Ann Pharmacother. 2021 Mar 11:10600280211002412. doi: 10.1177/10600280211002412. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: False penicillin allergies lead to increased antimicrobial resistance, adverse effects, and health care costs by promoting the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends the implementation of allergy testing.
OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this research was to estimate the number of pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs) required for an intervention aimed at determining penicillin allergy in hospitalized patients. Acceptance of pharmacists' suggestions on antibiotic therapy are described.
METHODS: A quasi-experimental study was conducted in a 712-bed university hospital involving hospitalized patients with a suspected penicillin allergy and an infection treatable with penicillin. The time required for the intervention, which included a questionnaire, penicillin allergy testing (skin-prick test, intradermal injection, and oral provocation test), and recommendations on antibiotic therapy were measured to calculate the number of pharmacist FTEs.
RESULTS: A total of 55 patients were included. Scarification allergy testing was performed on 37, intradermal allergy test on 33, and oral provocation test on 26 patients. The intervention ruled out penicillin allergy in 26 patients, with no serious adverse effects. The intervention was associated with a median weekly pharmacist FTE of 0.15 (interquartile range = 0.12-0.25). The acceptance of pharmacists' suggestions was high and led to 9 patients being switched to an antibiotic with a narrower spectrum of activity.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study describes penicillin allergy testing and the number of median weekly hospital pharmacist FTEs required, which was approximately 0.15. These data may aid in the implementation of this safe intervention that promotes narrower-spectrum antibiotherapy.