BEWARE - Severe Effects of Drug Allergies

Drug allergy is a condition that makes certain people react badly to some medications. Do you have or keep a list of your drug allergies? Do you know the foods and drugs you are allergic to?
You are expected to keep a list of your allergies, present it to your doctor to guide him/her in your drug prescription and recommendations. If you have not known this, ensure unfamiliar drugs are administered to you within a doctor’s supervision best at a health facility. Most people do not keep list of their allergies or observe this precaution and has sometimes cost them their health.
Below is what serious drug allergies could cause to our body.

1. Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

SJS is a rare but serious reaction to drug allergy (a medicine you have taken). It causes facial swelling, tongue swelling, hives, skin pains, red/purple skin rash that spreads within hours, blisters on skin, shedding of skin, making it hard to eat, swallow or even pee. It usually starts with a fever and feeling you have a flu. It is caused by drugs common for treatment of gout, pain relief, bacteria infection and seizures or mental illness. Recovery can take weeks or months.

2. Priapism
This might be the most fearful side effect of all, and for good reason. Priapism is a prolonged, painful erection of the penis. The erection is not due to sexual stimulation, but may be the side effect of a drug. Luckily, priapism is rare, but if a prolonged erection lasts for longer than 4 hours, seek emergency medical care immediately. Drugs that have been implicated in leading to priapism include the well-known erectile dysfunction drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra); some antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac), trazodone, and bupropion (Wellbutrin), and the antipsychotic agents risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa).

3. Added Weight
Weight gain is also one of the most dreaded drug side effects. Let's face it - keeping weight off is a hard enough task without gaining weight from medications. Aging, lack of exercise, and diet changes are all culprits in the battle to keep weight down. However, some common medications can also lead to weight gain - drugs used for mood disorders, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures and the anti-inflammatory corticosteroids can all add on unwanted pounds. Ask your doctor about this side effect. You may be able to switch to a different medication or use a lower dose. And remember, medications may affect patients differently, and not every patient will gain weight.

4. Black Hairy Tongue
Adverse drug reaction can cause "black hairy tongue". The odd, dark growth on the tongue is due to a bacterial or yeast overgrowth in the mouth. Causes may be antibiotics (such as with erythromycin, doxycycline or tetracycline), poor oral hygiene, open mouth breathing, use of oxidizing mouth washes (hydrogen peroxide), drugs that cause dry mouth (xerostomia), or heavy tobacco use. Although it may be unpleasant, black hairy tongue doesn't usually require medical treatment; it's temporary and harmless.

5. Vanishing Fingerprints

Hand–foot syndrome, known by the medical term 'palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia', is something to watch out for. Hand-foot syndrome may occur when cancer treatment affects the growth of skin cells or blood vessels in the hands and feet. Redness, swelling, loss of fingerprints, and pain have been reported. Cancer drugs cited to cause this effect include capecitabine (Xeloda), sunitinib (Sutent), sorafenib (Nexavar), pazopanib (Votrient) and vemurafenib (Zelboraf), although it can happen with others. If you develop hand-foot syndrome, talk to your doctor; there are ways to manage it and prevent it from worsening.

6. Hallucinations
Hallucinations is sensing or seeing things that appear to be real, but have only been created by the mind. However, hallucinations are a serious side effect and require a thorough medical investigation. Examples of drugs that may trigger a hallucination include amphetamines, estrogens, phenothiazines, and high dose decongestants. Illicit drugs that can lead to hallucinations include LSD, cocaine, crackcrack, PCP, heroin and alcohol. Common hallucinations may include: crawling bugs, hearing sounds or voices, or seeing lights. Hallucinations may also occur with conditions such as schizophrenia or dementia.


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