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Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Apr 15;38(8):1102-7. Epub 2004 Mar 26.

Incidence of carbapenem-associated allergic-type reactions among patients with versus patients without a reported penicillin allergy.

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University of Michigan Health System, Department of Pharmacy Services, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0008, USA.


This retrospective analysis sought to determine the comparative incidence of cross-reactivity associated with carbapenem antibiotic treatment among patients with versus those without penicillin allergy. We sought to determine whether the incidence of cross-reactivity is different between imipenem-cilastatin and meropenem. A total of 211 patients were treated with a carbapenem antibiotic. Included were 100 patients with and 111 patients without a documented or reported penicillin allergy. Within each group, subgroups of penicillin-allergic and penicillin-nonallergic patients were balanced equally between imipenem-cilastatin and meropenem. The incidence of patients with a reported or documented penicillin allergy experiencing an allergic-type reaction to a carbapenem was 11%, which is 5.2 times greater than the risk in patients who were reportedly not allergic to penicillin (P=.024). No difference in the occurrence of allergic-type reactions was observed between the 2 carbapenems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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