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How to tell if you're allergic to medicine without re-taking it?
October 4, 2012 7:59 PM   Subscribe

How to tell if you are allergic to medicine without re-taking it?

I was prescribed a codeine-based cough syrup for bronchitis. I woke up an hour after taking it (and the antibiotic) itching like mad. I kept up the antibiotic with no itching. I would like to know if I'm allergic to codeine without having to re-take it, and being itchy for hours. Is there a way to safely do this?
posted by msleann to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
 
An allergist can test you with a tiny dose injected in the skin. Also, itching is a common side effect of all opiates, and not necessarily a true "allergy." Also, also, the itching from opiates is not necessarily a class effect, you might get itchy from codeine but not morphine. Go back to your doctor and demand morphine for your cold.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:02 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


er, Slarty, I was with you up until the end of the last sentence, which I hope you meant to be tongue in cheek.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:07 PM on October 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Itching is a common side effect of opiates like codeine. I've heard of doctors recommending taking a small-ish dose of Benadryl, but I think that may also make the codeine stronger.
posted by Adamsmasher at 8:56 PM on October 4, 2012


... which I hope you meant to be tongue in cheek.

Morphine cough syrup is a thing. I had a friend in school whose doctor prescribed it for him.
posted by Bruce H. at 10:05 PM on October 4, 2012


Call up the nurse at your doctor's office - (1) do they think you should take any more of the codeine? (2) if not, can they prescribe you something else? (3) if so, what should you do if it itches?

Or, if you're all experimental, take a small dose of it and see if anything happens, have the Benadryl on-hand in case it does. But really, get professional advice from somebody who has your files.
posted by aimedwander at 6:39 AM on October 5, 2012


er, Slarty, I was with you up until the end of the last sentence, which I hope you meant to be tongue in cheek.

Methadone works better, but so many docs get uptight about it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:23 PM on October 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


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