Drug Allergy

Adult & Pediatric Allergy and Immunology services offered in Houston, TX
Drug Allergy

Drug Allergy services offered in Houston, TX

When a medication you take causes an itchy skin rash, shortness of breath, or other unusual symptoms, you probably have a drug allergy. At Complete Allergy and Asthma, allergy specialists Niti Chokshi, MD, and Brian Tison, MD, provide adults and children with comprehensive drug allergy care to prevent ongoing complications. The providers also work with you on an emergency plan for severe drug reactions like anaphylaxis. Call the Houston, Texas, office today to schedule a drug allergy evaluation or book an appointment online.

Drug Allergy Q&A

What is a drug allergy?

A drug allergy is an overreaction by your immune system to some medications. Nonprescription and prescription medications can cause allergic reactions, and so can herbal and other dietary supplements.

For some, drug allergies can cause severe and potentially life-threatening side effects, including anaphylaxis sudden airway inflammation that makes breathing difficult.

Complete Allergy and Asthma offers comprehensive care to adults and children with drug allergies. The experienced physicians tailor a treatment plan to ease drug allergy symptoms and prevent complications.

How do I know I have a drug allergy?

You could have a drug allergy if you experience unusual symptoms within an hour of taking a medication. These symptoms include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath

Hives or an itchy skin rash can develop hours, days, even weeks after taking the medications or supplements.

Anaphylactic reactions include throat swelling, trouble breathing, nausea, and vomiting. You can also experience lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If you believe you’re having an anaphylactic reaction, call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room without delay.

The Complete Allergy and Asthma providers complete a physical exam and review the medications and supplements you take. They also provide allergy tests to identify the substances in the drugs that trigger an allergic reaction.

How is a drug allergy treated?

If you have an allergy to a medication, your Complete Allergy and Asthma physician will let you know how to safely discontinue the drug.

If you must take a specific medication to control an acute or chronic health condition, the providers can recommend drug desensitization. This therapy initially involves taking small doses of the drug and gradually increasing the dose over several hours or days to reduce your immune system response.

You might also need a topical or oral antihistamine or corticosteroid to reduce skin inflammation.

For people who experience anaphylaxis, the providers create an emergency treatment plan to prevent respiratory complications. You need to carry an epinephrine pen (often called by the brand name EpiPen®) at all times in the event of an emergency. The pen contains an injectable dose of epinephrine that quickly reverses airway inflammation.

Call Complete Allergy and Asthma today to schedule a drug allergy evaluation or book an appointment online.