People are more likely to report they have a penicillin allergy if they have chronic urticaria (hives) and vice versa, according to a study published online ahead of print January 9 in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Senior author Andrea J. Apter, MD, MSc, and fellow investigators examined the medical records of 11,143 patients, 220 of which had both self-reported penicillin allergy and chronic hives. The prevalence of self-reported penicillin allergy in patients with chronic urticaria was found to be approximately 3 times greater than in the general population. The researcher’s analysis found that the prevalence of chronic urticaria in patients with self-reported penicillin allergy was also approximately 3 times higher than in the general population.
“This link between chronic urticaria and self-reported penicillin allergy highlights the need for clinicians to inquire about self-reported penicillin allergy in patients with chronic urticaria and to consider penicillin skin testing,” Dr. Apter said.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “patients who report penicillin allergy might actually have chronic urticaria, indicating the importance of inquiring about chronic urticaria symptoms in patients with self-reported penicillin allergy.”