ROUND ROCK, Texas, Sept. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- September 28th marks the first annual National Penicillin Allergy Day, a national awareness day to help spread the word and educate the community on penicillin allergies and testing. This date holds significance as the date Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, the world's first antibiotic.
Penicillin allergy is one of the most frequently reported allergies; however, nine of 10 patients reporting a penicillin allergy are not truly allergic.1 An unverified penicillin allergy is linked to increased use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and, therefore, is recognized as a significant public health problem. It is important for patients and providers to know the facts about penicillin allergies to help combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.
"With the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are eager to raise the awareness of penicillin allergies with the first annual National Penicillin Allergy Day," said Jorge Alderete, President ALK, Inc. "Together we can help educate patients, healthcare providers, friends and family on the importance of being properly diagnosed, the facts about penicillin allergy prevalence, and the risks associated with an unverified diagnosis. Proper diagnosis aids hospital antibiotic stewardship efforts throughout the USA and patients visiting allergy specialists to reduce antibiotic drug resistance, higher treatment costs, and improve overall patient care."
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology encourages more widespread and routine performance of penicillin skin testing for patients with a history of allergy to penicillin or other beta-lactams (e.g., ampicillin or amoxicillin). A healthcare provider trained in penicillin allergy assessment can discuss the risks and benefits of testing.
"Over the last couple of years, there has been increasing evidence that patients who receive an alternative antibiotic due to a penicillin allergy have a greater risk of their infection not being treated as effectively and they suffer from more adverse drug reactions," said Dr. Jason Newland, Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician at St. Louis Children's, Washington University. "Healthcare providers need to be armed with the tools and education to help inform patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, and this national awareness day is a great way to spread the word."
ALK's efforts and activities surrounding the reduction in over-prescribed penicillin alternatives is highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list in recognition of Leaders Committed to Antibiotic Stewardship in the U.S.
To learn more about National Penicillin Allergy Day and to join the Thunderclap, visit www.nationalpenicillinallergytest.com
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1. Macy, E., & Contreras, R. (2014). Health care use and serious infection prevalence associated with penicillin "allergy" in hospitalized patients: a cohort study. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 133(3), 790-796.