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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2000 Sep;85(3):241-4.

A 5-day course of oral desensitization to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (T/S) in patients with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 infection who were previously intolerant to T/S.

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  • 1AIDS Clinical Center, International Medical Center of Japan, Tokyo.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (T/S) is an essential drug in patients with human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection to prevent opportunistic infections. About 40% to 60% of them develop skin rash which leads to discontinue the medication. A precise mechanism of the reaction is not known.

OBJECTIVE:

To make the patients more tolerable to the medication and to make clear whether or not the reaction is caused by serum sulfamethoxazole-specific IgE.

METHODS:

We established a 5-day protocol, in which T/S was administered orally as a granular form in increasing doses beginning with 0.005 g (it contains trimethoprim 0.4 mg and sulfamethoxazole 2 mg) and doubled every 12 hours until the therapeutic dose was achieved. We tried to desensitize T/S in 17 patients with HIV-1 infection who were previously intolerant to T/S and measured the specific IgE in sera.

RESULTS:

Desensitization was successfully completed in 15 (88.2%) of the patients. In two patients who failed the desensitization, one was due to fever and the other was gastric irritation. During followup in a mean period of 16.6 months (range, 8 to 23 months) as of May, 1999, none has had Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) while receiving T/S after desensitization. Sulfamethoxazole-specific IgE did not increase, indicating that it was not the major cause of skin rash due to T/S in our cases.

CONCLUSION:

These preliminary results show that most patients who were thought to be intolerant to T/S and had no sulfamethoxazole-specific IgE can be safely desensitized and received the drug subsequently as an effective prophylaxis for PCP.

PMID:
11030281
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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