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AIDS Read. 2001 Apr;11(4):222-6.

A near-fatal hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir: case report and literature review.

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University of Pennsylvania Health System, USA.


A near-fatal hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir developed in a 62-year-old HIV-seropositive man who had been sensitized 17 months before presentation. Six days after he was rechallenged, acute respiratory distress developed, requiring mechanical ventilation for 2 weeks. Four days after extubation, he was again rechallenged. Hours later, the patient experienced anaphylactic shock, requiring mechanical ventilation for 3 weeks, aggressive volume resuscitation, and vasopressor support. Recovery was complicated by acute tubular necrosis, digital necrosis, and a GI bleed. This report reviews the mechanisms of action, efficacy, and adverse reactions of abacavir and illustrates the danger of serially rechallenging patients with this agent.

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