We receive a number of calls from individuals who have experienced severe allergic reactions to drugs and who are concerned about exactly what they are allergic to and what they should avoid in future. They are also very anxious in case they need emergency medical treatment and are given the drug that caused their symptoms. Drug reactions are the most frequent cause of fatal anaphylaxis .
The European Network on Drug Allergy and Drug Allergy Interest Group of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology have formed a task force and developed a drug allergy passport as well as general guidelines of drug allergy documentation – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/all.12929/epdf
The task force concluded that comprehensive documentation of drug allergy is important to prevent accidental re -exposure to culprit drugs and the passport has been constructed and is strongly recommended for use after a comprehensive investigation as to what the patient is allergic to. Depending on the situation, other means of information, such as a drug allergy alert card/talisman, certificate, letter or copy of the medical record, may be considered, as complementary documents, differing in the amount of information given and its general format.
It is recommended that the passport is handed to the patient, who is advised to carry the documentation at all times especially when away from home. It should at least contain information on the culprit drug(s) including international non -proprietary name, clinical manifestation including severity, diagnostic measures, potential cross -reactivity, alternative drugs to prescribe and where more detailed information can be obtained.
We think this will be a great tool for drug allergic patients and would encourage them to communicate the information in the guideline to their treating doctor.