Millions of people in the US who have a documented penicillin allergy on their medical record may notactually be allergic. These individuals are often foregoing the best, safest, and most cost-effective option for alternatives that can cause unnecessary complications, according to a new report published in JAMA.
The researchers are now advising patients with penicillin allergy to consult their doctors to reassess whether their allergy is truly present. A 2017 review of 24 studies found that 95 percent of patients tested negative for penicillin allergy and instead could be treated safely with the antibiotic.
The recent review is a collaboration among physicians and three medical boards based on evidence gathered over the years. They now suggest revisions to how penicillin allergies are evaluated and diagnosed.
"Many reported penicillin allergies are established during childhood, when it is by far the most commonly prescribed antibiotic, said lead and corresponding author Erica Shenoy of MGH Division of Infectious Diseases in a statement. If penicillin is prescribed for what is actually a viral rather than a bacterial ...