Retrospective clinical study of hypersensitivity reactions to aztreonam and six other beta-lactam antibiotics in cystic fibrosis patients receiving multiple treatment courses

Rev Infect Dis. 1991 May-Jun:13 Suppl 7:S608-11. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.supplement_7.s608.


A total of 2,793 courses of treatment with seven beta-lactam antibiotics were administered to 121 cystic fibrosis patients chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the patients were evaluated with respect to clinical hypersensitivity reactions. Seventy-five patients (62%) experienced 125 reactions, for an overall frequency (based on the number of courses) of 4.5%. Immediate reactions occurred in 34 patients (28.1%) during 53 courses (1.9%). The highest rate of reactions involved piperacillin (50.9% of patients), and the lowest rate involved imipenem and aztreonam (4.0% and 6.5% of patients, respectively); intermediate reaction rates were noted for carbenicillin (23.6% of patients), azlocillin (20.8%), cefsulodin (17.1%), and ceftazidime (13.0%). Cross-reactivity did not appear to be a major problem. Reactions to aztreonam seemed to be restricted to a small group of patients with a high propensity for beta-lactam hypersensitivity.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Aztreonam / adverse effects*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / immunology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Aztreonam