Sulfasalazine-Related Hypersensitivity Reactions in Patients With Rheumatic Diseases

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Abstract

Background

Sulfasalazine (SSZ), which has an arylamine sulfonamide structure, is an anti-inflammatory drug used in the treatment of many rheumatic diseases. Various adverse effects have been reported related to SSZ. In the present study, we aimed to define the frequency of SSZ-related hypersensitivity reaction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Methods

A total of 136 patients were included in this study. During follow-ups, reaction type, reaction duration, and drug doses were recorded in patients who developed hypersensitivity reactions. Drugs were discontinued in patients who developed reactions, and they were treated with antihistaminics and/or corticosteroids, according to requirements. Drug provocation tests with the drugs and aminosalicylic acid were performed in patients with negative skin prick test individually.

Results

A total of 136 patients, with ages ranging from 19 to 71 years (mean, 41.97 [SD, 12.04] years), were included in the study. Hypersensitivity reactions according to the drug provocation test were found against SSZ in 12 patients (8.8%). The SSZ-related hypersensitivity reaction types were urticaria in 7 patients, urticaria and angioedema in 4 patients, and pruritus in 1 patient.

Conclusions

Sulfasalazine is widely used by rheumatologists in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. Whereas the frequency of sulfonamide-related hypersensitivity reactions was reported as 3.0% in the population, we detected hypersensitivity reactions to be 8.8% with SSZ usage in rheumatic diseases.

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