Allergies to medications are important to recognize as they can potentially cause serious problems. If you develop a rash, hives, or shortness of breath after taking specific medications, then you may have a medication drug allergy. You should inform your doctor of any potential allergies to medications.
The most common medications that cause allergic reactions are antibiotics such as penicillin. Other times medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or antibiotics with sulfa can cause allergic reactions. The allergic reaction can be a rash, itching, hives, wheezing, or shortness of breath. We are most concerned when a medication causes a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which is a medical emergency.
It is helpful to tell your doctor what symptoms you have after taking a medication. When did you last take this medication? It may be helpful to bring the medication with you to the appointment so that your doctor can offer an alternative prescription.
At Chicago Allergy & Asthma we are able to perform simple tests to diagnose allergies to medications, and then provide desensitization treatment to provide relief. This could be a skin test where we test a small amount of the medication on the skin and monitor for any local reaction on the skin. Other times, we may try a medication or drug challenge. This is where we will administer a small dose of the medication and closely monitor for reactions.