Antibiotic Allergy

Antonino Romano, Richard Warrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although allergy to β-lactam and non-β-lactam antibiotics is commonly claimed, true allergy to these drugs is often absent. Reactions to antibiotics can be classified according to the interval between the last administration of the drug and the onset of symptoms, but except for immediate reactions occurring within an hour of exposure, which are almost always either IgE-mediated or due to direct stimulation of mast cells, reactions occurring later than 1hour probably have multiple mechanisms, including being IgE-mediated or involving cell-mediated reactions. The latter are likely caused by drug-specific T lymphocytes. The diagnosis of antibiotic allergy can be difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-506
Number of pages18
JournalImmunology and Allergy Clinics of North America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Allergy
  • Antibiotics
  • Drug
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Immediate
  • Non-β-lactam
  • Nonimmediate
  • β-lactam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)


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