medical IDs for aspirin and pain reliever allergies

Medical IDs for Aspirin and Pain Reliever Allergies

The confidence to live with aspirin or pain reliever allergies

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium are the leading cause of hypersensitivity drug reactions (HDR). When a person living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies has a reaction, they can exhibit a host of symptoms from hives and shortness of breath to anaphylaxis—a life-threatening condition that can result in shock or even death. While there is no cure for aspirin and pain reliever allergies, the condition can be managed through strict avoidance.

This is why doctors and government health agencies agree that wearing a medical ID for aspirin and pain reliever allergies can ensure safe and proper treatment in an emergency.

How MedicAlert protects those living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies, their families and caregivers.

24/7 Emergency Response

Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.

Digital Health Profile

All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.

Emergency Contact Notification

In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.

Patient Instructions

Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.

Pair a medical ID for aspirin and pain reliever allergies with the protection plan that’s right for you.

What exactly are aspirin and pain reliever allergies?

NSAIDs are among the most commonly prescribed medications for pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, up to 2% of the general population lives with aspirin and pain reliever allergies. The percentage of people living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies is much higher in high-risk populations such as individuals living with asthma, nasal polyps or urticaria (chronic hives). Some of the most common NSAID brands include Bayer, Bufferin, and Ecotrin (aspirin), Advil and Motrin IB (ibuprofen), and Aleve (naproxen sodium). 

A reaction to these and other NSAIDs can occur within minutes to a few hours after taking a tablet. Reactions can be mild (itching or flushing) to severe (chest tightness, wheezing or anaphylaxis). Note that even mild reactions may require a trip to the doctor.

What causes allergies to aspirin and other pain relievers?

An allergic reaction to aspirin and other pain relievers occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies the drug as a harmful substance, like a virus or bacterium. When the immune system attacks what it has identified as an invader, chemicals released during this activity cause the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction. 

Nonallergic reactions to aspirin and pain relievers can occur as well. Commonly called nonallergic hypersensitivity reaction or pseudoallergic drug reaction, nonallergic reactions can produce some of the same symptoms as allergic reactions do, but nonallergic reactions are not triggered by immune system activity. Other drugs that can cause nonallergic reactions include opiates, local anesthetics, and imaging test dyes.

What to engrave on your MedicAlert medical ID for aspirin and pain reliever allergies:

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for aspirin and pain reliever allergies should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:

  • Aspirin and pain reliever allergies
  • Current medications
  • Other medical conditions (nasal polyps, asthma)
  • Severe reaction to aspirin and pain relievers, including anaphylaxis
medical IDs for aspirin and pain reliever allergies

Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for aspirin and pain reliever allergies.

What are the symptoms and complications of aspirin and pain reliever allergies?

Aspirin and pain reliever allergies can cause symptoms that are mild, moderate or severe. Mild symptoms typically affect a specific area in the body, such as the eyes, nose and skin, causing a reaction such as itching or eye irritation. Moderate symptoms include reactions that spread to other parts of the body such as the lungs, which can cause trouble breathing. A severe reaction begins with mild symptoms such as itching and eye irritation, but it quickly progresses to more serious symptoms such as throat swelling, which can block the airway, or dizziness.

  • Coughing
  • Feeling faint or passing out
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or face
  • Wheezing

One of the most severe complications associated with aspirin and pain reliever allergies is anaphylaxis. This rare but life-threatening allergic reaction occurs when the body releases a flood of substances known as histamines, causing the body to go into shock. When this happens, the airways narrow, which obstructs breathing, and the blood vessels expand, causing a dramatic drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis can also cause heart rhythm disturbances and pulmonary edema (swelling in the lungs resulting from fluid build-up).

Other signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Bluish skin (cyanosis) or clammy skin
  • Confusion or anxiety
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fast shallow breathing
  • Hives and itching
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Throat swelling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Skin rash
  • Slurred speech

If you are living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies and you have experienced anaphylaxis before, wearing a MedicAlert medical ID for aspirin or pain reliever allergies can save your life in the event of an emergency. A MedicAlert ID can let emergency responders know that you are at risk of a severe and life-threatening reaction to aspirin and pain relievers.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) logo

We’re proud to partner with the Asthma & Allergy Foundation to provide tools and resources to help people with asthma and allergies live better lives.

How do you diagnose allergies to aspirin and other pain relievers?

There are no blood or skin tests to detect aspirin and other pain reliever allergies. The condition is usually diagnosed based on symptoms and their timing. Another way to diagnose aspirin and pain reliever allergies is to conduct an oral drug challenge. This allows a qualified allergist or doctor to monitor how an individual reacts to a specific NSAID.

How do you treat, manage, and live with aspirin and pain reliever allergies?

The only way to prevent an allergic reaction to aspirin and other pain relievers is to avoid all NSAIDs and NSAID-containing products. However, it is nearly impossible to identify every product that contains NSAIDs.

NSAIDs can be found in unexpected places such as:

  • Cold and flu medicines
  • Cosmetics
  • Cough suppressants
  • Pink bismuth (Pepto-Bismol)
  • Shampoo
  • Skincare cleansers
  • Soap

This means that some people with aspirin and pain reliever allergies may unknowingly come in contact with over-the-counter drugs or other products that contain NSAIDs. In these cases, doctors must take a reactive approach to treatment by focusing on relieving symptoms with antihistamines, corticosteroids, and other drugs. A severe reaction such as anaphylaxis is often treated with an epinephrine (adrenaline) injection. 

If medically necessary, a process called desensitization could help increase the body’s tolerance for aspirin and pain relievers. Under a doctor’s care and close monitoring, a person living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies will begin the process by taking small doses of NSAIDs, gradually working their way up to higher doses until the body builds up a tolerance to the drug. However, to keep tolerance at the highest levels, NSAIDs may have to be taken daily. 

How medical IDs  for aspirin and pain reliever allergies combined with MedicAlert  Membership provide peace of mind

The list of drug products that contain aspirin is endless. Certain components found in aspirin can even occur naturally in some foods. If you are living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies, a MedicAlert medical ID can relay critical information about your allergies to emergency responders, doctors, and hospital staff. This will ensure that your healthcare team knows that aspirin and pain relievers, and any drug products or foods containing them, should be completely avoided. 

When paired with a MedicAlert protection plan, our medical IDs become even more valuable in emergency and other situations. If you are living with aspirin and pain reliever allergies, a MedicAlert protection plan can ensure accurate and fast care by providing detailed information about your allergies, your full health profile, emergency contact information, your designated physician’s information, details about your current treatment plans, and other vital information about your care.  

  • We’re your voice:  If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your aspirin and pain reliever allergies and any medications you’re taking.

  • 24/7 emergency protection:  In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.

  • Always connected:  You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.

  • Live with peace of mind and confidence:  MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with aspirin and pain reliever allergies, knowing we’ve got you covered. 
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.