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Lamictal (Lamotrigine)

Almost any substance can trigger an allergic reaction. These substances, known as allergens, are mistaken for harmful foreign invaders by your immune system. Why this happens is still a mystery, although some researchers suspect that some men may inherit a tendency to make antibodies that are extremely sensitive to allergens. In any case, once your immune system identifies an allergen as an invader, it floods your body with powerful defensive chemicals to subdue the substance.
Most allergies are mild, causing no more than sniffles, headaches, watery eyes, a minor rash or weariness. But in rare cases allergies can cause stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and even death. Bee stings and food allergies, for example, may cause anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can result in suffocation.
Allergies are lumped into three broad categories—contact allergies, caused by things such as shaving creams, drugs or clothing; food allergies, in which eating a food such as strawberries causes a reaction, and airborne or inhalant allergies, which are caused by substances such as pollen.
Inhalant allergies are by far the most common, namely because the four biggest causes—house dust, pollen, pet dander and mold—can be hard to duck. Inhalant-caused allergies affect 15 percent of all Americans—25 to 30 million people—and they can crop up at any age. Few men, however, develop inhalant allergies after age 30 unless they’re exposed to a new allergen such as a pet.
But if you have allergies now, odds are you’re stuck with them for many years to come. Allergies can disappear during childhood. If they follow you into adulthood, however, they often get worse. Fortunately, allergies also tend to dissipate in the midfifties as the immune system becomes less vigilant.

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