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Preventing drug allergy

The fewer medications you are required to take, the lower your chances of having a drug allergy. Only use medications if absolutely required or if specifically prescribed to you.

For people with a known drug allergy, avoiding the allergy-causing medication is the best way to prevent allergic reactions from occurring.

Tell all health care providers, including physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses and hospital personnel, if you have any known drug allergies. Also tell your health care providers about any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) and herbal products you are taking.

What else can you do to prevent drug allergies?

If you know that you're allergic to one member of a drug family, avoid all other members of that family unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Some people who are allergic to penicillin, for example, can't take other medications in that family of medications.

To help prevent drug allergies:

  • Never use someone else's medication.
  • If you have known drug allergies, wear a MedicAlert bracelet so that medical personnel are aware of your condition, in case you need emergency treatment.
  • Inform all health care professionals (e.g., doctors, dentists, pharmacists) of your known drug allergies.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether desensitization treatment (in which very small and gradually increasing amounts of the drug are injected to reduce the allergic reaction) is right for you.

If you suspect a drug allergy or other adverse drug reaction, have the following information handy to report to your health care provider and/or emergency personnel:

  • personal information (your height and weight; health care number; name of physician; insurance information)
  • date and time of reaction
  • nature of reaction or problem
  • relevant personal medical history (e.g., known allergies, pregnancy, smoking and alcohol use, other medical conditions)
  • name of the medication you suspect caused the reaction (common or generic name, labeled strength, manufacturer name and expiry date, if known)
  • dose, frequency and route used (i.e., did you take the medication by mouth, applied to your skin, as an injection or inhalation?)
  • therapy dates (start to finish)
  • other medications you are taking or have taken recently, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements and herbal products

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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