Background: The study aimed to determine whether allergic conditions accompany analgesic intolerance.
Methods: A total of 132 analgesic-intolerant patients with bronchial asthma admitted to the adult allergy unit from January 1991 to October 1997 and 103 patients with bronchial asthma randomly selected from among the asthmatics referred to our department between January and October 1997 were enrolled in the study. Those having analgesic intolerance and bronchial asthma were accepted as group I; patients having only asthma were accepted as group II. A standard questionnaire was completed for all the patients. Physical examination, routine skin prick tests, determination of total IgE levels and blood type, and oral analgesic provocation tests were also performed.
Results: The results showed that some allergic conditions were significantly more common in group I (22.7% and 7.8% for food allergy/intolerance [P<0.05], 16.7% and 7.8% for antibiotic allergy, 16.7% and 2.9% for dermographism, 9.8% and 1.0% for metal allergy, and 9.1% and 1.0% for chronic urticaria for groups I and II, respectively [P<0.001]). In addition, the mean of the total IgE level in the serum was higher in group I than group II (77.6 and 53.7 IU/ml; P<0.05), and the cumulative analgesic consumption was more in group I (14.2+/-17.1 and 9.1+/-12.5 boxes; P<0.05).
Conclusions: Dermographism; chronic urticaria; antibiotic, metal, and food allergy; high levels of total IgE; and a high amount of cumulative analgesic consumption may be the conditions accompanying analgesic intolerance in asthmatics.