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Penicillin allergy--a rare paediatric condition?
  1. V Graff-Lonnevig,
  2. G Hedlin,
  3. A Lindfors
  1. Paediatric Department, Sachs' Children's Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


    A total of 298 children with a history of adverse reactions in connection with oral penicillin treatment were investigated with a radioallergosorbent test for penicillin metabolites, the skin prick test, and oral challenge with penicillin V. No severe reactions were seen. In 30 (10%) of the subjects slight to moderate skin reactions were observed on the seventh to 10th day of the challenge period. Between one to four years after the oral challenge 222 children were reinvestigated by interview. One hundred and ten had been given treatment by penicillin and 103 (94%) of these children tolerated the new treatment well and without any adverse reactions. We conclude that the term 'penicillin allergy' is often misused. Such a diagnosis should be established by clinical investigation.

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    • Original article
      P W M Copeman