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Written by: Vester Gravley on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Posted in:

The remedy is worse than the disease, or so the ancient saying goes. For those suffering aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), the remedy is the very thing that brought on the disease in the first place: Aspirin!

“In 1979, researchers at Scripps found that desensitizing Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) patients in order for them to be able to take aspirin or an NSAID drug for other conditions resulted in improvement in their upper and lower respiratory tract inflammation.”1

Aspirin desensitization begins with the patient taking a very low, subtherapeutic dose in a controlled setting and then gradually increasing the dose until a reaction is precipitated. “The major risk of this procedure is a severe asthma attack.”  Once a reaction is precipitated, “doses will continue to be escalated slowly through the procedure over a period of two days until at least 325 or 650 mg of aspirin is achieved. After desensitization, the patient is discharged on a regimen of 325 or 650 mg of aspirin twice daily” based on individual patient tolerance.2

After desensitization, the patient takes a daily maintenance dose of aspirin “which has been shown now in several case series (involving over one thousand patients) to be effective at reducing upper and lower respiratory inflammation; thereby reducing oral corticosteroid requirements and the number of sinus surgeries as well as the number of sinus infections. Hospital visits for asthma and sense of smell were also generally improved in most patients.”3

Think about that. For the 1.5 million often-undiagnosed and overlooked aspirin-sensitive asthmatics, this simple procedure could decrease utilization of healthcare resources, potentially decrease unnecessary hospital admissions, and greatly improve quality of life with the simple prescription: “Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.”

 

 

 

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