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Drug Allergy: What to Tell Your Doctor

Diagnosing a drug allergy can be hard, especially if the symptoms are already fading. Your doctor will need your help in figuring out what caused your reaction. He'll need to find out if it's a true allergy, a reaction to a different drug, or something not even related to a drug.

Here are eight questions to ask yourself. Write down the answers -- or have a friend or family member do it for you -- and bring them to your doctor's office.

  1. What medicines did you take before the reaction? What was the dose?
  2. What symptoms did you have?
  3. How quickly did the symptoms start after you took the drug?
  4. Did the symptoms change or fade over time?
  5. Did you do anything to ease the symptoms? If so, what? Did it help?
  6. Have you had any drug allergies before? If so, to what?
  7. Do you have other allergies, such as nasal allergies to pollen or mold?
  8. Do you have any medical conditions?

In addition to your answers, bring a list of the medicines, vitamins, and supplements you use. Even better, put all the bottles in a bag and take them with you so your doctor can see them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on October 22, 2012

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