Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Opportunities for penicillin allergy evaluation in dental clinics.

Vivo A, Durkin MJ, Kale I, Boyer T, Fitzpatrick MA, Evans CT, Jurasic MM, Gibson G, Suda KJ. Opportunities for penicillin allergy evaluation in dental clinics. Antimicrobial stewardship & healthcare epidemiology : ASHE. 2022 Apr 11; 2(1):e58.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate opportunities for assessing penicillin allergies among patients presenting to dental clinics. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING: VA dental clinics. PATIENTS: Adult patients with a documented penicillin allergy who received an antibiotic from a dentist between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2018, were included. METHODS: Chart reviews were completed on random samples of 100 patients who received a noncephalosporin antibiotic and 200 patients who received a cephalosporin. Each allergy was categorized by severity. These categories were used to determine patient eligibility for 3 testing groups based on peer-reviewed algorithms: (1) no testing, (2) skin testing, and (3) oral test-dose challenge. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were used to compare facility and patient demographics first between true penicillin allergy, pseudo penicillin allergy, and missing allergy documentation, and between those who received a cephalosporin and those who did not at the dental visit. RESULTS: Overall, 19% lacked documentation of the nature of allergic reaction, 53% were eligible for skin testing, 27% were eligible for an oral test-dose challenge, and 1% were contraindicated from testing. Male patients and African American patients were less likely to receive a cephalosporin. CONCLUSIONS: Most penicillin-allergic patients in the VA receiving an antibiotic from a dentist are eligible for penicillin skin testing or an oral penicillin challenge. Further research is needed to understand the role of dentists and dental clinics in assessing penicillin allergies.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.