What Is An Allergic Reactions? Reacting To Medicines

What Is An Allergic Reactions?

Everybody falls sick at some time or other. Some men fall ill more often than others. Some sicknesses are self limiting and do not require anything more than rest. Some with chronic conditions require medicines for a longer period or throughout their lives.

Allergic Reactions: Medicines have benefits and risks; it can treat or prevent illness and disease, it can give rise to various side effects, including allergies as well. Most of the time, medicines make our lives better. They reduce aches and pains, fight infections, and control problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But sometimes medicines can also cause problems, unwanted reactions that’s so called adverse drug reactions.

Some men are simply more sensitive to the medicine than others. If you feel nauseous or faint from taking medicine, then you should try eating a light meal before taking it.  Medicine sometimes are well taken with a full glass of water which prevents you from becoming dehydrated.

The majority of medicines do not have significant adverse reactions. However, there are occasions when there are adverse reactions to medicines. Anybody can have an adverse drug reaction. However, people who take more than 3 medicines every day are more likely to have an adverse drug reaction. One medicine might cause an adverse reaction if it’s taken with another medicine.

Supplements, herbal products in teas or tablets, or vitamins may also cause adverse reactions when taken with certain drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist if you’re using any of these products.

Allergic reactions comprise less than 10% of all adverse reactions to medicines. It does not occur on the first occasion that the medicine is consumed but occurs on the second or subsequent time the medicine is taken. If an allergic reaction appears on the first occasion the medicine is consumed, it is very likely that the affected person had taken the medicine on a previous occasion without having known it. This is not uncommon as many patients do not know the names of the medicines they are taking.

Allergic reactions to medicine are a serious side effect that can kill patients in rare cases.

When the body is exposed to a substance for the first time, the immune system recognizes it as foreign and reacts to it by producing antibodies.

In the case of allergic reactions to medicines, antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE) are produced and stored. When the body is exposed to the medicine again, the IgE reacts to it and stimulates the body’s cells to produce chemicals called mediators, e.g. histamine, which act on organs, leading to the features of an allergic reaction.

The commonly used medicines which are the causes of allergic reactions are antibiotics like penicillin, sulpha compounds; painkillers (analgesics) like aspirin; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), e.g. indomethacin, ibuprofen; and anti-epilepsy medicines like phenytoin.

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction to medicine. They include a family history of allergies or asthma; allergies to certain foods, e.g. eggs, seafood; large doses of medicines; and administration of medicines by injections.

The following are some adverse drug reactions that you might notice, they range from a mild skin rash, or irregularly shaped swellings which are itchy, elevated, and slightly reddish, severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, confusion, breathing difficulties, fainting, and swelling of the throat to severe reactions from the body’s vital organ systems  and in the worst instances the reaction can kill them.

The reaction occur days or weeks after exposure to the medicines. This is unlike that of most other allergic reactions, which usually occur soon after exposure to the allergen.

The management of allergic reactions to medicines is dependent on their severity. It is important that the doctor or pharmacist who prescribed or dispensed the medicine, be contacted immediately for advice.

The treatment of mild (localised reactions) involves stopping the medicine that caused the allergic reaction and taking antihistamine medicines, which may be consumed orally or applied topically. Alternatives to the medicine that caused the allergic reaction may be prescribed.

If the allergic reaction is moderate (involves larger areas of the body), oral corticosteroids or histamine blockers will be prescribed in addition to that of the measures for mild reactions.

Severe allergic reactions require hospitalization whilst mild reactions can be managed at home after the doctor is satisfied that it can be managed so.

The reduction of physical activity and the wearing of light clothing that does not irritate the skin would be helpful. It is essential to keep the follow-up appointment after an allergic reaction to medicines has been treated. An assessment of the recovery can be carried out at this visit. At the same time, medicines may have to be adjusted and preventive advice given.

It is very difficult to prevent allergic reactions to medicines. This is compounded by the fact that many patients do not know what medicines they are taking. In addition, many people take traditional and complementary medicines, the composition of which are not known.

The more medicines a person takes, the higher the likelihood of an allergic reaction to medicines. However, there is much that everyone can do to reduce the likelihood.

And if you have a drug allergy:

  • Make sure all of your doctors know the drug you took and the drug reactions you suffered
  • Check with your doctor about related drugs that you must avoid
  • Check with your doctor about drugs that you can take, if needed
  • Wear an emergency medical alert bracelet or necklace, with the offending drug engraved

What Is An Allergic Reactions? Always know which other medications and foods you need to avoid. When you start a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you understand how to take it correctly.Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

By Irwanlee

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