Aspirin desensitization is useful in treating patients with respiratory reactions to aspirin or related medications(such as ibuprofen).
This so-called aspirin intolerance is usually seen in patient with chronic sinusitis, nasal polypsosis and asthma. These respiratory reactions usually manifest with wheezing, sneezing, eye watering and sometimes skin sensations/rash. Some patient have had near fatal reactions to aspirin or ibuprofen.
The process of aspirin desensitization involves being in a medical facility where emergency treatments are readily available. Initially nasal sprays are used to administer small doses of ketorolac(an aspirin like drug). At intervals between 1-2 hours apart, increasing doses are given followed by even high doses of aspirin by mouth. Any reactions occurring are treated with intravenous or nebulized medications. The whole process typically takes 2 days, which means the patient comes to the ambulatory facility for 2 whole days. Alternatively, some patients need to be kept in the hospital, if their risk of a serious reaction is high. After the desensitization is completed, patient must continue to take aspirin daily with no discontinuations more than 2 days(otherwise the desensitization has to be repeated)