Hypersensitivity reactions to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: does age matter?

Selda Ali, Ruxandra Udrea, Rama Boustani, Ionela-Andreea Puiu, Sabina Loredana Corcea, Luiza Spiru


Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are reported to be the leading cause of drug hypersensitivity reactions. The aim of this study was to characterize a cohort of patients with NSAID hypersensitivity and establish if there are any differences between two groups of adult patients, under 55 years old and over 55 years old, and identify safe alternative options. Methods: Patients with NSAID hypersensitivity who were referred to a single tertiary Allergy center from January 2019 to December 2021 were included. Clinical information was obtained from a review of medical records. Results: A total of 135 patients with a history of NSAID-induced hypersensitivity reactions were included, 80 patients under 55 years old and 55 patients older than 55. Most of the patients enrolled were female (80.74%) and the mean age was 50.21 years, ranging from 18 to 78 years old. The time interval between the first reaction and the allergy work-up was longer in the older group (average timeframe 6.87 years) than in the younger group (average timeframe 3.77 years). The main culprit was metamizole in both groups. An oral provocation test to paracetamol was performed in most of the patients who tolerated the intake of 1000 mg, except for 2 patients who developed angioedema. Conclusion: Angioedema was the most encountered symptom in our population. Age does not influence the allergy work-up of patients with a history of NSAID-induced hypersensitivity reactions.  The drug provocation challenge remains the gold standard for finding a suitable alternative in patients with NSAID-induced hypersensitivity.


NSAID hypersensitivity; drug allergy; oral provocation test; metamizole hypersensitivity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22551/2022.35.0902.10208

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