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Delabelling penicillin allergy is not rocket science
  1. Paul Turner
  1. National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Paul Turner, National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London W2 1PG, UK; p.turner{at}

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Up to 10% of children are labelled as ‘penicillin allergic’,1 in most cases before they even start school.2 However, following comprehensive allergy assessment, around 95% of penicillin allergy labels are found to be incorrect.3 Why this discordance? In children, the label may be applied following emergence of a viral exanthem (in those where symptoms were viral triggered), or due to non-allergic adverse events to the antibiotic which may be in part dependent on viral-antibiotic interactions (for instance, Ebstein-Barr infection and amoxicillin). In addition, sensitisation to penicillins wanes over …

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  • Contributors PT wrote the editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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