3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Serum Sickness
      Category : Health Centers > Blood Disorders and Lymphatic System

Serum Sickness

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Serum is the fluid left over when blood cells are taken out of the blood. Serum sickness refers to a set of symptoms that occurs when a person's immune system reacts to a medication or other similar substance. It is a type of allergic reaction.

What is going on in the body?

A person with serum sickness has an immune system reaction after taking a medication or similar substance. The immune system makes proteins called antibodies to attack the medication. This reaction of the immune system causes inflammation throughout the body and the symptoms of serum sickness. In most cases, when the person stops using the medication or other substance, the symptoms go away.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Serum sickness is most often caused when a person takes or receives one of the following substances:

  • antibiotics, especially medications in the penicillin or sulfa class, or one called streptomycin
  • aspirin
  • propylthiouracil, a medication used to treat high thyroid hormone levels, which is called hyperthyroidism
  • antithymocyte globulin (ATG), which is sometimes used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant
  • horse antiserum, a treatment that uses antibodies taken from horses to treat certain conditions (for example, poisonous snake and spider bites)
  • Other substances may also cause this condition.


    Next section


    Serum Sickness: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site