What’s the difference between an allergy and a side effect?
Drug allergies are produced by an immunological mechanism that consists of the generation of antibodies against the substance and the presentation of certain characteristic symptoms. For example, when a person takes an aspirin and his or her lips swell up (lip angioedema), we are talking about an allergy. By contrast, secondary effects are produced when a drug, in addition to producing the desired therapeutic effect, also produces other effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, etc. For example, if you take an aspirin and subsequently experience stomach pain, we are talking about a side effect and not an allergy.
If I’m allergic to penicillin, will I be allergic to other drugs?
In principle, your risk of presenting with allergic reactions to other drugs is not heightened after being diagnosed as allergic to penicillin. That’s why at PB Clinical we perform an exhaustive study including the different epicutaneous drug tests to eliminate other possible allergies.