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Trying to provide all necessary information about IMMUNITY and IMMUNE SYSTEM

Drug Allergies - When Medicines become Immunogens

Posted by Mumtaz khan Thursday, 29 September 2011

     Since World War II,penicillin has been used to successfully treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. However,the penicillin family of antibiotics is not without drawbacks.One is the role of penicillins and other antibiotics in the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains.Another is their capacity to induce allergic reactions in some patients.Penicillin and its relatives are responsible for most of the recorded allergic reactions to drugs and 97% of the deaths caused each year by drug allergies.

     Allergies to penicillin and other drugs can be induced by small doses and are not consequences of the pharmacological or physiological effects of the drugs.An allergic response usually occurs about a week or so after the patient's first exposure to the agent,with typically mild symptoms often including hives,fever,swelling of lymph nodes,and ocassionally an arthritis-like discomfort treatments with the dug usually cause much more rapid and often more severe reactions.Within minutes the throat and eyelids may swell.Grave danger arises if these symptoms progress to anaphylaxis,a physiological collapse that often involves the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems.Hives,vomitting,abdominal pain,and diarrhea may be a preamble to respiratory and circulatory problems that are life thraetening,Wheezing and shortness of breathmay be accompanied by swelling of the larynx and epiglottis that can be accompanied by swelling of the larynx and epiglottis that can block airflow ,and a profound drop in blood pressure causes shock,frequently accompanied by weakened heart contractions.
      The treatment of choice for anaphylaxis is injection of the drug epinephrine ,which can reverse the body's slide into deep anaphylaxis by raising blood pressure,easing constrictionof their air passages,and inhibiting the release from mast cells and basophils of the agents that induce anaphylaxis.Other drugs may be used to raise the low blood pressure,strenghen heart contractions,and expand the blocked airways.After a case of drug induced anaphylaxis,affected individuals are advised to carry a notice warning future healthcare providers of the drug allergy.


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