Drug Allergy Center
At the Drug Allergy Center, we provide expert drug allergy evaluations and conduct drug challenges and desensitization. Our goals are to confirm or remove the diagnosis of medication allergy and enable adult and pediatric patients to safely receive the most effective medication(s) for their condition. Drug allergies to antibiotics, aspirin (and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications), and anesthetic and chemotherapy agents are the most common reasons for referral to our center.
What to expect
During your initial visit, the doctor will ask for your child’s comprehensive history (including detailed history of your child’s medication allergy history), and they’ll perform a physical exam. Depending on the drug and type of the allergic reaction that occurred, the doctor may perform skin testing, medication challenge or desensitization. Please note that drug allergy evaluation may require more than one visit. Once we have the results, we’ll communicate with and collaborate with your child’s pediatrician and any other doctors to ensure that they receive the necessary mediation in the safest possible manner.
A robust research portfolio
We are dedicated to raising the standard of health care through leading-edge research initiatives. Our specific clinical and research interests are penicillin and aspirin allergies, as well as the effect of rituximab on the immune system.
Penicillin allergy program
Penicillin allergy is reported by 10 percent of patients but the majority of these individuals can in fact tolerate penicillin. Reported history of penicillin allergy results in using broader spectrum antibiotics and has been shown to increase antimicrobial resistance and lead to more antibiotic related complications and longer hospital stays. We established our penicillin allergy program to remove the label of penicillin allergy in people who are misdiagnosed with penicillin allergy to avoid unnecessary use of stronger antibiotics with higher toxicity. For people with confirmed penicillin allergy, we offer outpatient and inpatient desensitization when the drug is clearly indicated.
We perform desensitization for aspirin-allergic patients, including people who need aspirin for prophylaxis and treatment of heart disease, stroke, as well as for aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), that is also called Samter’s triad or aspirin sensitive asthma. AERD should be considered in every person with nasal polyposis who requires repeat sinus surgeries. Daily aspirin has been shown to reduce the need for sinus surgeries in patients with AERD.
Effect of rituximab on the immune system
Immunomodulatory medications are medications that are used to regulate the immune system. These medications are widely used to treat multiple diseases, including autoimmune and malignant diseases. However, while treating the disease, these medications can suppress some parts of the immune system, and people with suppressed immune systems are at risk for infections. Therefore, the effect of rituximab on the immune system is one of our research interests. We monitor the immune system prior to, during and after treatment with rituximab to ensure that immune system works well.