Adverse reactions

The majority of patients tolerate penicillins well, the most common adverse effects being mild and gastrointestinal in nature. However, penicillins are also well documented as causing hypersensitivity reactions in some patients, some of which prove to be fatal. If a patient is allergic to one penicillin, then they will also be allergic to the entire class. Additionally, 10 per cent of penicillin-allergic patients will also exhibit an allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics. A skin rash is the most common presenting sign of allergy.

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