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Is it an allergy or a side effect?

When you are sick or in pain, you typically go to a doctor in Providence County expecting immediate relief. When such a visit results in you being prescribed a medication, the hope is that taking it will provide such relief. Yet while a drug may alleviate symptoms related to your condition, it could also produce new (and often unpleasant) issues.

Your first thought upon experiencing such issues is that you are having an allergic reaction to the drug. Yet is that really the case, or could you simply be experiencing a side effect to its use? Understanding the difference is important, because it could be what separates having to accept a treatment outcome from being justified in leveling a liability claim.

Many may often believe drug allergies and side effects to be the same thing, when in fact they are not. An allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance. Allergies only affect certain people. Side effects, on the other hand, can occur in anyone who is taking a medication.

Another important factor distinguishing side effects from allergic reactions is your body’s response. Side effects rarely involve a response from your immune system. They also often manifest themselves in clinical trials, thus providing drug manufacturers the opportunity to warn consumers of them prior to their use. You can compare what you are feeling to the potential side effects listed on a medication warning label.

Ultimately, while allergic reactions and side effects may produce similar symptoms, research shows that adverse drug reactions are typically due to the latter. In fact, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, only 5-10 percent of drug reactions are due to allergies. To know for certain if you have a drug allergy, you may want to consult an immunologist. 

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Providence Personal Injury Office

199 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Toll Free: 888-876-9415
Phone: 401-354-7233
Fax: 401-453-1501
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