new drug have you taken?
  • When did you take it?
  • Have you stopped taking the new drug?
  • What other nonprescription or prescription drugs do you take?
  • What herbal medications, vitamins or other dietary supplements do you take?
  • At what time of day do you take your other medications or supplements?
  • Have you increased the dosage of any regular drug or supplement?
  • Have you stopped taking your regular medications or supplements?
  • Did you take anything to treat your symptoms, and what was the effect?
  • Have you had a reaction to a drug in the past? If so, what drug was it?
  • Do you have hay fever, food allergy or other allergies?
  • Is there a history of drug allergies in your family?

You may want to take pictures of any condition, such as a rash or swelling, to show your provider. These may help if symptoms have subsided by the time of your appointment.

Oct. 26, 2022
  1. Goldman L, et al., eds. Drug allergy. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
  2. Pichler WJ. Drug hypersensitivity: Classification and clinical features. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
  3. Walls RM, et al., eds. Allergy, hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
  4. Burks AW, et al. Drug allergy. In: Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.
  5. Sousa-Pinto B. Frequency of self-reported drug allergy — A systematic review and meta-analysis with meta-regression. Annals of Allergy and Immunology. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2017.07.009. Accessed Oct. 18, 2022.
  6. Drug allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/drug-allergies. Accessed Oct. 2, 2020.