September 28 is National Penicillin Allergy Day. Many allergists have seen patients who report they are allergic to penicillin (when in fact they may not be). Allergy experts are in a unique position to address the issue of penicillin allergy and can help make sure patients get an accurate diagnosis.
According to the CDC, 10% of the population report penicillin allergy, but less than 1% are truly allergic when evaluated. When broad-spectrum antibiotics are used as alternatives to penicillin, it can increase health care costs and the risk of antibiotic resistance.
The College has resources for you to address penicillin allergy with your patients.
Start with the College’s Penicillin Toolkit. The toolkit provides information on testing and treatment; billing/coding; outreach to patients; and informing primary care physicians. It has everything you need to conduct penicillin allergy testing in your practice, including insurance guidelines, worksheets and consent forms. It also has FAQs and facts for patients.
For more information, read Coding for Penicillin Allergy Testing- Everything You Need to Know and watch the College’s webinar Operationalize Penicillin Allergy Testing for tips on offering this service in your practice.
Short on time? Try the College Learning Connection’s MicroCME modules for information in less than 30 minutes:
- New Approaches to Penicillin Allergy
- De-Labeling Antibiotic Allergy: A Practical Guide for Physicians
- Drug Allergy Parameter: An Update
Read more on penicillin allergy in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:
- Penicillin allergy delabeling
- Direct challenges are the gold standard for most antibiotic allergy evaluations
- Parental perspective on penicillin allergy delabeling in a pediatric emergency department
Why is September 28 National Penicillin Allergy Day? It is the anniversary of the day penicillin was discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928.