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The occurrence of an emergent need for aspirin therapy in an aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-"allergic" individual presents one of the more challenging situations the allergist may face. A common request is for the allergist to evaluate an acutely ill patient in a monitored hospitalized setting with a vague and remote history of a "reaction to aspirin." Because of significant diagnostic limitations, introducing aspirin can be very difficult. The concern about the potential for causing anaphylaxis in an acutely ill patient can lead to fear about performing any challenge or desensitization in these patients. The objective of this article was to review the literature regarding aspirin challenges and desensitization in the emergency setting and present a rational approach to administering aspirin to patients that require this drug.




White, A. A., Stevenson, D. D., Woessner, K. M., & Simon, R. A. (2013). Approach to patients with aspirin hypersensitivity and acute cardiovascular emergencies. Allergy and Asthma Proceedings, 34(2), 138–142. https://doi.org/10.2500/aap.2013.34.3644

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