Purpose: Identification of tolerable alternative analgesics is crucial for management in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-sensitive patients. We investigated cross-reactivity of acetaminophen and celecoxib according to the type of aspirin/NSAID hypersensitivity and aimed to determine the risk factors for cross-intolerance.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients intolerant to aspirin and NSAIDs who had undergone an acetaminophen and/or celecoxib oral provocation test. Aspirin/NSAID hypersensitivity was classified into 4 types according to a recently proposed classification: aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), aspirin-exacerbated chronic urticaria (AECU), aspirin-induced acute urticaria/angioedema (AIAU), and NSAID-induced blended reaction (NIRD).
Results: A total of 180 patients with hypersensitivity to aspirin and NSAIDs were enrolled; 149 acetaminophen provocation test results and 145 celecoxib provocation test results were analyzed. The overall cross-reaction rates to acetaminophen and celecoxib were 24.8% and 10.3%, respectively. There was a significant difference in the cross-reactivity to acetaminophen according to the type of NSAID hypersensitivity. Cross-reactivity to acetaminophen was highest in the AECU group (43.9%), followed by the AERD (33.3%), NIBR (16.7%), and AIAU (12.5%) groups. Underlying chronic urticaria was more prevalent in patients with cross-intolerance to both acetaminophen (P=0.001) and celecoxib (P=0.033). Intolerance to acetaminophen was associated with intolerance to celecoxib (P<0.001).
Conclusions: Acetaminophen and celecoxib may induce adverse reactions in a non-negligible portion of aspirin/NSAID-sensitive patients. Physicians should be aware of the possible cross-reactions of these alternative drugs and consider an oral challenge test to confirm their tolerability.
Keywords: Acetaminophen; anti-inflammatory agents; celecoxib; cross reactions; hypersensitivity; intolerance; non-steroidal.