Drug Allergens

  • Andreas J. BircherEmail author
Living reference work entry


Many drugs from very different drug classes and categories have been reported to elicit allergic contact dermatitis by direct contact or airborne exposure.

Rarely, immediate-type reactions with urticaria or anaphylaxis have been observed.

Employees in the development, production, and maintenance in the pharmaceutical industry and workers in health care are typically affected.

Most drugs are haptens and therefore need to be or become reactive to be able to bind to protein to form a complete antigen.

Some prodrugs and intermediate substances in the synthetization process are highly reactive and more prone to be allergenic.


Drugs Metabolites Hapten Allergic contact dermatitis Urticaria Occupational 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allergy Unit, Department of DermatologyUniversity HospitalBaselSwitzerland

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