Drug Allergy Less Prevalent than Previously Assumed (study)

This 5-year analysis included 600 patients with suspected skin drug reactions, and 200 patients were invited for complete work-up with skin tests (prick/intracutaneous testing and scratch/patch, as indicated) and, if necessary, lymphocyte transformation tests (LTT).

140 patients underwent full work-up (75% female, 25% male). In 76% a drug was identified as the cause of the rash.

Among the skin drug reactions:

- 40% were caused by antibiotics
- 21% by anti-inflammatories
- 8% by contrast media
- 31% by other medications (oral antidiabetics, antimycotics, antipsychotics, antiepileptics and others)

The authors concluded that clinical assessment overestimated the role of drug allergies in cutaneous reactions.

Classification of adverse reactions to drugs, using the "SOAP III" mnemonic (click to enlarge the image):


Is Drug Allergy Less Prevalent than Previously Assumed? Medscape, 2012.

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