International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 213–217 | Cite as

A multidimensional antimicrobial stewardship intervention targeting aztreonam use in patients with a reported penicillin allergy

  • Sara M. Swearingen
  • Cyle White
  • Sara Weidert
  • Melisande Hinds
  • John P. Narro
  • Anthony J. GuarascioEmail author
Short Research Report


Background Local antimicrobial susceptibility patterns should be considered for antimicrobial therapy decisions. Antibiogram data can guide beta-lactam antibiotic use in the presence of a penicillin allergy, particularly when allergic cross-reactivity among antibiotic agents is unlikely. Objective To evaluate the effect of a multidimensional antimicrobial stewardship intervention to improve antibiogram-driven antibiotic selection for patients with a reported penicillin allergy receiving aztreonam. Methods This historically controlled, quasi-experimental study compared historical aztreonam use with prospective antibiotic selection following a pharmacist-led intervention in patients with a penicillin allergy. The impact of this intervention on aztreonam use, antimicrobial selection, patient allergy profile updates, length of stay, in-hospital mortality, and antibiotic cost savings was assessed. Results A significant reduction in median days of aztreonam therapy (4.0 vs. 2.0; p = 0.0001) and median days of therapy per 1000 patient days (14.5 vs. 9.3; p = 0.0001) was found in the intervention group. Conclusion A pharmacist-led antimicrobial stewardship intervention facilitated antibiogram-driven antibiotic therapy while reducing aztreonam use in patients without an anaphylactic penicillin allergy. Further trials are needed to assess the utility of similar antimicrobial stewardship interventions for patients with penicillin allergy.


Antibiogram Antibiotic resistance Antimicrobial stewardship Beta-lactam antibiotics Drug allergy Infectious diseases Medical education 



The authors would like to acknowledge Eric Heidel, Ph.D. for statistical assistance.


No specific funding was received for this study.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose in regard to this study.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara M. Swearingen
    • 2
  • Cyle White
    • 3
  • Sara Weidert
    • 4
  • Melisande Hinds
    • 5
  • John P. Narro
    • 6
  • Anthony J. Guarascio
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Duquesne University Mylan School of PharmacyPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Baxter Regional Medical CenterMountain HomeUSA
  3. 3.Erlanger Health SystemChattanoogaUSA
  4. 4.Ministry St. Joseph’s HospitalMarshfieldUSA
  5. 5.Methodist Charlton Medical CenterDallasUSA
  6. 6.The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Graduate School of Medicine KnoxvilleUSA

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