Background: Epidemiologic drug allergy data from Latin America are scarce, and there are no studies on specific procedures focusing on this topic in Latin America.
Objective: To assess the clinical characteristics and management of hypersensitivity drug reactions in different Latin American countries.
Methods: An European Network of Drug Allergy questionnaire survey was implemented in 22 allergy units in 11 Latin American countries to report on consecutive patients who presented with a suspected hypersensitivity drug reaction. Each unit used its own protocols to investigate patients.
Results: Included were 868 hypersensitivity drug reactions in 862 patients (71% of adults and elderly patients were women and 51% of children were girls, P = .0001). Children presented with less severe reactions than adults and elderly patients (P < .0001). Urticaria and angioedema accounted for the most frequent clinical presentations (71%), whereas anaphylaxis was present in 27.3% of cases. There were no deaths reported. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (52.3%), β-lactam antibiotics (13.8%), and other antibiotics (10.1%) were the drugs used most frequently. Skin prick tests (16.7%) and provocation tests (34.2%) were the study procedures most commonly used. A large proportion of patients were treated in the emergency department (62%) with antihistamines (68%) and/or corticosteroids (53%). Only 22.8% of patients presenting with anaphylaxis received epinephrine.
Conclusion: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics were the drugs used in at least 75% of patients. More than half the reactions were treated in the emergency department, whereas epinephrine was administered in fewer than 25% of patients with anaphylaxis. Dissemination of guidelines for anaphylaxis among primary and emergency department physicians should be encouraged.
Copyright © 2014 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.