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Outpatient penicillin use after negative skin testing and drug challenge in a pediatric population

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The practice of elective penicillin skin testing could be compromised by the fact that patients, their parents, or their physicians remain reluctant to reuse penicillin-class antibiotics (PCAs) despite a negative evaluation by an allergist. This study addresses reuse of PCAs in a pediatric population after negative penicillin skin testing and drug challenge and factors associated with its reluctance. All children evaluated for a history of penicillin allergy at the CHU Sainte-Justine Allergy Clinic between January 1998 and June 2000 with negative skin testing and drug challenge were included in the study. A telephone survey was conducted between May and October 2002 to assess the perception of the initial reaction by the parents, subsequent use of antibiotics, and antibiotic-related adverse reactions. Among the 200 children selected, parents of 170 (85%) children completed the survey. Since the allergist evaluation, 130 (76%) children had received antibiotics. PCA was used in 59 (45%) children. Parents of 24 (18%) children refused PCAs because they still feared an adverse reaction. They were more likely to have been very frightened by their child's allergic reaction than other parents whose children had used PCAs (p = 0.008). Although elective penicillin skin testing is useful and safe in the pediatric population, a significant proportion of parents still refuse PCAs even though they are needed. Identification of parents that were very frightened by their children's allergic reactions and additional reassurance could improve this situation.
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Keywords: Adverse drug reaction; antibiotic allergy; drug allergy; drug challenge; elective penicillin skin testing; pediatric allergy; penicillin allergy; penicillin readministration; penicillin reuse; skin testing

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2012

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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