05 Nov Penicillin “allergy” history is not a benign finding
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.
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