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Medical News & Perspectives
November 13, 2018

Overdiagnosis of Penicillin Allergy Leads to Costly, Inappropriate Treatment

JAMA. 2018;320(18):1846-1848. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14358

Penicillin is an oldie but a goodie in the armamentarium for treating bacterial infections.

But, in part because it has been widely used for decades, penicillin is also the most commonly implicated medication when patients report a drug allergy. Approximately 10% of US residents have been labeled as allergic to penicillin, often since childhood. Yet, a growing body of evidence suggests that as few as 10% of people who report they’re allergic to the antibiotic really are.

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