Drug desensitization in allergic children

Drug desensitization in allergic children


  • Silvia Caimmi Pediatric Clinic, Foundation IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • Carlo Caffarelli Clinica Pediatrica, Dipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Università di Parma, Italy
  • Francesca Saretta Pediatric Department, AAS2 Bassa Friulana-Isontina, Palmanova-Latisana, Italy; Pediatric Allergy Unit, Department of Medicine, Udine, Italy
  • Lucia Liotti Department of Pediatrics, Senigallia Hospital, Senigallia, Italy
  • Giuseppe Crisafulli UO Allergologia, Dipartimento di Pediatria, Università di Messina, Italy
  • Fabio Cardinale UOC di Pediatria, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria “Consorziale-Policlinico”, Ospedale Pediatrico Giovanni XXIII, Bari, Italy
  • Paolo Bottau Pediatric and Neonatology Unit, Imola Hospital, Imola (BO), Italy
  • Francesca Mori Allergy Unit, Department of Pediatric Medicine, Anna Meyer Children’s University Hospital, Florence, Italy
  • Fabrizio Franceschini UOC Pediatria, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria “Ospedali Riuniti”, Ancona, Italy
  • Roberto Bernardini Pediatric Unit, “San Giuseppe” Hospital, Empoli, Italy
  • Gian Luigi Marseglia Pediatric Clinic, Foundation IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


children, drug allergy, drug desensitization, hypersensitivity reactions, premedication


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.




How to Cite

Caimmi S, Caffarelli C, Saretta F, Liotti L, Crisafulli G, Cardinale F, et al. Drug desensitization in allergic children. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2019 Jan. 28 [cited 2024 Jul. 23];90(3-S):20-9. Available from: https://mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/8158