Background: Adverse drug reactions account for approximately 2-6% of all hospital admissions and they occur in about 10% of all hospitalized patients. It is diagnosed on clinical grounds and the temporal relation between drug intake and the appearance of the symptoms. In the further assessment of the reaction skin tests, in-vitro tests and provocation tests are required. If the culprit drug can be confirmed, the drug should be discontinued and avoided in the future. Readministration of a drug to which the patient is hypersensitive leads to considerable morbidity and mortality. In case of cross-reactivity (e.g. NSAIDs), alternative drugs should be found, these also have to be documented. The results of the allergy tests have to be properly documented in a discharge report as well as in a document for the patient. However, the long-term compliance with drug avoidance is limited by inadequate documentation in many cases. A frequent cause of accidental re-exposure is that physicians are not aware of their patients’ former hypersensitivity. Patients with drug hypersensitivities should be advised to always carry a medical identification card that lists all suspected and proven allergies (allergy ID) so that they and their health care providers remain informed of the problematic drugs and suggested alternative medications. This allergy ID has to contain important information, e.g. on the type of reaction, the culprit drug, the compounds responsible for the reaction and examples for marketed multi-agent drugs containing this compound, the certainness of the causal relationship (proven by history, positive skin test/in vitro test, or by provocation test), cross-reactivity and alternative tolerated medications and further information, e.g. on premedication. Some allergy centers have created their own allergy ID, whereas other allergy centers in Europe do not have a standardized way of allergy ID. Additionally, recommendations for proper documentation of drug allergy are given.
Aim: Construction and publication of common standardized European drug allergy identification cards and other ways of documentation for the protection of drug allergic patients. This information shall be distributed and installed throughout Europe.
Last updated 21 January 2016