Did you know that women have more allergies to common medications than men? A study published in the Journal Allergy looked at how men and women reacted to allergies to individual drugs and classes of drugs. In addition to men not being as allergic to women, the study also showed that white patients were more likely to have a reaction than women of any other racial group.
The most commonly reported allergies were to penicillin, sulfonamide antibiotics and opiates. Among the women, 15% were allergic to penicillin compared to 10% of men. Women also had more reactions such as hives, rashes and fevers, to NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen.
The researchers of the study don’t know why women develop more drug allergies, but believe that follow up studies that consider the patient’s prescription history and drug exposure may shed some light on the mystery.