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A side effect is the unwanted drug reaction appearing after taking the pill in its recommended dose.
Allergy account for 5 to 10% of all drug side effects. It means that the immune system (defense) of the patient overreacts and attack the drug molecule itself.
Classification of drug side effects
- intolerance: the patient suffers gastrointestinal symptoms (discomfort, pain or diarrhea) with the medication (example: antibiotics)
- less ability to get rid of the drug in a normal time: it may mean liver or kidney problems
- two or more drugs at the same time rival to be metabolized: may do higher levels of one of the medicines.
- drug overdose: they can be toxic and produce symptoms, specially on long regimes.
- lack of metabolic pathway (enzymatic defect) to degrade the drug.
- Allergy: the body reacts with an attack against the drug molecule through the immune system.
Common medication associated with allergic reaction
The most common medications causing allery in our environment are the most frequently consumed groups:
- antibiotics: mainly penicillin
- non steroidal anti-inflammatory: drugs belonging to the aspirin-group (used as pain killers and to treat inflamation and swelling).
- some other drugs as anesthesics and medications used in the treatment of epilepsy.