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Drug allergy encompasses a spectrum of immunologically mediated hypersensitivity reactions with varying mechanisms and clinical presentations. Risk factors for drug allergy include age (more common in young/middle-aged adults), gender (more common in females), genetic polymorphisms, certain viral infections (HIV and herpes viruses) and drug-related factors (topical and IV/intramuscular routes of administration are more immunogenic than oral administration).Diagnosis requires a thorough drug history, including dates of administration, drug formulation, dosage and route of administration, as well as clinical symptoms and their timing and duration in relation to drug exposure; skin testing and graded challenges may also be required. The skin is the organ most frequently affected by drug-induced allergic reactions; however, many other organ systems may be involved, including multi-organ reactions such as anaphylaxis.
No specific preparation required but clinical history format is mandatory.