Body immune system is a body defence system made up of many different cells to protect us against microorganism and foreign substances, thus keeping us away from infections.Image sourceHowever, when your body immune system overreacted and become sensitized to a particular medication, your body will perceive it as harmful foreign substance and produce antibodies to fight against it.The severity of allergies range from mild skin reaction to severe anaphylaxis shock and it varies from person to person. Types of common skin reaction including itchiness all over the body, hives/urticaria, rashes, and facial swelling. Mild skin reaction is self-limiting. It usually take a few days to resolve.Common Triggers of Drug Allergies:Antibiotics (beta-lactams based antibiotics and antibiotics containing sulphonamides)Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen.AnticonvulsantsChemotherapy drugsNote that you may not have allergic symptoms the first time you take a medicine, it could be because your body is producing antibodies to the medicine.
The next time when you take the medicine, your immune system already recognizes the foreign body, thus triggering an antibody response.Image sourceOn a side note, other common causes of allergic reaction are:Foods (such as peanuts, cow’s milk, soy, seafood and eggs)Dust mitesPollensInsect stings and tick bitesFurry animals such as cats and dogs furImage sourceWhat is Anaphylaxis?Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction which often involve your whole body (including skin, cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal system). It can happen very quickly, from 20 minutes to 2 hours after exposure to the trigger.Any causes of allergies may cause anaphylaxis shock.
When it happens, immediate medical attention is needed.One’s may have the following symptoms:Flushing of the skinRashes, hives/urticaria all over the bodyFacial swelling/swelling of throat and mouthDifficulty in swallowing or speakingAlterations in heart rateSevere asthmaSudden feeling of dizzinessLoss of consciousnessNote that someone does not necessarily will experience all of these symptoms in one episode.How to manage drug allergies?Avoid triggers.If this is the first time, keep a record of all the medications or foods taken before the allergies reaction happen. Note down the time of onset and duration of reaction as well. If you have an allergic reaction before and have been issued with an allergy cards, do make sure that you bring the cards everywhere you go.
Take antihistamines.For mild skin reaction, you may want to take some antihistamine to relieve the rashes or itchiness. You may want to take picture of the skin reactions to assist in doctor’s diagnosis if necessary.Seek medical attention immediately if anaphylaxis shock happens.