Medication Allergies

What are Medication Allergies?

For the purposes of evaluating patients with medication reactions, it is important to distinguish between a true medication allergy and   a   sensitivity. 

  • An allergy involves an inappropriate immune response to a medication, with rapid onset of symptoms including  hives and swelling (urticaria and angioedema), and difficulty breathing, consistent with anaphylaxis
  • A sensitivity can vary widely from patient to patient, but is often related to commonly reported side effects, intolerance for the medication, or interactions with other drugs.  

Only about 5% to 10% of reactions are due to a true medication allergy.

Certain medications are more likely to produce allergic reactions than others. The most commonly reported are:

  • Antibiotics, such as penicillin
  • Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen

Contact Us

Our Locations

Find us on the map

Office Hours



8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Tuesday - Thursday:

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Friday - Sunday:


Grand Rapids

Monday, Thursday - Sunday:



8:30 am - 5:00 pm


9:00 am - 5:00 pm