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Original Article


Self-reported Drug Allergy in Health Care Workers in Conservative and Surgical Medicine Departments


L Zilinskaite,1 D Tamasauskas,1 V Kvedariene,2 B Sitkauskiene1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Kaunas, Lithuania
2Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2012; Vol. 22(5): 357-362



Background: Drug allergy comprises 10% to 30% of all adverse drug reactions, and according to data from the literature, sensitivity to drug allergens is 2 to 3 times more common in health care workers than in the general population.

Objective: The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of self-reported drug allergy in health care workers and compare the data obtained between doctors and nurses from conservative medicine (CM) and surgical medicine (SM) departments.

Methods: This was an analytic questionnaire-based survey conducted using the European Network of Drug Allergy questionnaire adapted to the Lithuanian population. The questionnaires were completed by 346 individuals.

Results: Nurses from SM departments reported allergy symptoms more frequently than doctors from the same departments (38.1% vs. 16.7%, P=.01) and nurses from the CM departments (38.1% vs. 18%; P=.02). The most common drugs reported to cause hypersensitivity symptoms were similar in the CM and SM departments: antibiotics (8.8% and 12.7%), local anesthetics (2.9% and 6.9%), and group B vitamins (1.2% and 2.1%). Skin damage was indicated as the most common clinical manifestation.

Conclusions. Based on the data reported by the questionnaire respondents, drug allergy was most prevalent among nurses from the SM departments, and antibiotics and local anesthetics were the most common substances that induced the symptoms.

Key words: Drug allergy. Hypersensitivity. Health care workers. Conservative medicine. Surgical medicine.