UW-Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic researchers join forces to study penicillin allergies

The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire is partnering with the Mayo Clinic to conduct a study on penicillin allergies, the Leader-Telegram reported July 31.

According to the American Medical Association, 10 percent of Americans are allergic to penicillin. However, researchers at the Mayo Clinic said that that number could be closer to 1 percent. 

For the study, UW-Eau Claire electronic health records were used to contact students listed with penicillin allergies. 

Students who participated in the study were given a low dose of amoxicillin and monitored for allergic reactions. So far, of the 61 participants in the study, only one participant was truly allergic to penicillin and amoxicillin, according to the Leader-Telegram. 

"If a patient does carry a penicillin allergy later into life, it is associated with a higher morbidity and mortality because they’re more likely to be exposed to other antibiotics that have safety concerns or don’t work as well," said Kim Frodl, MD, medical director of student health services at UW-Eau Claire. "If we can free up that class of antibiotics, it would potentially make a big difference for their overall health."

The study is expected to continue in the fall.

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