Feasibility of a Centralized, Pharmacy-Led Penicillin Allergy Delabeling Program

Hosp Pediatr. 2022 Jul 1;12(7):e230-e237. doi: 10.1542/hpeds.2021-006369.


Background: Penicillin allergy labels are often inaccurate in children and removing unnecessary labels results in improved outcomes and lower health care costs. Although the hospital setting is a frequent point of contact for children, strategies to evaluate penicillin allergies in the hospital are lacking.

Methods: We performed a prospective pilot study to determine the feasibility of a centralized, pharmacy-led approach to penicillin allergy evaluation. Children with a reported history of penicillin allergy admitted to our children's hospital were risk-stratified and those stratified as low-risk underwent a single-dose oral challenge by a central pharmacist, regardless of the need for antibiotics. After the completion of each patient's delabeling process, surveys were distributed to health care personnel involved in the patient's care to collect perceptions on the acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility of this intervention. Measures were scored by using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results: Of the 23 patients who screened as low-risk, 20 underwent a penicillin allergy evaluation and an oral challenge. Of these, the penicillin allergy label was removed in 19 (95%) patients (Fig 1). The median age was 7 years (range 11 months-18 years). Participants rated the risk stratification and delabeling favorably overall, with high ratings on all 3 implementation measures: acceptability (mean 4.55, ± standard deviation [STD] 0.65), appropriateness (mean 4.58, STD ± 0.6), and feasibility (mean 4.51, STD ± 0.73). Measures of acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility remained high when stratified by health care worker type and provider type.

Conclusions: Our findings provide support for systemic implementation of penicillin allergy delabeling strategies in hospitalized children.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04441021.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Penicillins / adverse effects
  • Pharmacy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillins

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04441021