Proper Diagnosis & Treatment of Drug Hypersensitivity-GuestPostWeb

Comprehensive research by scientific bodies like the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology or EAACI have shown that Europeansalone has over 200 million allergy sufferers annually. However, European health organizations have stopped short of calling this a pandemic, because fatality rates are not high when compared to other diseases; but this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Adverse Reactions

One such allergy that is not given more concern is drug hypersensitivity which could be best described as an immunereaction to a specific drug with typical symptoms ranging various kinds of rash, shortness of breath, and is some severe cases extreme reaction to the drug, injection or serum. An adverse drug reaction due to hypersensitivity may be assessed as mild-to-moderate, severe, and lethal. For mild-to-moderate reactions, doctors may ask the patient to continue the medication although in smaller doses, but under observation to check if there is tolerance to the drug. Typical reactions include muscle aches, digestive problems, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, etc. If symptoms persist, doctors have the option of using another drug which can treat the symptoms without any drug hypersensitivity.

Risks versus Benefits

When it comes to severe drug hypersensitivity, the reactions are very serious and in some cases life threatening requiring hospitalization in some cases; examples of this include liver failure, irregular heartbeat, etc. Patients who encounter severe drug hypersensitivity have to stop the concerned medication immediately, but there are cases when this cannot be done i.e., in chemotherapy, but the patient will require constant monitoring during the treatment. Lethal reactions to drugs are very often rare, and is usually when the patient does not inform the treating physician about the personal risk of certain medications or in some cases, the use of drugs that have been declared unsafe and withdrawn. In the end, it is the doctor who has to assess the risks versus the benefits of continuing a drug which causes hypersensitivity in the patient.

Pros & Cons

Drug companies and doctors know that drugs have the potential to be beneficial as well as cause problems with issues like drug hypersensitivity. It is up to the doctor to decide, after weighing the pros and cons of continuing with a certain medication, the risks, benefits, and the final outcome. However, this kind of assessment is never cut and dried, and it is up to the treating doctor to work out the best compromise by quantifying the quality of life of the patient on the medication versus a complete cure for the problem. If there are alternative drugs available that can deliver the end-result, then that problem is solved, but if there is no such alternative, then the matter becomes more serious.

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