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April 25, 1977

Reactions to Antibiotics

Author Affiliations

University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville

JAMA. 1977;237(17):1825. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270440015006

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To the Editor.—  A retrospective chart review was undertaken at the University of Florida in an attempt to determine the relative incidence of nephritis caused by methicillin, oxacillin, ampicillin, and penicillin. As only a single case of nephritis was suspected from data available in 489 charts, this goal could not be realized. However, another interesting fact did emerge.Of the 489 charts selected for review, 130 contained sufficient data at appropriate time intervals to allow a conclusion regarding the occurrence of hypersensitivity reactions including eosinophilia, skin rash, drug fever, positive Coombs test, and nephritis. The overall incidence of such reactions was 31% in 45 patients receiving methicillin, 0% in 10 patients receiving oxacillin, 39% among 36 patients receiving ampicillin, and 44% in 39 patients receiving penicillin therapy. Single cases of nephritis and positive Coombs test occurred among patients receiving methicillin; a rash developed in one patient in the penicillin group;