While the prevalence of all forms of allergies would reach 14% in the general population, drug allergy is a significant part: it affects 7% of individuals and even up to 10% of hospitalized people. Nevertheless, its mechanisms remain rather vague. Illumination on this phenomenon and focus on vaccine allergies, on the occasion of the 13th Francophone Congress of Allergology (Paris – 17 to 20 April 2018).
One billion people allergic to drugs
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drug allergy is an adverse effect (AE) following the administration of drugs in humans. “These are unpredictable reactions that affect all therapeutic classes, with no correlation between the severity of the signs and the classes involved, and the dose administered and the severity of the clinical signs. on the other hand, explains Dr. Benjamin Bonnet of the Immunology Department (University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, INRA, UMR 1019, ECREIN, University of Clermont Auvergne).
7% of the population is affected by drug allergy, which is about one billion people worldwide.
These adverse effects are classified according to two distinct pathophysiological mechanisms, allergic and non-allergic. These reactions to drugs have been the subject of a recent literature review (1). It appears that among the allergic causes, the drugs are able to trigger four types of immunopathological reactions, but those IgE-dependent and delayed hypersensitivity mediated by T-lymphocytes are the most common, two mechanisms can also coexist in the same person. This is the case of insulin, for example.