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Are reported drug allergies in children always properly diagnosed?

By Sara Arenas-López , Lauri-Ann Van der Poel, Gideon Lack, George Du Toit and Adam Fox

Abstract

Aim

To assess the prevalance of parent-reported drug allergy and determine whether the reported allergy had a confirmed diagnosis

Design

Examination of drug charts over a one-month period, followed by interview

­

Subjects and setting

A paediatric population in a London children’s hospital

Results

Of the 729 charts reviewed, 670 of the drug allergy boxes (92%) were completed, and the recorded drug allergy prevalence was 8% (55/670). Of those drug allergies recorded, 74.5% (41/55) were due to antibiotics, 9%(5/55) to local anaesthetics, and 3.6% (2/55) due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and to anticonvulsants.

Conclusion

Only 5% of the children had any formal investigation of their drug allergy, suggesting a potential overestimate by parents of the prevalence of drug allergy with greater than necessary impact on prescribing.

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11104976

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