Have a Drug Allergy? Know How to Protect Yourself

Although drug allergies might not be as common as environmental and food allergies, for the 10 percent of the world's population that deals with this issue, drug allergies are a very big deal. Whether something is taken an over-the-counter medication for a headache or via a new prescription from a physician, there are certain challenges people with drug allergies face that others don't. Making sure you know how to navigate medical situations safely is crucial.

Know Your Symptoms

Allergic reactions are different for each person. For some people, a reaction might be a mild rash, and for others it might be a full-blown anaphylactic attack. If you are allergic to more than one type of drug, your reaction can also differ between medications.

It's important you understand the types of symptoms you experience so that you can fully articulate this information to others. In the event that you experience a life-threatening attack, you want the people around you to know enough about your medical needs that they can effectively communicate to medical staff the type of reaction you're having and that this is common when you encounter a particular drug so that the medical team can more accurately treat you.

Research the Drug

Make sure you are educated on your allergy. Some drugs can go by different names, and some drugs may also be used in different blends and called different things. If you have an allergy, it's important that you are familiar with all the uses of the drug.

For example, if you're allergic to penicillin, you might not always see the word penicillin on the medication label. Instead, you might see amoxicillin, oxacillin, or dicloxacillin, all of which contain penicillin even though they have different names. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself.

Choose a Compounding Pharmacy

If you have drug allergies, it's wise to rely on a compounding pharmacy such as Camelback Compounding Pharmacy instead of a traditional pharmacy. Traditional pharmacies are primarily in the business of filling general prescriptions whereas compound pharmacies prepare personalized prescriptions.

For example, if you have an allergy to a specific drug but are prescribed an important medication that contains the drug, the compounding pharmacy would recreate the medication without the drug using safe alternatives that will be effective for your needs. A compounding pharmacy will ensure you have the medication you need without the fear of exposure to your allergy.  

No matter how minor you might consider your reaction to be, always remember that drug allergies are serious business. Make sure you are educated and taking the necessary steps to protect yourself.