Sulfasalazine desensitization in children and adolescents with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Sulfasalazine is an important therapeutic agent in the management of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (CIBD). Unfortunately, adverse reactions to this drug have been reported in 5-55% of treated patients. These include dose-related side effects like nausea, malaise, and headache or hypersensitivity reactions such as rash, fever, hives, arthralgia, hepatitis, etc. Studies in adults with successful reintroduction of sulfasalazine after a desensitization program have been reported; however, with regard to children, no such data are available. Fourteen children and adolescents (5-16 yr old) diagnosed to have CIBD manifested hypersensitivity to sulfasalazine within 2 months of onset of treatment. All had pancolitis--secondary to Crohn's disease (CD) in four and to ulcerative colitis (UC) in 10. All of them were on steroids. Sulfasalazine was discontinued in all after symptoms of hypersensitivity developed. Three patients with severe reaction were diagnosed prior to desensitization experience. Desensitization, beginning with 5-50 mg of sulfasalazine/day, was attempted in the other 11 children. The dose was gradually increased by 5-50 mg increments every 3 days. Desensitization was successful in only five children, who were ultimately able to tolerate 1.5-3.0 g of sulfasalazine daily again. In the rest (six of 11 patients), oral 5-ASA (Asacol) was administered, and three could not tolerate it. One of these three with intolerance to Asacol required colectomy. One did not tolerate Asacol or Dipentum. Our findings suggest that sulfasalazine desensitization should be attempted in all patients developing hypersensitivity reactions before trying alternative therapy.
AuthorsV Tolia
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology (Am J Gastroenterol) Vol. 87 Issue 8 Pg. 1029-32 (Aug 1992) ISSN: 0002-9270 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID1353658 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Aminosalicylic Acids
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Mesalamine
  • olsalazine
  • Adolescent
  • Aminosalicylic Acids (adverse effects)
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Diarrhea (chemically induced, prevention & control)
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Eruptions (etiology, prevention & control)
  • Drug Hypersensitivity (etiology, prevention & control)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (drug therapy)
  • Male
  • Mesalamine
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (chemically induced, prevention & control)
  • Sulfasalazine (administration & dosage, adverse effects, immunology)

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