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Am J Med. 2008 Jul;121(7):572-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2007.12.005.

Management of patients with a history of allergy to beta-lactam antibiotics.

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Division of Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Miss, USA.


Patients with a history of penicillin allergy pose a treatment dilemma. Unnecessary avoidance of this relatively nontoxic class of drugs exposes the patient to potentially more toxic drugs, increases health care costs, and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance. Yet for those who truly have allergy or other serious adverse reactions to beta-lactams, the use of alternate drugs is a must. This article reviews current management strategies to determine which patients are good candidates for reintroduction of beta-lactams and which patients should continue avoidance.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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