What is serum sickness?

    Monday, 18 April 2011 00:00  Blog

Serum sickness is a delayed type of drug allergy that occurs a week or more after exposure to a medication. The immune system misidentifies a protein in the drug as a potentially harmful substance, and it develops an immune response to fight it, causing inflammation and other symptoms.

Symptoms of serum sickness do not develop until seven to 21 days after the first exposure to the drug. However, people may develop symptoms in one to three days if they have previously taken the medication. Within one to two weeks of taking a medication, the following signs and symptoms may be present:

  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen throat glands (lymph nodes)
  • Changes in urine color

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