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Aspirin allergy: What are the symptoms?

aspirinAspirin sensitivity is common, especially in people with asthma or sinus problems. But a true aspirin allergy — in which your immune system overreacts to the drug — is rare. Signs and symptoms of aspirin allergy or sensitivity range from mild to serious and may include:
  • Hives
  • Itchy skin
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or face
  • Breathing difficulty or wheezing

These signs and symptoms usually occur within a few hours of taking the medication.

Overactivation of two receptors for histamine, normally associated with common allergies and acid reflux, may explain why some people, including highly trained athletes, pass out soon after heightened physical activities, according to researchers at the University of Oregon.

A series of studies led researchers in incremental steps to the discovery that the use of two commonly used antihistamines (fexofenadine and ranitidine) prior to exercise dramatically lower or completely eliminate low blood pressure following exertion. The drugs worked by preventing post-exercise hyperemia, an increased flow of blood, in the skeletal muscle during the critical 90-minute recovery period after exercise. In all, the pre-exercise consumption of the two antihistamines reduced the blood flow that occurs during recovery by 80 percent.