Food allergies also pose an issue as far as medications go too. Many medications contain lactose monohydrate. While lactose is a milk sugar, it still has bits of whey and casein attached to it. I have always asked for my prescriptions to be milk free and it has never been a problem. No one had ever messed up with my medications until a few days ago.
I went to the pharmacy to refill my prescription for singulair, like I do every month. This time I got a brown square pill instead of a white round pill. I didn't really question it since they always check my medications and know about my allergies.
Like I said, I tend to be pretty stoic when it comes to being sick. Despite my labored breathing, I didn't want to bother Pittsburgh EMS so with the help of my friends, I walked (and piggy back rode) the five block journey to the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital I was promptly taken back to a room and treated.
We didn't get out until 3:45am. This time, the walk back to my apartment seemed a lot shorter. My one friend stayed the night (which was very nice of her) and we woke up at 7:00am for a previously scheduled doctors appointment. So neither of us got much sleep
The main goal of writing this post is to help insure that something like this never happens to anyone else. I am so lucky to have the support of friends who love and care about me and my well being and are willing to spend the night (well I guess morning) with me in the ER. The truth is though, this reaction was completely preventable. Luckily the ER doctor gave me a good way to check ingredients in medications so I can prevent it in the future and help others prevent it too.
If you go to http://www.drugs.com/imprints.php you will go to a window that says pill identifier. You can put in the letters and numbers on your prescription, the shape and color like I have done below.