Study Finds Drug Side Effects Are Leading Cause of Allergic Reaction Deaths

Fatal Drug Allergy Reactions

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Study Finds Drug Side Effects Are Leading Cause of Allergic Reaction Deaths

Side effects of pharmaceutical drugs account for more drug allergy-related deaths than bug bites/stings and food allergies, according to the findings of a new study.

A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology indicates that pharmaceutical drugs are the leading cause of fatal allergic reactions in the United States, accounting for close to 60% of all allergy-related deaths nationwide. Even more alarming, the study suggests that drug-induced allergic reactions resulting in death may have doubled from 1999 to 2010, with antibiotics being the drugs most commonly named as the cause of the allergic reaction. If you have been harmed by a pharmaceutical drug side effect, or if you lost a loved one to a fatal allergic reaction to medicine, contact a knowledgeable drug injury lawyer today to explore your options for legal recourse.

Deaths Caused by Allergic Reactions to Drugs

Researchers involved in the allergy study looked at data from the National Center for Health Statistics, and identified 2,458 instances of fatal anaphylaxis during an 11-year period from 1999 to 2010. At least 1,446 of the fatalities were caused by allergic reactions to medications, including antibiotics, radio-contrast substances used during diagnostic imaging testing and chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer. “We are using more imaging studies than other countries, and they’re potentially life-threatening,” said Elina Jerschow, assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. “After antibiotics, radio-contrast was the chief culprit.”

What is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxisis a severe allergic reaction with a rapid onset and the potential to cause death in some cases. The condition typically results in symptoms like throat swelling, itchy rash and low blood pressure, and can result from an allergic reaction to insect bites or stings, food and certain medications. An injection of epinephrine is needed to help reverse the onset of anaphylaxis symptoms, and in some cases, resuscitation measures may be necessary to help the person breathe properly. According to the researchers’ findings, pharmaceutical drugs accounted for far more allergy deaths than food allergies, bug bites and other causes, and older age was found to be associated with a higher risk of death following anaphylaxis from drug side effects.

An Experienced Drug Injury Lawyer Can Help

According to statistics, the United States and Australia have some of the highest rates of anaphylaxis among developed countries, a fact the researchers involved in this study say is due in part to increases in pharmaceutical drug use and contrast dye being used more often in imaging tests. If you or a loved one has suffered side effects of an allergic reaction to a medication, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, and can help put you in touch with a qualified attorney who has extensive experience handling pharmaceutical drug injury claims.
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