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Asia Pac Allergy. 2011 Apr;1(1):2-11. doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2011.1.1.2. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Clinical applications of drug desensitization in the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 308433, Republic of Singapore.


Drug desensitization is the induction, within hours to days, of a temporary state of tolerance to a drug which the patient has developed a hypersensitivity reaction to. It may be used for IgE and non-IgE mediated allergic reactions, and certain non-allergic reactions. The indication for desensitization is where no alternative medications are available for the treatment of that condition, and where the benefits of desensitization outweigh the risks. Desensitization is a therapeutic modality for drug allergy (similar to allergen specific immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis and insect venom anaphylaxis). In contrast, the drug provocation test is a diagnostic modality used to confirm or refute the diagnosis of drug allergy. This review discusses the clinical applications of desensitization for the treatment of common infectious, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and oncological conditions in the Asia-Pacific region.


Anaphylaxis; Desensitization; Drug hypersensitivity; Stevens Johnson syndrome; Toxic epidermal necrolysis

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