ZocdocAnswersHow do I know if I am allergic to medications?

Question

How do I know if I am allergic to medications?

I am going to have surgery soon to have my wisdom teeth removed, and they told me that I can either have medication that will put me out or I can be awake for it. Of course, I want to be out if I can. I don't think I could deal with being awake. However, I have heard that some people are allergic to the medication and that it can be rather dangerous. How do I know if I am allergic before I tell them to give it to me? Is there a test that they can do at the office?

Answer

While there is no specific test that can determine whether or not you are allergic to the anesthetic (or at least there are not tests that are routinely used for most people), there are a few questions that are routinely asked that can help you to know what your risk is. Your doctor will ask you whether or not you have had reactions in the past, or if anyone else in your family has had similar reactions. If that is the case, he or she may change the course of treatment or recommend different therapy or additional testing. For most people, however, it is so rare that it does not require testing beforehand (similar to the risk of having an allergic reaction to a bee sting, which most people aren't tested for unless there are extenuating circumstances). The best thing for you to do is to speak with your doctor to make sure that you don't have any of the risk factors that might indicate that your doctor should alter your course of therapy. If he or she has further questions after that, or if you have further questions, you can always get a second opinion or speak to an allergist. Please speak to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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