Allergological Study of 565 Elderly Patients Previously Labeled as Allergic to Penicillins.

A new interesting article has been published in J Asthma Allergy. 2019 Dec 13; 12:421-435. doi: 10.2147/JAA.S232787. eCollection 2019. and titled:

Allergological Study of 565 Elderly Patients Previously Labeled as Allergic to Penicillins.

Authors of this article are:

Jimenez-Rodriguez TW, Blanca-Lopez N, Ruano-Zaragoza M, Soriano-Gomis V, Esteban-Rodriguez A, Riera-Sendra G, Palazon-Bru A, Blanca M, Ramos-Rincon JM#, Fernandez-Sanchez J#.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Purpose: Elderly people thought to have an allergy to beta-lactams (BLs) may tolerate the drugs in subsequent exposures due to initial false labeling of allergies, the spontaneous loss of sensitivity to BLs over time or age-related decline in sensitization. As a result, they may be treated with less appropriate antibiotics, causing more side effects and entailing increased costs for health systems. The aim of this investigation was to assess whether patients in the third and fourth age with previously confirmed allergies to BLs had lost sensitization and could tolerate these antibiotics.Patients and methods: Patients allergic to BLs were divided into group A (aged 60-79 years) and B (aged ≥80 years). Clinical history, skin testing, drug challenge tests (DCT) and evaluation of resensitization were used to classify participants as showing immediate reactions, non-immediate reactions, or tolerance. We compared clinical entities, drugs involved, and final outcome by age group.Results: Of 1362 cases evaluated, 565 underwent an allergological study. The skin was the most common organ involved. Anaphylaxis and side chain reactions were more frequent in group A (p<0.01), as were positive DCT. Classical benzylpenicillin determinants (benzylpenicilloyl and/or minor determinant mixture) were more frequent triggers in group B (p< 0.01). Resensitization after challenge occurred in very few participants.Conclusion: The risk for allergy to BLs decreases with age and a history of anaphylaxis by BLs is a predictor of positive results in skin tests (ST). Both immunoglobin E (IgE) and T-cell-mediated responses can disappear in elderly people, who can develop tolerance to these antibiotics. These results are of clinical relevance to patients who need to be treated with antibiotics from this family.© 2019 Jimenez-Rodriguez et al.
Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: aging; beta-lactams; cephalosporins; cross-reactivity; diagnosis; drug allergy; immunosenescence.


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