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Penicillin allergies are among of the most commonly reported allergies, yet only 10% of these patients are truly allergic. This leads to potential inadvertent negative consequences for patients and makes treatment decisions challenging for clinicians. Thus, allergy assessment and penicillin skin testing (PST) are important management strategies to reconcile and clarify labeled penicillin allergies. While PST is more common in the inpatient setting where the results will immediately impact antibiotic management, this process is becoming of increasing importance in the outpatient setting. PST in the outpatient setting allows clinicians to proactively de-label and educate patients accordingly so beta-lactam antibiotics may be appropriately prescribed when necessary for future infections. While allergists have primarily been responsible for PST in the outpatient setting, there is an increasing role for pharmacist involvement in the process. This review highlights the importance of penicillin allergy assessments, considerations for PST in the outpatient setting, education and advocacy for patients and clinicians, and the pharmacist’s role in outpatient PST.



This article was originally published in Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 136;

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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