Parental-reported Drug Allergy in 6- To 9-yr-old Urban Schoolchildren

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Feb;19(1):82-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2007.00592.x. Epub 2007 Jul 25.


Epidemiologic studies about the prevalence of adverse drug reactions in children are scarce compared to reports in adults. To assess the prevalence of parental-reported drug allergy in 6- to 9-yr-old urban school children, we performed a cross-sectional study of 6- to 9-yr-old urban children from the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey during the year 2004, using a self-administered questionnaire by parents. Response rate was 81.6% (2855/3500). The prevalence of parental-reported drug allergy was 2.8% (81/2855). The most common parental-reported drugs were penicillins and other beta-lactams (59.3%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (11.1%), and acetylsalicylic acid and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (9.9%). The most commonly reported clinical manifestations were cutaneous (n = 76, 93.8%) followed by gastrointestinal (n = 17, 21%) symptoms. In 19 (23.5%) children, the reaction involved more than one organ system. Of these 19 children, 14 used beta-lactams. Systemic reactions were not reported with NSAIDs. Medications were taken by mouth in 88.9% of the reactions. Most of the reported allergic reactions occurred in the first day of treatment (61.7%). The reported time to reaction after the last intake of the drug was <2 h in 35 (43.2%) children and 2-24 h in 45 (55.6%). Oral reactions occurred later than reactions to parentally administered drugs. Parents of 58 children (71.6%) reported that they completely avoided the suspected culprit drug following the reaction. Relapse occurred after re-administration of the drug in 21 (25.9%) children. A diagnostic approach for drug allergy was not undertaken in any of the children. This study may provide some information about the prevalence of drug allergy, although it is based on parental perception and results are unlikely to conform well to true prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Urban Health