Division of Allergy & Immunology

Montefiore Drug Allergy Center

The Montefiore Drug Allergy Center was originally founded by Dr. Elina Jerschow, MD, MS and is now being led by Dr. Jessica Oh, MD.

Drug Allergy Evaluations & Management

Jessica Oh, MD
Jessica Oh, MD 
Obtaining a detailed history of each drug reaction is the first critical step of drug allergy evaluation and management. Drug allergy reactions are classified as either immediate (within ~4 hours of exposure) or delayed. Furthermore, not all adverse reactions to drugs are classified as an “allergy.” At the Montefiore Drug Allergy Center, a detailed history is obtained to classify every drug reaction and determine the most appropriate testing for each patient.  

The Montefiore Drug Allergy Center offers extensive testing to correctly determine whether a patient is allergic to a particular drug. Skin prick, intradermal, and patch testing may be used to test for allergic sensitivity; in vitro blood testing may be implemented in certain cases. Depending on skin testing results, a patient may qualify for an in-office challenge to the medication to solidify a diagnosis. If the patient is found to be allergic to a medication, individualized drug desensitization procedures can be designed to induce a state of tolerance in the immune system to the medication.

Outpatient Chemotherapy & Biologic Desensitization Program

The Montefiore Drug Allergy Center also offers outpatient management of patients allergic to chemotherapy and biologic agents. Once a patient is determined to be allergic to a chemotherapy or biologic agent, they may qualify for a procedure called desensitization. Desensitization is a procedure that slowly and methodically introduces a medication to a patient over many hours to induce a state of temporary tolerance. This allows many patients who have drug allergy to complete their life-saving treatment regimen in a safe, physician-supervised outpatient setting.

The following chemotherapy and biologic agents are currently available for outpatient desensitization:
  • Abatacept
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Docetaxel
  • Doxorubicin
  • Gemcitabine
  • Infliximab
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Rituximab
  • Trastuzumab

Helpful Resources for Patients with Drug Allergies

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