The Use of Cephalosporins in Penicillin-allergic Patients

The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 07/12/2011

Campagna JD et al.– Although a myth persists that approximately 10% of patients with a history of penicillin allergy will have an allergic reaction if given a cephalosporin, the overall cross–reactivity rate is approximately 1% when using first–generation cephalosporins or cephalosporins with similar R1 side chains. However, a single study reported the prevalence of cross reactivity with cefadroxil as high as 27%. For penicillin–allergic patients, the use of third– or fourth–generation cephalosporins or cephalosporins with dissimilar side chains than the offending penicillin carries a negligible risk of cross allergy.

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