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Allergic Reactions and Colonoscopy

Because of the drugs that are used during the procedure, some patients have questions about anesthesia, allergic reactions, and colonoscopy. Examples of minor allergic reactions include runny nose, skin rashes, or itchy eyes. Since it is impossible for your doctor to predict your reaction to specific drugs, it is important to communicate with your healthcare providers prior to a colonoscopy, so they can help prevent allergic reactions during and after the procedure.

An Introduction to Allergic Reactions and Colonoscopy

Most medicines are safe, although there is always the risk of having an adverse or allergic reaction during or after your colonoscopy. This is true for all types of medicine, including anesthesia. Some examples of minor allergic reactions include:
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rashes.


Some people may have a serious reaction called "anaphylaxis," which can be fatal.

There is no way for your doctor to know if you will be allergic to medicines that you have never tried. However, your healthcare team will try to find out as much information as they can to help prevent an allergic reaction during a colonoscopy test. They will ask questions about medicines you are taking, your past health history, and if you have any existing allergies. Please be sure to tell your healthcare providers about all of your allergies. This information will help your doctor and other healthcare professionals choose the medicines that are best for you.
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