Up to 10 percent of people report being allergic to penicillin, making an allergy to this class of antibiotics one of the most commonly reported drug allergies. A new study, "Antibiotic Use after Removal of Penicillin Allergy Label," published in the May 2018 issue of Pediatrics found that allergy testing for children who have low-risk symptoms is successful in determining if these children can be treated with penicillin and its derivatives, resulting in cost savings.
Researchers performed follow-up research on 100 children who tested negative for a penicillin allergy and found all but one child tolerated the medication within the following year without serious adverse or allergic reactions. This research also found that 10 percent of parents and 80 percent of primary care physicians didn't know that the child had been cleared of the allergy in testing.
Researchers conclude that the potential annual cost savings when extended to the annual pediatric emergency department population of 67,000 visits was $192,223, but that more should be done to ensure that test results are clearly communicated to parents and the entire health care team.
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