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What your primary care doctor may not know about penicillin allergy

A new study published recently in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology revealed that pharmacists had better understanding regarding penicillin allergy than general practitioners (non-allergist physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners).  The study involved obtaining 276 surveys that were completed by pharmacists, non-allergist physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners regarding penicillin allergy.  The surveyed […]

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A new study published recently in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology revealed that pharmacists had better understanding regarding penicillin allergy than general practitioners (non-allergist physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners). 

The study involved obtaining 276 surveys that were completed by pharmacists, non-allergist physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners regarding penicillin allergy.  The surveyed revealed that 78% of pharmacists knew that a penicillin allergy could resolve over time.  Only 55 % of the general practitioners understood this fact.

Interestingly 80% of the general practitioners in the survey knew an allergist but had never sent a patient for penicillin testing or sent only one patient a year.   

10-20 % of people think they are allergic but only 10% of this group is allergic.  In fact only 20 % of the people that are allergic still retain their allergy after ten years.  So 90% of “presumed” penicillin allergic patients are avoiding penicillin and using more expensive antibiotics unnecessarily. 

An allergist can test you for penicillin to confirm whether you are truly allergic.  If testing is negative your allergist may recommend a test dose challenge to penicillin or amoxicillin based on your circumstances.

Midwest Allergy

In this blog, our own Dr. Grace Ryu talks about penicillin allergy. If you or someone you love has a penicillin allergy, we can help answer your questions. Make an appointment online today.

 

 

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