Penicillin allergy: a practical approach to assessment and prescribing

Guest posting:  Jason Trubiano, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Drug and Antibiotic Allergy Service and Centre for Antibiotic Allergy and
Research, Austin Health, Victoria, Australia. 

  • Penicillin allergies are not always lifelong. Approximately 50% are lost over five years.
  • A reaction to penicillin during a childhood infection is unlikely to be a true allergy.
  • Only 1–2% of patients with a confirmed penicillin allergy have an allergy to cephalosporins.
    In patients with a low risk of severe allergic reactions, cephalosporins are a relatively safe
    treatment option.
  • Patients with a history of delayed non-severe reactions, such as mild childhood rashes that
    occurred over 10 years ago, may be suitable for an oral rechallenge with low-dose penicillin. This
    should be done in a supervised hospital environment.
  • In many cases, with appropriate assessment and allergy testing, it may be possible to remove the
    penicillin allergy label


One comment

  1. Great blog article. Couldn’t be write much better!


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