Identification and management of drug allergy
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Identification and management of drug allergy

Kathryn Powrie Allergy nurse specialist, Respiratory and Allergy, Broomfield Hospital, Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Chelmsford, England, and chair of the BSACI Nurses in Allergy Committee

Why you should read this article:
  • » To understand and recognise the main types of allergic reaction

  • » To support early recognition and treatment of symptoms of drug allergy to improve patient outcomes

  • » To ensure adverse drug reactions are reported appropriately

  • » To support appropriate drug delivery, including prescribing, administering and monitoring

This article describes the signs and symptoms of drug allergy, and explains the effects that it can have on patient care. It outlines the risk factors for the development of drug allergy, along with the mechanisms by which allergic reactions are mediated. This article also explains the tests used to diagnose drug allergy, and provides recommendations for the management of patients who experience an allergic reaction to a drug. The author uses case studies to emphasise the importance of the role of the nurse in managing, reporting and documenting drug allergies appropriately.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e9849


Powrie K (2018) Identification and management of drug allergy. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e9849

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 27 March 2018

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