Some Maryland patients who suffer from cardiac disease may be told that they have an allergy to aspirin if they have a reaction. In many of these cases, the patients are told to stop taking the effective medication. However, a study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that about one-third of these patients had gastrointestinal symptoms, not an allergy to aspirin.
The study analyzed more than 5,000 medical records and found that none of the patients who had reactions to aspirin were tested by an allergist. In 39 percent of the cases, the type of reaction the patient had was not properly documented. About 2.5 percent of the patients were found to have aspirin hypersensitivity, which is not the same thing as an actual allergy.