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West J Med. 1987 Jun;146(6):697-700.

Increased use of medical services and antibiotics by children who claim a prior penicillin sensitivity.


On surveying 3,467 children (ages 0 to 19 years) who were members of a health maintenance organization in Spokane, Washington, we found that 95 of 1,497 respondents (6.3%) claimed a past intolerance to penicillin-like agents. We investigated the costs of providing medical care for these 95 children and a random sample of 187 children who did not claim prior penicillin sensitivity. During a two-year period of observation, the children who claimed prior penicillin reactions had a significant increase in the average number of medical visits, the average number of antibiotic prescriptions, the average wholesale cost of antibiotic prescriptions and the average antibiotic cost per patient per month of observation. These children have an increased exposure to antibiotics that may increase their risk for adverse drug reactions.

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