I suffered an allergic reaction to a prescribed medicine and want to know if it is possible to claim injury compensation?

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

It may be possible to claim compensation for an allergic reaction to a prescribed medicine, but there are many conditions that may have to be fulfilled before your eligibility to allergic reaction injury compensation can be confirmed.

The first condition that has to be fulfilled in order to claim for an allergy to medicine prescribed for you is that the allergic reaction you suffered was actually severe enough to require professional medical attention. If you did not attend the casualty department of your local hospital, or make an emergency appointment to see your GP, there will be no record of your allergic reaction in your medical history to support a claim for allergic reaction injury compensation.

The second condition that has to be met is that the reaction and subsequent illness that you suffered was attributable to the negligence of somebody who owed you a duty of care. If there was no prior indication that the medicine which was prescribed for you would cause an allergic reaction, then nobody can be considered to be liable for your illness and there will be no-one against whom to make a claim for an allergy to a medicine prescribed for you.

Furthermore, if you started to develop an allergic reaction to a prescribed medicine, and continued taking the medicine without alerting the person who prescribed it for you, the level of your contributory negligence may not make it worth your while to pursue allergic reaction injury compensation against somebody else – especially if the illness was due to a dispensing error on a repeat prescription, and you knowingly took medicine which was not familiar to you.

Inasmuch as it may seem that there are more reasons why you may not be entitled to claim compensation for an allergic reaction to a prescribed medicine than there are to encourage you to speak with a solicitor, discussing the circumstances of your allergic reaction and the steps you took after developing the allergy with a solicitor is the first thing you should do.

A solicitor will listen to how you came to be prescribed the medicine, who prescribed it for you, who dispensed it to you and for how long you were taking the medicine before the allergy manifested. If further investigations are required to determine that you are entitled to claim allergic reaction injury compensation, the solicitor will initiate these for you and – should it be established that you have suffered an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition due to negligence – will offer you representation in a claim for an allergic reaction to a prescribed medicine.