Drug hypersensitivity in students from São Paulo, Brazil

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010;65(10):1009-11. doi: 10.1590/s1807-59322010001000014.


Background: Drug hypersensitivity is responsible for substantial mortality and morbidity, and increased health costs. However, epidemiological data on drug hypersensitivity in general or specific populations are scarce.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey of 1015 university students, using a self-reported questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of self-reported drug hypersensitivity was 12,11% (123/1015). The most frequently implicated drugs were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (45,9%) and beta-lactam and sulfonamide antibiotics (25,40%). The majority of the patients reported dermatological manifestations (99), followed by respiratory (40), digestive (23) and other (19). Forty-five patients had an immediate type reaction, and 76,72% (89) had the drug by oral route.

Conclusion: The results showed that drug hypersensitivity is highly prevalent in university students, and that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and antibiotics (beta-lactams and sulfonamide) are the most frequently concerned drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / classification
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sulfonamides / adverse effects
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Lactams / adverse effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Sulfonamides
  • beta-Lactams