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angle-left Traditional skin tests used to predict allergies to antibiotics are useless say Montreal researchers

The findings, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics this week

Apr 7, 2016

Skin tests traditionally used to predict allergies to amoxicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in children, are ineffective according to a new study led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal. The findings, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics this week, determined that oral provocation or challenge test, with appropriate follow up, was a more efficient and safer screening method for diagnosing non-life threatening reactions to amoxicillin in children.

"Our study suggests that skin tests are essentially useless as diagnostic tests, and that we should go directly to the graded provocation test that is highly sensitive and specific," says study's lead author Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, who is an allergist at the Montreal Children's Hospital at the MUHC (MCH-MUHC) and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at McGill University. "This is a game changer in the way physicians assess amoxicillin allergy in children given the fact that skin tests are still the recommended screening method in hospitals." Read more