Drug Allergy Treatment

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 05, 2020

Call 911 if the person has:

1. When to See a Doctor

See a doctor immediately for these symptoms:

  • A fast-spreading painful red or blistered area on the skin
  • Swollen face, tongue, or lips, even without breathing difficulty or increase in swelling
  • Top layer of skin peels off in sheets without blistering
  • Scalded-looking raw areas of flesh
  • Discomfort
  • Fever
  • Condition spreading to eyes, mouth, and genitals

Call the doctor as soon as possible if the person has:

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.

4. Follow Up

  • Call or see a doctor if home treatment doesn't help or symptoms get worse.
  • Serious symptoms may require a hospital stay.
WebMD Medical Reference



Kaiser Permanente: "Drug Allergies" and "Medication Allergies: Treatment Overview."

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Tips to Remember: Medications and Drug Allergic Reactions."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis."

Drug Allergy Information from eMedicineHealth.

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