Evaluation of Penicillin Allergy in the Hospitalized Patient: Opportunities for Antimicrobial Stewardship

Justin R. Chen, David A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Penicillin allergy is often misdiagnosed and is associated with adverse consequences, but testing is infrequently done in the hospital setting. This article reviews historical and contemporary innovations in inpatient penicillin allergy testing and its impact on antimicrobial stewardship. Recent Findings: Adoption of the electronic medical record allows rapid identification of admitted patients carrying a penicillin allergy diagnosis. Collaboration with clinical pharmacists and the development of computerized clinical guidelines facilitates increased testing and appropriate use of penicillin and related β-lactams. Education of patients and their outpatient providers is the key to retaining the benefits of penicillin allergy de-labeling. Summary: Penicillin allergy testing is feasible in the hospital and offers tangible benefits towards antimicrobial stewardship. Allergists should take the lead in this endeavor and work towards overcoming personnel limitations by partnering with other health care providers and incorporating technology that improves the efficiency of allergy evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalCurrent Allergy and Asthma Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Drug allergy
  • Electronic medical record
  • Penicillin allergy
  • Penicilloyl-polylysine
  • Skin test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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