People’s reactions to different medications are the subject of a new Mid and North Coast HealthPathway.
The Drug Allergy and Adverse Reaction HealthPathway provides background information about drug allergies, which are common and occur in up to 15% of patients. The pathway looks at assessing a patient’s reaction, determining what caused it, managing the reaction and deciding what follow-up action is required. Details of referral options are also included.
HealthPathways Clinical Editor Dr Kate Allan said the new pathway would help raise GPs’ awareness of the reactions different medications could cause, including various types of rashes.
‘I think it will definitely be helpful,’ Dr Allan said. ‘It’s quite common that patients can have a reaction to a medication and you need to be able to distinguish if it’s anaphylaxis or another serious reaction like Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
‘Depending on the group of symptoms they have, the way the page has been set out helps GPs work out what kind of reaction is going on and whether it’s a serious one that needs further investigation by an immunologist.
‘There’s also information about certain population groups who could carry a gene that makes them more predisposed to having a reaction to some medications. And there’s guidance on how we can order investigations to find that out. If these patients carry a certain gene, the dosing of medication such as allopurinol used commonly for gout needs to be adjusted before prescribing.’
She said GPs needed to consider pharmacogenetic screening for certain groups of patients before they were started on medication.
For a list of all localised pathways, visit: