Drug hypersensitivity reactions
What is it?
A drug allergy is an adverse reaction of varying severity, sometimes fatal, caused by abnormal activation of immune system cells in relation to the drug itself, which leads to the production of inflammatory substances or specific antibodies responsible for clinical manifestations and damage to various organs and systems.
An allergic reaction appears within a few minutes or a few hours after taking the drug, even if it is administered in the correct doses.
Allergic reactions to drugs are constantly increasing due to their increasing consumption and account for 3-6% of all hospitalizations.
Which are the symptoms?
In case of an allergic reaction to the drug, the following may occur:
• urticaria or angioedema or other skin and / or mucous manifestations;
• difficulty breathing (swelling of the glottis, rhinitis or asthma, pneumonia);
• anaphylactic shock;
• renal-hepatic failure, anemia and other manifestations affecting blood cells, etc.
If the manifestation of symptoms appeared after taking the drug, there is no diagnostic doubt.
How is it diagnosed?
However, follow-up allergy testing is recommended, including a thorough history taking, skin allergy tests, or in vitro tests, depending on the type of immunological response and the characteristics of the drug used, to indicate in a written report which drugs the patient should no longer take in order to avoid risk of new reactions.
How is it treated?
If an allergic reaction occurs, it is necessary to immediately stop taking the drug or the corresponding drugs, as well as prescribe antihistamines and steroids for a faster resolution of clinical manifestations.
Subsequently, the allergist, after conducting appropriate research, will be able to indicate an alternative medicine to the one that caused the allergic reaction, for use if necessary. The latter can be administered for the first time in a hospital setting, starting with the minimum dose until the recommended therapeutic dosage is reached (tolerance test).
Where do we treat it?
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