Drug Allergies

Drug allergies are an adverse reaction to a drug caused by an allergic reaction, a set of chemical steps in the body caused by sensitivity to an allergen. Drug allergies can be caused by almost any drug, although allergic reactions are more common for some drugs than for others. An allergic reaction to a drug can result in a variety of symptoms, from a simple skin rash or feeling of nausea to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening whole-body reaction. Among the classes of drugs most often reported as causing allergic reactions are antibiotics including penicillin, sulfa drugs, insulin, anticonvulsants, and contrast dyes containing iodine.

It is standard practice to include information about drug allergies in a patient’s medical record, in order to avoid prescribing a drug that is ...

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