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
- 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
- Devchand M and Trubiano J. Australian Prescriber, December 2019: 42 : 192-99.