Successful outpatient graded administration of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole in patients without HIV and with a history of sulfonamide adverse drug reaction

Regan C. Pyle, Joseph H. Butterfield, Gerald W. Volcheck, Jenna C. Podjasek, Matthew A Rank, James T C Li, Amitha Harish, Kimberly L. Poe, Miguel Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Background: The outcomes of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) desensitization have been widely reported in the HIV literature but less so in the non-HIV literature. Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of graded administration of TMP-SMX in patients without HIV and with a history of TMP-SMX adverse drug reaction (ADR). Methods: A retrospective chart review, 2004-2012, of all the patients without HIV seen in the Division of Allergic Diseases and with a history of TMP-SMX ADR who underwent outpatient graded administration of TMP-SMX was conducted. The medical record was reviewed for age, sex, details of the initial ADR to TMP-SMX, an indication for TMP-SMX administration, and outcome. Patients also were contacted by telephone, and medical records were reviewed to determine long-term outcomes. Results: Seventy-two patients (46 women [64%]; mean [SD] age, 57.7 ± 13.89 years]) were included. The most common patient-reported reactions to TMP-SMX were rash 39 (54%), and hives 9 (13%). TMP-SMX administration was needed for the following indications: prophylaxis (62 [86%]) and treatment of infection (10 [14%]). Forty-three of the patients (60%) underwent a 1-day TMP-SMX administration protocol. Thirty-five of the 43 (81%) underwent a 6-step (90 minutes to 6 hours) protocol and 7 of the 43 (16%) underwent a novel 14-step TMP-SMX protocol. Twenty-nine (40%) underwent a >1-day TMP-SMX administration protocol. Our overall success rate was 90% (mean duration of 11 months). Ninety-eight percent of the patients successfully completed a 1-day graded administration protocol, and 76% successfully completed a >1-day protocol. TMP-SMX was stopped in 8 patients because of the ADR. Conclusion: We report the largest case series of successful outpatient graded administration of TMP-SMX with both 1-day and >1-day protocols, which have shown to be safe and well tolerated in patients without HIV and with a history of sulfonamide ADR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014



  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Drug hypersensitivity
  • Drug intolerance
  • Graded challenge
  • Immunologic
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy

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