Drug allergy is a condition which manifests through a harmful reaction your body experiences due to exposure to certain medications. This reaction is not directly triggered by the drug, but, rather, by the immune system of our organism.
Even though most of drug allergies trigger some mild symptoms, some may be life-threatening.
Drug Allergies Dangers
In many cases, people who experience drug allergies manage to overcome them naturally in time. However, when you suffer from an allergic reaction to a certain drug once, you are likely to stay allergic to that drug for the rest of your life. Moreover, you may become allergic to many drugs which are similar to the one that initially trigger allergy symptoms in your organism.
Drug allergies mainly manifest through hives, rashes, blisters or some other forms of skin eczema, appearing within the first 72 hours once you have taken the medication in question. During the same timespan, you may experience coughing, breathing problems, wheezing and a runny nose, along with a fever and toxic epidermal necrolysis, being a potentially deadly condition resulting in skin peeling and blistering.
One of the most dangerous conditions which can be related to drug allergies is the anaphylaxis, leading to death if the affected person is not treated timely. Absence of treatment can result in the escalation of the condition, triggering a state of shock.
Some of the most common medications which trigger drug allergies are penicillin, sulfa medicines, barbiturates, vaccines, insulin, anticonvulsants and medications for people suffering from hyperthyroidism.
If you notice any of the above reactions within the first 72 hours after taking some medications, call the emergency service. Your doctor will provide you with the best possible treatment for your drug allergies, once he/she has diagnosed the condition and determined the type of drugs behind the adverse reactions you are experiencing.
As for the things you can do in order to stay safe from an allergic reactions to medications, the best possible step would be avoiding the problematic drug completely. However, some people say that taking smaller amounts of the drug you are allergic to may help you overcome the allergy itself. Still, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any steps of this type.
Teach Children about Drug Allergies
In order to keep your children well protected from any forms of drug allergies, you are advised to inform them about all the characteristics of this condition mentioned above. By knowing the signs of drug allergies, your children can report them to you, making it possible for you to seek timely treatment.
Tell your children to keep track of all the medications they are taking, knowing exactly which ones might have lead to an allergic reaction, avoiding these in the future. Again, do not neglect the fact that certain types of medications, similar to the ones which have triggered the initial allergic reactions may have the same effect.
If you take your child to the doctor, make sure you ask him/her to give you the list of all the medications prescribed. This way, you can short-list the possible triggers of an allergic reaction, if it appears.
Furthermore, teach your child not to share medications with other children, let along take someone else's drugs.
If the allergy symptoms appear, tell your child to deal with the itching first, through taking cool showers or applying cool compresses on the affected area. If the symptoms do not disappear, seek medical assistance.
Finally, tell your child to avoid strong detergents, soaps and cosmetic products, especially if certain skin conditions are bothering them. These substances will only make matters worse.
Due to the fact that drug allergies cannot be stopped before they initially appear, the main way of staying protected is taking drugs only when absolutely necessary. The more medications one's body gets exposed to, the greater are the chances of the onset of an allergic reaction.
Upon visiting your or your child's doctor, inform him/her about the previous allergies you or your child has experienced. This information is crucial for preventing any such occurrences in the future. If your child is prone to allergies, getting an ID bracelet would be a good choice for him/her. These are worn in order to alert the medical staff and all other people about the allergies the child, or anyone else, is likely to experience.
All in all, you are advised to keep both yourself and your child free from drug-induced allergies. These are common and many people suffer from them. However, the bad side of controlling this condition is its unpredictability. Namely, you cannot know whether you are allergic to a certain drug until your initial allergic reaction takes place. Reducing the exposure to medications in general may prove to be a step worth taking. Also, consulting with your and your child's doctor is always a recommended procedure, especially when it comes to taking or seeking medications for specific health problems.