Infectious Diseases

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Penicillin allergy: Hidden costs for hospitalized patients

KEY POINT

Hospitalized patients who were labeled as having a penicillin “allergy” had longer hospital stays, were exposed to more broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g., fluoroquinolones, vancomycin), and had more Clostridium difficile, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections than expected, compared with individuals without a penicillin allergy.

SOURCES

Macy E, et al. Health care use and serious infection prevalence associated with penicillin “allergy” in hospitalized patients: a cohort study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;133(3):790–796. 

Solensky R. Penicillin allergy as a public health measure [commentary]. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;133(3):797–798.