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November 18, 1968


JAMA. 1968;206(8):1701-1720. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150080007003

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Screening Test Confirms Sensitivity To Both Penicillin And Cephalothin  Sodium cephalothin, used as an alternative antibiotic in penicillin-allergic patients, produces dangerous allergic reactions itself, a Philadelphia investigator reported recently.Lyndall Molthan, MD, also reported a sensitive test using cephalothin, for detecting hemagglutinating penicillin antibodies. The technique may be useful for detecting antibodies to many other drugs.Dr. Molthan, associate professor of medicine and director of the blood bank and transfusion service,Temple University Health Sciences Center, Philadelphia, spoke at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Blood Banks, Washington, DC.Of 25 penicillin-sensitive patients recently treated with cephalothin in five Philadelphia hospitals, one had fatal anaphylactic shock but recovered, and 13 had hemolytic anemia. Others in the group had severe rashes, drug fever, and serum sickness.Dr. Molthan said she first became aware of cephalothin's dangers this year when a patient in a Philadelphia hospital developed hemolytic