The purpose of aspirin desensitization is to induce a tolerance to aspirin in a person who is sensitive to aspirin. During the aspirin desensitization procedure, you are given increasing doses of aspirin over time. This also serves as a challenge or diagnostic test because if you have a sensitivity to aspirin, you will likely develop some symptoms during the procedure. After the symptoms are treated, we proceed with the remainder of the desensitization. This procedure is a 2-day process. Once the aspirin desensitization procedure is done, you will need to take aspirin regularly.
Preparing for the Test
Please follow your doctor’s directions for pre-medication when getting ready for this test.
- Continue to take all the medicines as you usually do
- If you are diabetic, please bring your blood glucose monitor and medicine, including insulin
- If you feel sick, please call to speak with our nurse. We may need to cancel the appointment. The number to call is 920-969-1768
- Please arrive 15 to 20 minutes before your appointment time and check in at the Front Desk as soon as you arrive.
During the Test
Check in to The Allergy and Asthma Center. We encourage you to bring reading materials, a laptop or a tablet to use during your stay here. The Allergy and Asthma Center has wireless access for your technology devices. You may bring your lunch and/or snack food.
When you arrive, the nurse will explain what will be done during aspirin desensitization. If you have any questions, please ask. You will be placed in the challenge room within the center and you will have frequent monitoring of vital signs and lung function. The nurse may start an IV. The IV would be used to give medicine in case you have a significant reaction during the aspirin desensitization.
You will begin the aspirin desensitization by swallowing a small dose of aspirin. The dose will be increased every 1.5 to 2 hours during the day unless you have a reaction. You will be monitored closely by a nurse during the aspirin desensitization. Dr. Mjaanes will be available to provide evaluation or treatment in case of any symptoms. Possible symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, nasal congestion and a runny nose. You may be given some medicine to treat symptoms if they develop.
Once the aspirin desensitization is complete, Dr. Mjaanes will answer any questions you have and discuss the results of the test, make recommendations and identify your daily aspirin dose.
Length of the Test
Aspirin desensitization may take two days. You will come to the center each morning and stay all day. You are monitored closely so you won’t be able to leave the center during the day. You will be able to leave for the night and return the next morning if the aspirin desensitization is continuing.
After the Procedure
Once the procedure is completed, you will need to continue to take aspirin every day to remain desensitized. Dr. Mjaanes will determine the correct aspirin dose for you before discharge. Once you are desensitized to aspirin, you are also desensitized to all other NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen.
If you go 48-72 hours without remembering to take your aspirin, you will need to contact Dr. Mjaanes for further instructions about re-starting the medicine. Do not re-start it on your own without speaking to our staff because you could have a reaction. If you have any upcoming procedures or surgeries, you will need to notify the doctor that you are on an aspirin regimen. You may have to stop taking it prior to the procedure.
Schedule a follow-up appointment with Dr. Mjaanes within a couple of weeks after desensitization.
Day of the Test
Please check in at the Front Desk and tell them you are here for an aspirin challenge/desensitization. If you have questions, please call 920-969-1768.