Everyone reacts to medications differently. Certain medications have known side effects that can be common in many patients. Certain medications have known but rare side effects that are reported by few patients. Allergic reactions occur when your immune system sees a drug as foreign and reacts by making antibodies called IgE. This kind of allergic reaction can lead to life-threatening anaphylaxis. Other adverse reactions to medications are immune mediated but not related to IgE. These are often reactions that affect the skin. All medications have the potential to cause side effects, but only about 5 to 10% of adverse reactions to drugs are allergic. Always call your doctor if you have side effects that concern you, or you suspect a drug allergy has occurred. If your symptoms are severe, seek medical help immediately.
Non-allergic reactions are much more common than drug allergic reactions. These reactions are usually predictable based on the properties of the drugs involved. Symptoms of non-allergic drug reactions vary, depending on the type of medication. People being treated with chemotherapy often suffer from vomiting and hair loss. Certain antibiotics irritate the intestines, which can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Antibiotics are the most common cause of anaphylaxis. While it is reasonable to initially consider a medication allergy when a person experiences certain symptoms while taking the medication, it is also important to have a proper diagnosis. Given the resistance to antibiotics of certain bacteria, there are recent guidelines recommending testing for antibiotic allergy in patient previously labeled with a penicillin allergy. Ninety (90%) percent of patients labeled with a penicillin allergy, once tested and challenged, will no longer be allergic to penicillin!
A few facts about drug allergy from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:
14535 John Marshall Hwy, Suite 212
Gainesville, VA 20155
hours of Gainesville:
|Mondays||9am - 5pm|
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|Wednesday||8am - 5pm|
|Thursdays||9am - 6pm|
13890 Braddock Road, Suite 206
Centreville, VA 20121
What People Are Saying
"Everyone at Family Allergy Center is kind and always comforting to my daughter. Dr. Smith is so knowledgeable and she is very good at explaining everything. I really can’t imagine taking my daughter anywhere else for her food allergies. You all are fabulous—I can’t think of anything I would change!"
"I am a shot patient treated for my seasonal allergies. I started coming here in the summer 2015 and it was the best thing to happen to me! Jill, Tammy, April and Dr. Smith provide a warm, comfortable and caring environment. I call this my therapy time for more than just my allergies, because for the 20 minutes I am around people who care and know my name. I absolutely adore Family Allergy Center and I trust all of these fabulous people! Keep up all that you are already doing FAC!"
"Dr. Smith and her nurse were so nice and caring. They listened to my daughter and me, and never pushed us into a decision we didn’t want. I can’t think of anything I would change about this practice."
"To the entire Family Allergy Center team: Thank you for all you are doing to keep us safe while keeping your doors open and shots on schedule during this crazy time. I think you all are amazing."