2) What are the most common drugs involved in reactions?
- Antibiotics, especially penicillin and cephalosporins
- Cancer treatment drugs, especially carboplatin and taxane drugs
- Biologic drugs, especially rituximab and cetuximab
- Local and general anesthetics, such as succinylcholine.
- Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, especially aspirin and ibuprofen
- Radiographic contrast media, commonly used during CT and MRI scans.
3) Which common drugs have low rates of drug reaction?
- Vaccines. The reported incidence of any adverse effect after vaccine administration is 11.4 per 100,000. True allergic reactions to vaccines are even lower, 1 in 450,000.
- Opioids, including morphine and codeine.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
4) What are some common signs of drug reactions?
- Hives and itchiness, particularly if they occur less than an hour after receiving a medication.
- Generalized malaise, flushing, especially in biologic drugs.
- Chills and fever.
5) What is some important information to tell my Allergist about the drug reaction?
- The names of each of the suspected medications involved in the reaction
- The timing of each reaction
- How long have you been taking the drug?
- What condition was the drug treating?
- What were the signs and symptoms of the reaction?
- Did you take other medications at the same time?
- Have you taken the drug since the first reaction?
- How long did it take for the reaction to resolve?
6) What are some methods used to diagnose drug allergy?
- Skin testing for evaluation of hypersensitivity to the drug. This usually includes a skin prick test, but can also include a deeper intra dermal level of testing
- Lab tests to evaluate blood counts, liver function, and other signs of allergic reactions that may have spread to different organs or parts of the body