What Am I Supposed To Do If I Am Allergic To A Medication But I Really Need That Medication?

Question: What am I supposed to do if I am allergic to a medication but I really need that medication?

Answer: If the type of allergic reaction that you've had to a medication was a sudden acute allergic reaction, that type of reaction can be protected against by giving the drug in very small and gradually increasing doses in a process that we call desensitization. So for the most common drug allergy, for example penicillin allergy, it's possible to give patients who are truly allergic to penicillin and who have positive penicillin skin tests, even the drug penicillin, if we start at a very small dose and gradually increase the dose given, inducing a state of tolerance that the patient can then receive full doses of penicillin without having an acute allergic reaction.

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