Methods: A retrospective chart review of all beta-lactam allergic patients at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center who received a beta-lactam from January 2014 – July 2017. Patients were included if they were at least 18 years old with a documented beta-lactam allergy upon admission and received at least one dose of a beta-lactam antibiotic. Allergic reaction was determined by assessing both pharmacist and provider notes in the electronic health record. Orders for antihistamines, corticosteroids and/or epinephrine in addition to the discontinuation of the beta-lactam and provider documentation were considered an allergic reaction.
Results: A total of 108 patients were analyzed with 36 not meeting inclusion criteria. Of the 72 patients included, 2 patients (2.78%) experienced an allergic reaction to a beta-lactam. Both patients recovered within 72 hours without the use of epinephrine. One of the allergic reactions was attributed to ceftriaxone, while the other was attributed to cefepime. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were cefepime (34.7%), ceftriaxone (27.8%) and meropenem (15.3%). Eleven patients had a documented severe beta-lactam allergy, one of which experienced a rash after receiving beta-lactam therapy. None of the five patients with documented anaphylactic allergy experienced a reaction.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that there is a low risk of utilizing beta-lactams in patients with a reported beta-lactam allergy. The two observed allergic reactions were due to a third- and fourth-generation cephalosporin, which was unexpected as previous literature suggests higher cross-reactivity to the earlier generation cephalosporin antibiotics.
L. Bjork, None