"Earlier, we said that nine out of ten people who report penicillin allergy have skin tests negative. Now it looks more like 19 out of 20, "Dr. David Lang, president-elect of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and chair of allergy and immunology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Patients They are labeled as allergic to penicillin by various means. You may experience nasty drug reactions, such as headache, nausea, or diarrhea, that are not allergic reactions, but are misinterpreted. Alternatively, they may develop a symptom such as a rash that suggests a true allergic reaction, but it can be caused by an underlying condition rather than the drug.
It's a good idea to find out if your allergy is real or not because penicillin antibiotics, which are part of a group of medicines called beta-lactam antibiotics, are among the safest and most effective treatments for many infections. Beta-lactams are the treatment of choice in group A streptococci, which can cause pneumonia, toxic shock and other syndromes; Group B Strep, which causes meningitis; Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogens. Beta-lactams are used prophylactically to prevent infection during surgery, and studies have shown that patients with penicillin allergies who received second-line antibiotics prior to surgery had a significantly higher risk of surgical site infection. Beta-lactams are also the first treatment for syphilis and gonorrhea.
Substitutes such as fluoroquinolones, clindamycin, vancomycin and third generation cephalosporins are available, but often both are less effective and more expensive and many antibiotics are broader. Experts say that this can lead to the development of resistant organisms and other side effects. Studies have shown that patients with penicillin allergies are at an increased risk of developing serious infections, such as Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.
Do not challenge experts to warn penicillin. Patients who have been told that they are allergic to penicillin should talk to their doctors, who should take a careful history and check the symptoms of the reaction.
If the response to penicillin in the past has included symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, or itching, or the diagnosis has been made due to a familial history of allergy, the patient is classified as low risk and may be able to administer a first dose of penicillin or related antibiotic such as amoxicillin under medical supervision.
If the past reaction involved hives, skin rash, swelling, or shortness of breath, patients should perform penicillin skin tests using a small amount of skin test. Penicillin Reagent followed by a second test containing the reagent Skin sets if the first test is negative. If both tests are negative, the patient is unlikely to be allergic to penicillin and, as confirmation, an oral dose may be given under observation.