Nimesulide and meloxicam are a safe alternative drugs for patients intolerant to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Gian Enrico Senna, Giovanni Passalacqua, Annarita Dama, Mariangiola Crivellaro, Michele Schiappoli, Patrizia Bonadonna, Giorgio Walter Canonica
European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2003, 35 (10): 393-6

BACKGROUND: Pseudoallergic reactions to ASA and NSAIDs in general are frequent and difficult to manage. The challenge with the suspected drug is considered unethical, therefore the only possible approach is a challenge with alternative drugs. Selective COX2 inhibitors are considered the most suitable alternative drugs. We describe the comparative results and follow-up of an oral challenge with nimesulide and meloxicam, in NSAIDs intolerant patients.

METHODS: 381 patients (118 male, 263 female, mean age 53.2 years) with a well documented pseudoallergic reaction to NSAIDs underwent an oral challenge with these alternative drugs. All 381 patients were given nimesulide 88 of them were also given meloxicam. All patients were re-interviewed at six-month intervals up to two years after challenge.

RESULTS: 98.4% of the patients tolerated nimesulide and 95.4% tolerated meloxicam. The reactions occurred during challenges were mild and easily manageable. Three out of the six nimesulide-intolerant patients could tolerate meloxicam, whereas only one of the four meloxicam-intolerant patients could tolerate nimesulide. At the follow-up, 96% of patients with previous negative challenge could tolerate nimesulide and within the patients which took meloxicam after challenge no pseudoallergic reaction occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: The herein described challenge with alternative drugs, meloxicam and nimesulide, is a safe tool for the management of NSAIDs-intolerant patients. The two tested drug are safe and reliable alternatives for these patients.

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