Majority of children with allergies needlessly avoid common antibiotics

December 17, 2019

Eight in 10 children who reported being allergic to common classes of antibiotics used to treat respiratory, skin and intestinal infections were not truly allergic to it, a new study shows.

The research, led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and published in Pediatrics, found a large majority of children needlessly avoid certain classes of antibiotics and some wait years to have their allergy retested.

Study senior author Dr Amanda Gwee, from MCRI and the University of Melbourne's Department of Paediatrics, said clearing someone of having an antibiotic allergy could prevent lifelong, unnecessary avoidance of certain antibiotic classes and help prevent antibiotic resistance.

The study looked at non-beta-lactam antibiotics (NBLAs) which are commonly prescribed in children. Previous data indicated that up to 27.2 per cent of the pediatric population have a true allergic reaction to NBLAs.

Study lead author, Dr Lisa Grinlington from The Royal Children's Hospital said antibiotics were among the most commonly prescribed medications for children, with NBLAs accounting for almost half of those prescribed in Australian pediatric hospitals.

Despite this, data on NBLA allergic reactions in children has been limited until now.

The study involved 141 children up to 18 years of age with a suspected NBLA allergy who had skin testing and/or an injected or oral challenge test at The Royal Children's Hospital. Overall, just 18.1 per cent were truly allergic.

It found the usual time from the initial reported reaction to allergy evaluation was 1.9 years but that extended out as long as 14.9 years in some cases.

Dr Grinlington said improved and timely access to formal allergy evaluations were urgently needed to preserve the effectiveness of first-line antibiotics, with significant implications for the patient, hospital, and health care system.

A previous study found the clinical and economic costs to the hospital system as a result of a patient having an antibiotic allergy was up to $609 per patient compared with those without an allergy.

"People with antibiotic allergies given alternative antibiotics that are not the first-line treatment for their infection, have longer hospital stays and may have an increased rates of infection with resistant bacteria," Dr Gwee said.
Publication: Lisa Grinlington, Sharon Choo, Noel Cranswick and Amanda Gwee. 'Non-β-Lactam Antibiotic Hypersensitivity Reactions'. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2019-2256

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Related Antibiotics Articles from Brightsurf:

Insights in the search for new antibiotics
A collaborative research team from the University of Oklahoma, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Merck & Co. published an opinion article in the journal, Nature Chemical Biology, that addresses the gap in the discovery of new antibiotics.

New tricks for old antibiotics
The study published in the journal Immunity reveals that tetracyclines (broad spectre antibiotics), by partially inhibiting cell mitochondria activity, induce a compensatory response on the organism that decreases tissue damage caused during infection.

Benefits, risks seen with antibiotics-first for appendicitis
Antibiotics are a good choice for some patients with appendicitis but not all, according to study results published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How antibiotics interact
Understanding bottleneck effects in the translation of bacterial proteins can lead to a more effective combination of antibiotics / study in 'Nature Communications'

Are antivitamins the new antibiotics?
Antibiotics are among the most important discoveries of modern medicine and have saved millions of lives since the discovery of penicillin almost 100 years ago.

Hygiene reduces the need for antibiotics by up to 30%
A new paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), finds improved everyday hygiene practices, such as hand-washing, reduces the risk of common infections by up to 50%, reducing the need for antibiotics, by up to 30%.

Antibiotics: City dwellers and children take the most
City dwellers take more antibiotics than people in rural areas; children and the elderly use them more often than middle-aged people; the use of antibiotics decreases as education increases, but only in rich countries: These are three of the more striking trends identified by researchers of the NRW Forschungskolleg ''One Health and Urban Transformation'' at the University of Bonn.

Metals could be the link to new antibiotics
Compounds containing metals could hold the key to the next generation of antibiotics to combat the growing threat of global antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics from the sea
The team led by Prof. Christian Jogler of Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, has succeeded in cultivating several dozen marine bacteria in the laboratory -- bacteria that had previously been paid little attention.

Antibiotics not necessary for most toothaches, according to new ADA guideline
The American Dental Association (ADA) announced today a new guideline indicating that in most cases, antibiotics are not recommended for toothaches.

Read More: Antibiotics News and Antibiotics Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to