- Epidemiology and etiology
- Pathogenic mechanisms
The designation drug allergy should be reserved for adverse drug reactions caused by immunologic mechanisms. Although drug allergies are responsible for only a few adverse drug effects, the possibility of such reactions is a daily concern of most physicians. Drug allergy has a great variety of clinical manifestations and has been attributed to most categories of therapeutic agents.
[...] Drug allergy has a great variety of clinical manifestations and has been attributed to most categories of therapeutic agents. Introduction Because specific diagnostic tests are not usually available, physicians most often base decisions on probabilities and the patient's need for treatment. This presentation provides an overview of drug allergy with an emphasis on pathogenic mechanisms, diagnostic considerations, and preventive measures. Epidemiology and Etiology Complications of drug therapy are the most common adverse events among hospitalized patients, and 10 to 14% of drug reactions have an allergic basis. [...]
[...] The history should be adequate to allow classification of the type of reaction experienced, and physicians should educate patients to distinguish allergy from other types of adverse reactions. Reactions attributable to drug toxicity or side effects do not preclude future use of the same or chemically similar agents. Recommendations Before prescribing any new drug, physicians should inquire again about past drug reactions. Skin tests can predict a type I hypersensitivity response to some drugs and should be done routinely before heterologous antisera is given. [...]