Background: No data are available on the incidence of drug hypersensitivity (DH) reactions in outpatient settings of tertiary allergy/immunology clinics. Our aims were to document the frequency of outpatient hospital admissions due to DH reactions to allergy/immunology clinics in adults and the management of these reactions in real life. We also investigated whether drug allergy affected social and medical behaviours of the patients.
Methods: This multi-centre study was performed for one year with the participation of 11 out of 16 tertiary allergy/clinical immunology clinics in Turkey. The study group consisted of the patients with DH reactions. Results of a questionnaire including drug reactions and management were recorded.
Results: Among 54,863 patients, 1000 patients with DH were enrolled with a median of 2.1% of all admissions. In real life conditions, the majority of approaches were performed for finding safe alternatives (65.5%; 1102 out of 1683) with 11.7% positivity. Diagnostic procedures were positive in 27% (154/581) of the patients. The majority of the patients had higher VAS scores for anxiety. A total of 250 subjects (25%) reported that they delayed some medical procedures because of DH.
Conclusion: Our results documented the frequency of admissions due to DH reactions to allergy/clinical immunology clinics for the first time. Although physicians mostly preferred to perform drug tests in order to find safe alternatives, considering the fact that DH was confirmed in 27% of the patients, use of diagnostic tests should be encouraged, if no contraindication exists in order to avoid mislabelling patients as DH.
Keywords: Drug allergy; Drug hypersensitivity; Drug provocation tests; Epidemiology; Guidelines; Skin prick tests.
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