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Management of patients with nonaspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease aspirin hypersensitivity reactions

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Because of widespread use, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the second most common cause of all adverse drug reactions, with hypersensitivity reported in ∼1% of the population. NSAID hypersensitivity can be categorized into five types by the underlying disease, symptoms of reaction, and timing of reaction. These include rhinitis and asthma induced by NSAIDs (also known as aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease), NSAID-exacerbated cutaneous disease (NECD), urticaria or angioedema induced by multiple NSAIDs, single NSAID-induced reactions, and delayed NSAID reactions. NECD occurs in one-third of patients with chronic urticaria who develop an exacerbation of their urticaria, sometimes with angioedema, typically beginning 30‐90 minutes after ingestion of NSAIDs that inhibit cyclooxygenase (COX)-1. In urticaria or angioedema induced by multiple NSAIDs, patients without underlying disease develop urticaria or angioedema 30‐90 minutes after ingestion of COX-1‐inhibiting NSAIDs including aspirin. Single NSAID-induced reactions are immediate and specific to a single NSAID and are thought to occur because of an IgE-mediated reaction against a specific epitope of the NSAID. Delayed NSAID reactions occur days to weeks after initiating an NSAID. These are T-cell mediated and not amenable to desensitization or rechallenge. Classifying the type of NSAID hypersensitivity is important because many patients with a prior history of urticaria or angioedema induced by multiple NSAIDs will often tolerate aspirin test dose. This would allow the use of an aspirin for primary or secondary prevention in patients with coronary artery disease despite a presumed history of NSAID hypersensitivity.
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Keywords: Adverse drug reaction; NSAID-exacerbated cutaneous disease; aspirin hypersensitivity; aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease; delayed hypersensitivity reactions; drug allergy; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); single NSAID-induced reactions; test dose

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2015

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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