Drug Allergy Treatment
Call 911 if the person has:
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Tightness in the throat or a feeling that the airways are closing
- Hoarseness or trouble speaking
- Swollen lips, tongue, or throat
- Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
- Fast heartbeat or pulse
- Anxiety or dizziness
- Loss of consciousness
- Hives and trouble breathing
- Other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- Had severe reactions in the past
1. When to See a Doctor
See a doctor immediately for these symptoms:
- A fast-spreading painful red or blistered area on the skin
- Top layer of skin peels off in sheets without blistering
- Scalded-looking raw areas of flesh
- Condition spreading to eyes, mouth, and genitals
Call the doctor as soon as possible if the person has:
- Swollen face, tongue, or lips, even without breathing difficulty or increase in swelling
- Skin rash, itching, a feeling of warmth, or hives
See Severe Allergic Reaction Treatment.
2. Stop Taking the Drug that Triggered the Reaction
3. Control Itching
For a mild reaction:
- Give an adult an over-the-counter antihistamine. Check with a doctor before giving an antihistamine to a child.
- Use cool compresses on the area or have the person take cool showers.
- Avoid strong soaps, detergents, and other chemicals.
- Stay in a cool room. Have the person wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothes.
- For a rash, apply calamine lotion.
4. Follow Up
- Call or see a doctor if home treatment doesn't help or symptoms get worse.
- Talk to the doctor about an alternative medicine and what drug(s) to avoid in the future.
- Serious symptoms may require a hospital stay.