Impact of a clinical guideline for prescribing antibiotics to inpatients reporting penicillin or cephalosporin allergy.

Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology

PubMedID: 26070805

Blumenthal KG, Shenoy ES, Varughese CA, Hurwitz S, Hooper DC, Banerji A. Impact of a clinical guideline for prescribing antibiotics to inpatients reporting penicillin or cephalosporin allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2015;.
BACKGROUND
Self-reported penicillin allergy infrequently reflects an inability to tolerate penicillins. Inpatients reporting penicillin allergy receive alternative antibiotics that might be broader spectrum, more toxic, or less effective.

OBJECTIVE
To develop and assess a clinical guideline for the general inpatient provider that directs taking a history and prescribing antibiotics for patients with penicillin or cephalosporin allergy.

METHODS
A guideline was implemented to assist providers with assessing allergy history and prescribing antibiotics for patients with reported penicillin or cephalosporin allergy. The guideline used a standard 2-step graded challenge or test dose. A quasi-experimental study was performed to assess safety, feasibility, and impact on antibiotic use by comparing treatment 21 months before guideline implementation with 12 months after guideline implementation.

RESULTS
Significantly more test doses to ß-lactam antibiotics were performed monthly after vs before guideline implementation (median 14.5, interquartile range 13-16.25, vs 2, interquartile range 1-3.25, P < .001). Seven adverse drug reactions occurred during guideline-driven test doses, with no significant difference in rate (3.9% vs 6.1%, P = .44) or severity (P > .5) between periods. Guideline-driven test doses decreased alternative antimicrobial therapy after the test dose, including vancomycin (68.3% vs 37.2%, P < .001), aztreonam (11.5% vs 0.5%, P < .001), aminoglycosides (6.0% vs 1.1%, P = .004), and fluoro quinolones (15.3% vs 3.3%, P < .001).

CONCLUSION
The implementation of an inpatient antibiotic prescribing guideline for patients with penicillin or cephalosporin allergy was associated with an almost 7-fold increase in the number of test doses to ß-lactams without increased adverse drug reactions. Patients assessed with guideline-driven test doses were observed to have significantly decreased alternative antibiotic exposure.