Drug allergy, sensitivity, intollerence?

Vickey__MNJuly 11, 2005

What is the difference in the three? How would I know if I was allergic to a drug? Dr in ER said it wasn't an allergic reaction (Keflex, and I was dizzy,nausiousand itched on my face and arms) but that is one of the things to look for in allergic reaction. Was it the time of onset (it was a few days), the degree of "dizziness or nausiousness", or what? Just curious.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Depends on what the antibiotic was prescribed for. The symptoms could have very well been related to the illness. Also some things are considered "side effects" and are expected; such as some drugs that cause dry mouth, others that can cause nausea if not taken with food, etc. To have these symptoms would be to experience a "possible side effect", and not necessarily an allergic reaction.

I am personally allergic to some dyes and preservatives, which cause rash and hives. This was confirmed an allergy after symptoms led me to have a patch test at an allergy doctor's office. I am also allergic to penecillin but it causes breathing distress.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sensitivity is an intense effect of medication. I get very wired on diphenhydramine (bendryl); docs call it a sensitivity. My Aleksander dog gets high liver enzymes for months following prednisone and he needs a LOT less than the standard dosage- also a sensitivity.
Usually an allergic reaction to drugs involves anaphylaxis- tightness in throat and chest, trouble breathing, possible swelling- and can be life-threatening. Allergic reactions are actually hypersensitivity that send the body into an over-reactive response.
Intolerance is just a fancy way of saying that the treatment is worse than the disease; usually a side-effect of the drug. That could be anything from dizziness to chronic explosive diarrhea to seizures or anything else that makes life unbearable.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

:) an allergy is a histamine response- the body's immune system freaking out over something introduced into the system. the most common byproduct is swelling, which can be life-threatening when we're talking about swelling of the throat, or airpassages. the treatments usually involve adrenaline in some form.

a sensitivity is just that- where you have a much stronger response to a drug than the dosage would indicate. I'm sensitive to most pain killers and ephedrine- half a sudafed hits me like it's a street drug (and splitting a sudafed is a pain)

intolerance is just that-and Keflex is famous for making people nauseous- I'm pissed at your doctor for not mentioning it to you ahead of time! it has consistently left me feeling WORSE than whatever it was that earned me the scrip.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For example: Everyone is sensitive to black pepper. It makes everyone sneeze. That's sensitivity. If someone starts sneezing even if the odor is faint, that's intollerence. It's sort of a problem with degree. Now, if the pepper gives a person hives, or they get asthma or sneeze so much that they can't draw a normal breathe, that's an allergy.. That's a very simplfied example but it's the same sort of thing with drugs.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 2:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
itchy skin eczema?
I have been itching and scratching since the end of...
Vitamin D makes my hip ache.....
Has anyone had this to happen? When I try to research...
Chronic tonsillitis after mono?
Hi everyone, My almost 20 year old daughter had mono...
Painful Spots of Roof of Mouth
Has anyone had these? Every once in a while, I get...
L-dopa Rx replacement for RLS anyone?
Anyone have RLS (restless leg syndrome)? I have been...
Sponsored Products
Select Luxury Home RV 8-inch Queen Short-size Memory Foam Mattress
MTI Parisian 1 Tub (66" x 35.75" x 23")
Modern Bathroom
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: LR Resources Rugs Fashion Ivory Rectangle
Home Depot
Casper Ghost Bar Stool Set of 2 in Clear
$300.00 | LexMod
Ali Sandifer | Heiss Desk
WAC White Xenon 6" Wide Under Cabinet Light Bar
Euro Style Lighting
Max. Kugler Table Lamp by Ingo Maurer
$1,390.00 | Lumens
Multi-zone programmable RGB ColorPlus LED Touch Controller (Receiver)
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™