The relationship between hematological malignancy and chemotherapy on the prevalence of antibiotic allergy label (AAL) is ill-defined. We performed a multicenter retrospective case-control study comparing AAL rates among cladribine-treated hairy cell leukemia (C-HCL) cases, non-HCL cladribine-treated controls (control-1), and fludarabine-treated controls (control-2). The prevalence of AALs in C-HCL patients was 60%, compared with control-1 (14%, p < .01) and control-2 patients (25%, p < .01). The predominant phenotype was maculopapular exanthem (92%). The drugs implicated in AAL causality in C-HCL patients included beta-lactams (81%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (58%), and allopurinol (69%). C-HCL patients demonstrate high rates of AAL, potentially due to immune dysregulation, impacting beta-lactam utilization.
Keywords: Hairy cell leukemia; allergy; antibiotics; cladribine; maculopapular exanthem.