G-MPJTWV00TX Pregnant women with a penicillin allergy label - reduce their exposure to antibiotics - Science/News
  • April 2, 2023

Pregnant women with a penicillin allergy label – reduce their exposure to antibiotics

Study Shows Penicillin Allergy Testing During Pregnancy Can Help Prevent Baby Illness Caused By Infant Infections

It is well known that 9 out of 10 Americans who believe they are allergic to penicillin are not. It is also known that broad-spectrum antibiotics are not as effective as penicillin and that their use can increase resistance to antibiotics. A new study being presented at this year’s American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting showed that most pregnant women with a penicillin allergy label who were tested they were not allergic and could tolerate penicillin during delivery.

“Of the 32 pregnant women we evaluated, 25 underwent skin tests for penicillin allergy and all were negative,” said Benjamin Wang, MD, member of the ACAAI and author of the study. “Eight of the 25 patients had uncomplicated pregnancies and therefore did not need penicillin during their pregnancy. Two of the pregnant women received antibiotics before completing a graded oral test for unexpected skin lacerations related to vaginal delivery. Thirteen were positive for group B streptococcus (GBS) and underwent skin tests and an oral challenge test, followed by penicillin administration during delivery. “

Only pregnant women who tested positive for GBS or required penicillin underwent an oral amoxicillin challenge test. GBS is a type of bacteria that is sometimes found in pregnant women. GBS does not usually cause health problems, but it can be harmful to newborns.

“Penicillin allergy testing is important for anyone who has received a penicillin allergy label in childhood and is still wearing it as an adult,” said allergist Mariana Castells, MD, PhD, chair of the Committee on Drug Allergy. “A pregnant woman with GBS may need penicillin for treatment. If you are labeled allergic, you will be offered a less effective and possibly more harmful antibiotic. It is important that the penicillin label is removed before penicillin is needed ”.

An allergist can work with you to find out if you truly have a penicillin allergy and to determine what your treatment options are if you do. If you don’t have the allergy, you can take medicines that are safer, often more effective, and less expensive.

Abstract Title: Reduction in Antibiotic Exposure Due to Penicillin Allergy Assessments in Pregnancy

Presenter: Benjamin Wang, MD

For more information on anaphylaxis or to locate an allergist in your area, visit 

For more information on anaphylaxis or to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org . The ACAAI Virtual Annual Meeting will take place from November 4-8. For more news and research from the ACAAI Scientific Meeting, visit our press room and follow the conversation on Twitter # ACAAI21


The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergist-immunologists and paramedical professionals, based in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of congeniality in which its members work together and with others to achieve common goals of patient care, education, outreach, and research. ACAAI allergists are board certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment results. To learn more and find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org . Follow us on Facebook , Pinterest and Twitter .


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