Anaphylaxis to drugs

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2015 May;35(2):303-19. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Mar 3.


Drug-induced anaphylaxis is a common cause of anaphylaxis and a leading cause of fatal anaphylaxis. Antibiotics, radiocontrast, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly implicated drugs. Vocal cord dysfunction can mimic anaphylaxis and is often overlooked. β-Lactams are a common cause of anaphylaxis; however, skin testing and drug challenge can usually determine tolerability of other classes of β-lactams. Nonionic contrast agents cause anaphylaxis less frequently than ionic contrast, and immunoglobulin E-mediated mechanisms may have a role in some of these reactions. Skin testing with radiocontrast may have a role in evaluating patients with anaphylaxis to nonionic contrast.

Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Cephalosporin; Drug; NSAID; Penicillin; Proton pump inhibitor; Radiocontrast; Vocal cord dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Management
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / classification
  • Risk Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations