Penicillin Allergy and Other Antibiotics

  • Thanai Pongdee
  • James T. LiEmail author
Living reference work entry


Penicillin allergy is commonly diagnosed, reported in approximately 8% of the general population and 10–15% of hospitalized patients. Although penicillin allergy is widely reported, 80–90% of individuals with self-reported penicillin allergy are actually able to tolerate penicillins after undergoing evaluation for penicillin allergy. Since the majority of patients with self-reported penicillin allergy will have subsequent negative allergy testing and tolerate penicillins, they may be unnecessarily exposed to broader spectrum antibiotics. Use of such antibiotics leads to increased risks of developing antibiotic resistant microorganisms and incur greater health care utilization costs. Penicillin allergy evaluation and management should be a core component of antibiotic stewardship and can significantly improve health care quality and value for individual patients and health care systems as well as the public at large. Key knowledge points to effectively evaluate and manage patients with penicillin allergy discussed in this chapter include (1) clinical manifestations of penicillin allergy; (2) utility of clinical history; (3) methods for penicillin allergy testing; (4) management options based on testing results; and (5) penicillin allergy cross-reactivity with other beta-lactam antibiotics.


Drug Allergy Penicillin Cephalosporin Carbapenem Monobactam Beta-Lactam 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Allergic DiseasesMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tim Craig
    • 1
  • Massoud Mahmoudi
    • 2
  1. 1.Penn State UniversityHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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