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Journal Information
Vol. 37. Issue 2.
Pages 98-104 (April 2009)
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Vol. 37. Issue 2.
Pages 98-104 (April 2009)
DOI: 10.1016/S0301-0546(09)71112-7
Diagnosing immune-mediated reactions to drugs
A.T. Nagao-Diasa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, F.M. Teixeiraa, H.L.L. Coelhob
a Dept. Clinical Analysis and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil
b Dept of Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil
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Figures (1)
Tables (3)
Table I. Clinical manifestations of drug allergy
Table II. Reporting information for associating causal relationship between drug exposure and adverse events (UMC-WHO, 2000)
Table III. Assessment criteria for determining causality categories for drug adverse reactions11 (The UMC/Who, 2000)
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Drug allergy is a type B adverse drug reaction, which is unpredictable and difficult to prevent or manage. In patients who have a previous history of drug allergy it must be confirmed by laboratorial diagnosis. However, the diagnostic test remains a major problem in clinical practice. Skin testing is validated for some drugs, such as penicillin, but not for others. Provocation test is a confirmatory test but bears the risk of severe reactions. Lymphocyte transformation test is a reliable test but is considered as a research tool. This review addresses the most recent published literature regarding the techniques which have already been developed as well as the new tests that can be promising alternatives for diagnosis of drug allergy.

Adverse drug reactions
Drug allergy
Hypersensitivity drug reactions
Basophil activation test
Lymphoproliferative tests
Skin test


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