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Southwest Allergy & Asthma Center



6100 Windcom Court,
Suite 101
Plano, Texas 75093

Serving: Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Carrollton, Richardson, Lewisville, Garland, Dallas, The Colony, Addison, Coppell, Little Elm, Celina, Prosper, Sachse, Murphy, Wylie, Rockwall, Lucas and Rowlett

(972) 398 - 3500Telephone:
(972) 398 - 3512FAX:

In the Texoma Medical Plaza adjacent to the new Texoma Medical Center
5012 South US HWY 75,
Suite 150
Denison, Texas 75020

Serving: Denison, Sherman, Bonham, Gainesville, Pottsboro, Van Alstyne, McKinney, Prosper, Durant (OK) and Madill (OK)

(903) 463 - 8400Telephone:
(903) 463 - 8500FAX:

7785 Eldorado Pkwy,
Suite 500
McKinney, Texas 75070

Serving: McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Celina, Prosper, Sachse, Murphy, Wylie, Rockwall, Lucas and Rowlett

(972) 542 - 0500Telephone:
(972) 398 - 3512FAX:

In Twin Creeks Medical Center Two
1101 Raintree Cir,
Suite 200
Allen, Texas 75013

Serving: McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Celina, Prosper, Sachse, Murphy, Wylie, Rockwall, Lucas and Rowlett

(469) 656 - 1057Telephone:
(972) 398 - 3512FAX:

Green Going Green to help you breathe easier!

Drug Allergy

What is a drug allergy?

Drug allergy is an abnormal immune reaction to a medication. A drug allergy should be distinguished from drug intolerance or toxicity.

What is drug intolerance?

Drug intolerance is the inability to take a medication due to allergy, side effects or other toxicity issues. It is an all-encompassing term that includes all of the adverse events that occur with medications, many of which have nothing to do with the immune system.

Is drug allergy common?

Drug allergy is fairly common, but many people who think they have a drug allergy are not truly allergic to the concerning medication. Antibiotics and pain relievers are the medications that most commonly cause allergic reactions.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to a drug?

Classic allergic reactions usually include a red, itchy rash called hives that occurs within minutes of taking a medication. Hives can progress to or occur as part of a more serious allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that may include any of the following symptoms: wheezing or other breathing problems; vomiting, diarrhea or stomach cramps; face, mouth, or throat swelling; or signs of shock, including low blood pressure, dizziness, and passing out.

There are other types of immune reactions where symptoms may develop more gradually. These delayed reactions typically produce a hive-like rash and may sometimes be accompanied by fever, joint pains, or blistering reactions. This type of reaction can also be life-threatening and may sometimes persist for weeks after the medication is stopped.

Do people outgrow drug allergies?

This is a difficult question to answer. Most drug allergies are likely lifelong. Many people who think they have “outgrown” a drug allergy may not have been allergic to the concerning medication in the first place. Delayed immune reactions to drugs are more sporadic in nature and may not consistently occur with subsequent exposures.

What things should I avoid?

If you are allergic to a particular drug you should avoid that drug and may need to avoid similar drugs in the same medication class.

How do I find out if I am really allergic to a drug?

Your physician may use skin tests to determine if there is a drug allergy present. For some types of reactions skin testing is not useful and a graded challenge is used to diagnose allergy. In a graded challenge small but increasing doses of a medication are given in an attempt to elicit a reaction in a supervised setting.