Allergies, Author Interviews / 15.11.2019 Interview with: Christopher M. Bland, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS Clinical Associate Professor Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy University of Georgia College of Pharmacy Clinical Pharmacy Specialist St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System Savannah, GA What is the background for this study? Response: Nearly 10% of the United States population self-report a penicillin allergy. However 90% of these allergies are found to be false upon reconciliation which includes patient interview, graded challenge, direct challenge, or penicillin skin testing. This is crucial as patients labeled with a penicillin allergy often receive more expensive antibiotics that additionally cause more adverse effects. While reconciling penicillin allergies is an important antimicrobial stewardship goal, resources are often limited in various healthcare settings to accomplish several of these endeavors. Our study evaluated the use of pharmacy students to serve as patient interviewers to aid in reconciling penicillin allergies. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Electronic Records / 13.11.2019 Interview with: Sonam Sani MD Allergy & Immunology Fellow NYU Winthrop Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: Penicillin allergy label removal is becoming more common. Studies have shown that while 10% of the general population report an allergy to penicillin, after testing only 1% truly have an allergy. Allergists have the ability to evaluate patient’s for penicillin allergy by performing skin tests and oral challenges. However, even when people test negative for penicillin allergy, they still face barriers to having the label removed. We are noting more and more that despite having negative testing, upon further encounters, our patients still have their penicillin allergy label. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA / 18.01.2019 Interview with: ESS= Erica S. Shenoy, MD, PhD Harvard Medical School Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston KGB= Kimberly G. Blumenthal MD, MSc Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital,Boston   EMM= Eric M. Macy MD, MS Department of Allergy Southern California Permanente Medical Group San Diego Medical Center TR= Theresa Rowe, DO, MS General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois What is the background for this review? ESS: A key component of reducing antimicrobial resistance is improving how antimicrobials are prescribed—both reducing inappropriate use (i.e., not prescribing when not needed) and favoring the use of narrow-spectrum agents that are less likely to contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance. KGB: Because unverified penicillin allergy labels are so prevalent with greater than 32 million Americans affected, and these labels lead to the use of alternative antibiotics that are often more broad-spectrum, we now know that penicillin allergy evaluations are an emerging important component of antibiotic stewardship.  When patients with a reported penicillin allergy are tested, more than 95% of them are not allergic, and thus could (and should) receive penicillins, and often related drugs, when appropriate. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard / 15.03.2017 Interview with: Kimberly Gold Blumenthal, M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: Over-reported penicillin allergies negatively impact patient care, as alternative drugs that are often used can be less effective, more toxic, more broad-spectrum (killing all of the good bacteria and leaving patients increasingly vulnerable to C.diff colitis), and more expensive. Most hospitalized patients who have a recorded penicillin allergy are not actually allergic. This has drawn attention by national organizations such as the CDC, National Quality Forum, and both allergy and infectious diseases professional societies. The message is clear: Address reported penicillin allergies in some way to improve care. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 05.11.2013

Dr. Eric Macy, MD MS Southern California Permanente Medical Group Department of Allergy San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, Interview with: Dr. Eric Macy, MD MS Southern California Permanente Medical Group Department of Allergy San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, Calif 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. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 15.03.2013 Matthieu Picard, MD, FRCPC Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Université de Montréal Montréal, Qc, Canada What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Picard: We found that patients reporting a history of penicillin allergy were often treated with penicillins despite their history of allergic reaction to that drug. In this study, which took place in a large tertiary-care academic hospital without allergists on staff, more than half of patients with a presumed penicillin allergy and a need for antibiotics were treated with beta-lactams, a class of antibiotics that includes penicillins and drugs that can cause allergic reactions in penicillin allergic individuals because of cross-reactivity. (more…)