Introduction: Serum sickness is an acute and self-limiting disease caused by allergic reactions as a result of foreign proteins, injection or allergens. It is diagnosed by fever, lymphadenopathy, rash, gastrointestinal disorders and weakness.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of serum sickness and serum-like sickness in patients hospitalized in Kurdistan province.
Patients and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. The study included all patients who were hospitalized during 2001 to 2014. Demographic data, etiologic factors, clinical symptoms and laboratory findings using patients’ records were extracted. The data were analyzed using the software Stata 12.
Results: Out of 74 patients 55 (74.3%) were male and 19 (25.7%) were female. The mean age of all patients was 25.13±17.9 years. The average length of hospital stay in patients was 3.48±0.47 days. The mean interval between medication consumption and the onset of symptoms was 7.32±2.44 days. Moreover, the mean interval between taking medication and onset of symptoms is not different among groups (P ˃ 0.05). In the majority of cases, the most affected of body areas were the right buttock (27%) and left buttock (25.7%), respectively. In this study, most cases of serum sicknesses (66.2%) are caused by medication administration. Of them, cefixime and penicillin (2.7%) were the most common medications responsible for this disease. Other causes were included amoxicillin/ clavulanic acid, diclofenac, dexamethasone and amoxicillin (1.4%).
Conclusion: Drugs are a common cause of serum sickness which is generally started 7 to 14 days after consumption. In most patients with mild disease, drug discontinuation is the choice treatment.