Frequently Asked Questions
Penicillin allergy skin testing can be a quality improvement intervention throughout a hospital and health system.
1. WHICH PATIENTS ARE GOOD CANDIDATES FOR PENICILLIN SKIN TESTING?
- Any patient with a history of a reaction to a penicillin antibiotic that may have been IgE-mediated
- Any patient who is currently denied access to beta-lactam antibiotics out of concern for such reactions
- PRE-PEN® is contraindicated in those patients who have exhibited either a systemic or marked local reaction to its previous administration. Patients known to be extremely hypersensitive to penicillin should not be skin tested.
PRE-PEN® is indicated for the assessment of sensitization to penicillin (benzylpenicilloyl) in patients suspected to have clinical penicillin hypersensitivity.
2. WHO CAN ADMINISTER THE TEST?
Physicians and staff who are qualified to conduct skin testing may perform penicillin skin testing, under the direction of a supervising physician, include:
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Medical Assistants
- Nurse Practitioners
- Physician's Assistants
- Registered Nurses
- In some states, pharmacists may be able to conduct the test
3. HOW LONG DOES THE TEST TAKE?
The skin test takes approximately one hour and may be followed by an optional ingestion challenge.
4. WHICH HEALTH SYSTEM DEPARTMENTS MAY BENEFIT FROM OFFERING PENICILLIN SKIN TESTING?
Educate prescribing physicians on testing availability and benefits.
- Infectious Disease
- Medical/Inpatient Ward
- Out-patient Clinic or Infusion Center
- Pre-operative and Surgical
- Intensive Care Unit
- Emergency Department