Drug desensitization in allergic children

Silvia Caimmi, Carlo Caffarelli, Francesca Saretta, Lucia Liotti, Giuseppe Crisafulli, Fabio Cardinale, Paolo Bottau, Francesca Mori, Fabrizio Franceschini, Roberto Bernardini, Gian Luigi Marseglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drug allergy is an increasing problem worldwide, affecting all populations and races, children and adults, and for which diagnosis and treatment are not well standardized yet. Besides classical treatments, new drugs have been developed, especially for patients suffering from malignancies and chronic inflammatory diseases, that specifically target the cause of the disease. For those patients requiring such molecules, it is sometimes difficult to find an alternative drug when hypersensitivity reactions occur. Desensitization is therefore the best option whenever no alternative therapy is available but also when alternative treatments are considered therapeutically inferior and or more toxic. Despite its clinical success, little is known about the mechanisms and molecular targets of drug desensitization. Desensitization protocols use a gradual dose escalation to allow the safe administration of a treatment to which a patient previously presented a hypersensitivity reaction. The procedure requires special training and coordination of an allergy team, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, working together to safely and successfully implement desensitization protocols when appropriate. There is no difference in desensitization protocol between adults and children, except for the final cumulative dose of the administered drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalActa bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis
Issue number3S
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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