Drug allergy

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Feb;125(2 Suppl 2):S126-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.10.028.


Drug allergy is one type of adverse reaction to drugs and encompasses a spectrum of hypersensitivity reactions with heterogeneous mechanisms and clinical presentations. A thorough history is essential to the management of drug allergy. Laboratory testing has a very limited role in the management of drug allergy. Graded dose challenges and procedures to induce drug tolerance might be required in patients with drug allergy when there is a definite need for a particular agent. Management of reactions to specific agents, including beta-lactam antibiotics, sulfonamides, local anesthetics, radiocontrast media, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and biologic modifiers, will be discussed in further detail.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Contrast Media / adverse effects
  • Drug Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Drug Hypersensitivity* / physiopathology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity* / therapy
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / diagnosis
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / physiopathology
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking
  • beta-Lactams / adverse effects


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Contrast Media
  • beta-Lactams