Have you ever noticed how the television commercials for prescription medications warn that people shouldn't take certain drugs if they have an allergy to that medication? You may have found yourself wondering how anyone would know about a medication allergy unless they had already taken that particular drug in the past.
Including that information in the commercial for a drug helps the company that develops the medication avoid financial responsibility in the event that someone has a dangerous allergic reaction to the drug or any of its constituent compounds. People can be allergic to just about anything, and doctors have the ability to test people for serious allergies.
Minor environmental exposure to an allergen can cause irritation, but consumption or intravenous administration of a drug to which a patient is allergic could result in severe anaphylactic reactions or even death. Identifying patient allergies to medications before prescribing or administering them is a critical step. When doctors fail to take this step, patients can experience serious symptoms and deal with severely compromised health.
Allergy testing for medication is simple
Unless medical administration of a drug happens in an emergency scenario, there is almost always time for doctors to order and perform allergy testing. This testing is particularly important for drugs that have a higher percentage than average of allergic reactions in patients, as well as for patients with a family history of drug allergies.
Performing these tests is a straightforward process that can be done in a few hours. At that point, medical professionals will have the information they need regarding whether the patient's body will respond negatively to a medication. Unfortunately, many medical practices skip this important step due to the time and expense involved. While allergies to medications are rare, their consequences can be life-altering or even fatal.
How the body responds to drugs it is allergic to
Allergies can affect people in different ways. Allergic reactions to drugs can very from minor symptoms to potentially life-threatening ones. For people suffering a minor allergic reaction, symptoms could include a localized rash, itchiness, inflammation and swelling, nausea or headache.
In more severe cases, patients may experience swelling of their airways in their throats and difficulty breathing. Extreme vomiting and whole body rashes can also occur. Unless the patient seeks treatment and immediately stops taking the medication, the response may continue to worsen for some time.
Allergic reactions caused by medications are dangerous, especially for those who are already medically compromised. If you or a loved one suffered serious medical consequences after an allergic reaction to a medication, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. Mistakes in administering drugs can have severe consequences for patients, and those patients should have the right to receive compensation to offset the medical costs and other financial losses related to medication errors.