Drug Allergies

Information on Drug Allergies

Most, if not all, medications have some sort of side effect or reaction that varies from person to person. In some cases these reactions happen because of a drug allergy, and are not the typical side effects. For this reason, it is important to know what side effects to expect from medications, so you can identify possible allergic reactions.

Simply put, an allergy is the immune system overreacting to an otherwise harmless substance, like medication. Drug allergies not only develop when you take a medication by mouth but can also develop when you rub medication directly on the skin or have it administered by injection.


So how can you know if you are experiencing a drug allergy? Here are a few typical drug allergy symptoms to look for:

  • Swelling
  • Breathing problems
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Dry or itchy skin

Drug allergies are highly variable, but a few specific medications that have proven to be more allergy- inducing than other medications. Here are some of the medications most likely to produce an allergic reaction:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Chemotherapy
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy

If you think you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to medication or have additional questions about drug allergies, please speak with your doctor, who can determine if referral to a Board Certified Allergist is indicated.