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Why drug allergies are so dangerous to patients

When you go to the hospital or to a doctor's office, you expect the staff there to take your health seriously. If you have an allergy, you likely explain this each time you come in and even have it listed in the medical notes each provider looks at. If your provider offers you a prescription containing chemicals you're allergic to, there's a real threat that you could be made very sick or even die, depending on the severity of your reaction.

What is a drug allergy?

A drug allergy is nothing more than an allergic reaction caused by taking a medication. When you have an allergic reaction, your immune system fights off the drug, thinking it's a disease or infection. Some people suffer minor symptoms, like skin rashes or a general feeling of being unwell, while others face anaphylaxis.

Why is a drug allergy dangerous?

It's not always dangerous, and in fact, sometimes the symptoms are so mild that you won't even notice that you have an allergy. However, there are times when allergies can be life-threatening. Sometimes, these life-threatening reactions cause irregular heartbeats, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, anaphylaxis or other serious symptoms.

It's fairly uncommon for a drug to cause anaphylaxis the first time it's taken; however, it is possible with certain medications. Some that can cause anaphylaxis include the dyes used for some kinds of X-rays, chemotherapy medications, aspirin and morphine.

If your medical provider confuses your medications or negligently provides you with one you're allergic to, you have the right to a claim. Your health was on the line, and your medical provider's negligence could have caused life-threatening illnesses.

Source: Healthline, "What Is a Drug Allergy?," accessed March 24, 2017

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