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Drug Allergy (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Patient Comments

Generally, treatment of a drug allergy falls into three categories:

Mild allergy (localized hives and itching)

  • Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction caused by the drug.
  • Medications prescribed may include antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • You may be advised to stop taking the medication that caused the allergy.
  • Moderately severe allergy (all-over hives and itching)
  • Treatment is aimed at caring for the symptoms and stopping the reaction.
  • Usually the offending medication is stopped.
  • Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl)), oral steroids (prednisone), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).

Severe allergy (shortness of breath, throat tightness, faintness, severe hives, involvement of many organ systems)

  • Treatment includes strong medications to quickly reverse the dangerous chain of events.
  • The offending medication is stopped immediately.
  • Medications prescribed may include antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), oral or IV steroids such as prednisone or methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol), or histamine blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), or ranitidine (Zantac).
  • Depending on the severity of other symptoms, other medications may be used including epinephrine (also called adrenaline), which is inhaled, given by IV, or injected under the skin.
  • If your reaction is severe, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for continued therapy and observation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/30/2014

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Drug Allergy:

Drug Allergy - Treatment

What symptoms did you experience as a result of a drug allergy?

Drug Allergy - Medical Treatment

What medical treatment did you receive for your allergic reaction to a medication?

Drug Allergy - Experience

What drug(s) are you allergic to, and what type of reaction do you experience?



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