In this Article

What is a drug allergy?

A drug is an allergic reaction caused by taking a medication which causes a reaction such as a rash. By identifying the cause, a drug reaction can be treated by avoiding the offending agent.


If you have a drug allergy, you may react when exposed, causing the following:

  • Itching
  • Rash (like hives)
  • Difficulty breathing

When to See a Doctor

Consult your primary care provider if you have reaction to a medication you are taking.

Diagnosis and Tests

In addition to asking you questions about your symptoms and lifestyle, your provider may use a variety of tools to diagnose and confirm if you have a drug allergy:

  • Physical examination
  • Skin allergy test – Possible allergen samples are applied to skin and then observed for reaction
  • Blood test


Avoidance is the only treatment currently available for drug allergies.


Avoidance of the offending drug is important.