When parents tell their physician in a primary care or emergency setting that their child is allergic to penicillin but the symptoms reported are considered “low risk” (e.g. rash and itching) using a valid questionnaire, can they be exposed to penicillin or not? Vyles et al. (10.1542/peds.2017-0471) decided to answer that question by studying 100 children between 5 and 12 years of age categorized as low-risk based on parent-reported symptoms of penicillin allergy on an allergy questionnaire. These children then underwent allergy testing to penicillin and all 100 were found to be negative for penicillin allergy.
Do you use a questionnaire like the one used in this study to assess for penicillin allergy symptoms, and if a patient is identified as low-risk, does this study convince you to give penicillin or a penicillin-derived antibiotic to your patient who needs an antibiotic or do you need further studies to remove the “penicillin allergy” label from that child’s medical record? We’re itching to know how you handle low risk penicillin allergy by responding to this blog, posting a comment with this study on our website or sharing your thoughts via our Twitter or Facebook pages.