Any drug can lead to an adverse reaction. These reactions range from mild to life-threatening. These reactions can be from an allergic response. They can also be a side effect of the drug. Others, may represent a toxic response of a drug.
Causes of Drug Hypersensitivity
Drugs can lead to hypersensitivity reactions by many mechanisms. The drug may irritate the GI tract or brain, leading to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headache. An immune response may lead to vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy serum sickness. Allergic responses develop when a substance, or allergen, has previously stimulated the immune system. Upon a repeated exposure, this same allergen can then trigger the release of histamine, leading to mild to severe allergic reactions. Some drug reactions represent the effect of the drug on the particular tissue. Some examples of this are Gastric bleeding from the use of aspirin or Chemical hepatitis from the use of dilantin.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Hypersensitivity
The symptoms which develop depend of the nature of the reaction. Skin rashes are the common allergic reaction. These allergic reactions can progress to include itching, hives and flushed skin. Anaphylaxis can occur. In this situation there is a rapid allergic response to an antigen, or substance, that has previously stimulated the immune system. This leads to wheezing, difficulty breathing, pallor, shock, lightheadedness and sometimes death. Serum sickness can develop. This develops when substance produced in an immune reaction accumulate and are deposited in various organs. Serum sickness can lead to fever, rash, joint pain and nerve damage. Various blood disorders, such as hemolytic anemia, can occur from direct reaction to some drugs. Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) can both occur from direct action of the drug as well as being the product of immune system. Other hypersensitivity reactions which are not allergic responses include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and photosensitivity (a skin reaction to sunlight). Dizziness and vertigo may develop from the hypersensitivity response.
Find more information
Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
The information contained on this site is for the sole purpose of
being informative. This information is not and should not be used or relied upon as medical
advice. Always seek the advice of your physician, nurse
Or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or
for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please discontinue use
of MyElectronicMD and call 911 now.
Nothing contained on or provided through the service is intended to be or is
to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
Your use of this site is subject to certain terms and conditions.