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  • More Harm than Good: Medication Allergies

  • Prescription medication is intended to produce a positive reaction in a patient. When the reaction turns negative, it can signal a medication allergy.

    Symptoms of an allergy to a medication include:

    • Hives
    • Skin itching and rashes
    • Shortness of breath
    • Disorientation
    • Unconsciousness
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Difficulty talking
    • Swollen mouth and tongue

    If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking the medication and contact your doctor immediately. You may need medication to counter the effects of the medication you have taken. Have someone keep you company for 24 hours after an allergic reaction to a medication, in case symptoms recur. It is possible to symptoms until the medication has left your system.

    Reduce your risk

    To prevent future reactions:

    • Familiarize yourself with the medication and other medications in its class; you may be allergic to these as well.
    • Remind your doctor of your medication allergies every time he or she prescribes a new medication. Don't assume that your doctor will remember it.
    • Ask your doctor about any over-the-counter medications or supplements that you should avoid.
    • If you take a new medication in your doctor's office, wait in the office for at least 15 minutes afterward as a precaution.