Drug-induced urticaria

Eur J Dermatol. 2001 May-Jun;11(3):181-7.


The occurrence of acute urticaria during treatment with drugs is a frequent event which poses two problems: 1) is the urticaria connected with the drug administration or with the underlying pathology which led to the prescription of the drug; 2) is the urticaria allergic in origin, i.e. due to specific immunity triggers, in particular IgE directed against the drug, or is the urticaria pseudo-allergic in origin, i.e. due to non-specific activation of mastocytes [1]? This question is of major importance because allergic events caused by IgE are potentially fatal while pseudo-allergic events are only rarely life-threatening. In this article we will not deal with contact urticaria where the cause is easily identifiable [2].

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Kinins / metabolism
  • Renin-Angiotensin System / drug effects
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Urticaria / chemically induced*
  • Urticaria / classification
  • Urticaria / diagnosis
  • Urticaria / metabolism*
  • Urticaria / physiopathology
  • Urticaria / therapy


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Kinins
  • Arachidonic Acid