Objective: Hypersensitivity to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is among the most common drug hypersensitivities. NSAID hypersensitivity (NH) may affect 1-2% of the general population and it is an important public health problem that affects medical prescriptions, practices, and interventions. It also has an influence on the quality of the patients` daily lives. The primary aim was to understand to what extent a patient feels or perceives the symptoms and complaints during an NH reaction and to grade it with the visual analogue scale (VAS). The secondary aim was to investigate whether there was a difference between the NSAID groups causing the reactions in terms of reaction type and severity.
Materials and Methods: A total of 174 patients with a diagnosis of NH were evaluated in our outpatient allergy clinic. NH reactions were classified as asthma/rhinitis, urticaria/angioedema (u/ae), mixed reaction (asthma/rhinitis and u/ae together), anaphylaxis, and delayed hypersensitivity reaction. Patients were asked to evaluate the severity of each drug reaction by using VAS.
Results: Among 174 patients (115 females, mean age 39.12±12.34 years) the propionic acid group was the leading cause of hypersensitivity reactions. Only 3% of the reactions were reported to be mild and all of those mild reactions were u/ae whereas 92% of the anaphylactic reactions were severe. Most of the reactions were of the u/ae type. The acetic acid group was the leading cause of anaphylactic reactions.
Conclusion: NSAIDs cause reactions of various types with various levels of severity. These reactions are perceived by patients at different severity levels. VAS can provide a simple and quick assessment to evaluate NH reaction severity quantitatively.