The first successful desensitization protocol in exenatide allergy: a case report

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Yeğit O. O., Sarıbeyliler G., Karadağ P., Demir S., Gül N., Ünal D., ...More

Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, vol.19, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13223-023-00761-y
  • Journal Name: Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Desensitization, Diabetes, Drug allergy, Exenatide, Obesity
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


© 2023, The Author(s).Background: Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are important treatment options in obese patients with type 2 diabetes. To date, few immediate allergic reactions due to GLP-1 receptor agonists were reported. One report revealed that a patient with a level 1 anaphylaxis according to Brighton Criteria due to an exendin based GLP-1 receptor agonist was able to tolerate liraglutide (Human GLP-1 analogue), the alternative GLP-1 receptor agonist. Since exenatide is the only available GLP-1 receptor agonist covered by insurance in Turkey, a drug desensitization protocol, the only therapeutic method in hypersensitivity reactions used in case of absence of an alternative drug, was considered. Here, we report a successful desensitization protocol for the first time in two obese diabetic patients with an immediate hypersensitivity to exenatide. Case presentation: The first patient was a 47 year-old female. She was referred to our outpatient allergy clinic because of a generalized urticaria developed within minutes after the last dose, following a week of an exenatide BID 5 mcg/20 mcl treatment. Although the reaction was sudden onset, it did not meet the Brighton Criteria of anaphylaxis. The second patient was a 46 year-old female. She had a large local immediate injection site reaction that appeared 15 min following an exenatide BID 5 mcg/20 mcl injection. The injection site reaction was not accompanied by a systemic allergic reaction. We performed desensitization with exenatide to two patients who need GLP-1 receptor agonist treatment. Protocol was completed in 7 steps in approximately 3 h, with the aim of reaching the daily dosage of exenatide. Throughout this process, we observed that both cases tolerated the protocol without any complaints or complications. Following the protocol, the patients safely tolerated the treatment for 3 months. Conclusions: We present the first successful desensitization protocol to exenatide in both local and/or systemic immediate hypersensitivity reactions and indicate the importance of desensitization in patients who do not have alternative therapies.