HealthDay News — According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the America College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Francisco, there is poor understanding of penicillin tolerance and allergist consultation is underused.

Dipekka Soni, MD, of Rochester Regional Health in New York, and colleagues surveyed inpatient providers from different specialties regarding penicillin allergy. 

Data were assessed from 276 surveys of physicians at Rochester Regional Health.

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The researchers found that in spite of acknowledging the need for allergist consultation in many clinical scenarios, more than 80% of attending providers and advanced practitioners in general internal medicine had never consulted an allergist, or had done so only once a year. 

The rates were 93.1 and 88.6%, respectively, for subspecialty and non-internal medicine practitioners. Overall, 42.4% of respondents believed that penicillin allergy does not resolve over time, and in the vignettes provided, only 20.0% identified appropriate patients for penicillin skin testing.

“More than 90% of patients with a penicillin allergy can tolerate penicillin-like antibiotics, yet our survey showed that only 30% of the physicians responding to the survey knew that,” a coauthor said in a statement.


Many Doctors Still Don’t Know Facts About Penicillin Allergy [press release]. San Francisco, CA: College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; November 11, 2016.

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