Penicillin “allergy” history is not a benign finding

Dr. Eric Macy, MD MS Southern California Permanente Medical Group Department of Allergy San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CalifMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Eric Macy, MD MS
Southern California Permanente Medical Group
Department of Allergy
San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, Calif

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Macy:Admission to hospital with a history of penicillin allergy, though often inaccurate, is associated with significantly higher total hospital utilization along with significantly higher rates of MRSA, VRE, and Clostridium difficile infections.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Macy: This question has never been investigated in such a large study. There were more than 50,000 hospitalized individuals with a history of penicillin “allergy” and 100,000 control individuals without a history of penicillin “allergy” followed during this 3 year study.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Macy: A penicillin “allergy” history is not a benign finding. Most penicillin allergy histories are inaccurate and a simple penicillin skin test and oral amoxicillin challenge can verify if penicillin allergy is truly present.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Macy: More penicillin allergy testing of hospitalized individuals may result in fewer hospitalizations and fewer serious infections. This needs to be evaluated in a prospective fashion.

Citation:

Health care use and serious infection prevalence associated with penicillin “allergy” in hospitalized patients: A cohort study
Eric Macy, Richard Contreras

04 November 2013
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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