Trial of 400 Perth children allergic to antibiotics finds the majority are all clear.

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NEW research suggests people allergic to antibiotics could have been misdiagnosed.

About 18 per cent of Australians have reported having an allergy to the commonly prescribed drug.

But a trial that tested 400 Perth children sensitive to antibiotics found the majority were in fact not.

“We found for example that over ninety percent of the children could tolerate these antibiotics without any problem,” Immunologist Michaela Lucas said.

The trial started with a skin test, then - under hospital supervision - children were given small doses of each type of antibiotic.

If they passed, they were sent home with an extended course.

The results were astounding.

Only two percent of children tested had an immediate severe reaction.

Another seven percent of children reacted to the extended course of antibiotics and also developed a rash that they previously reported.

Over ninety percent had no allergy at all.

Professor Lucas said rashes reportedly caused by antibiotics could have been triggered by viral infections.

“If you actively and cost-effectively de-label these children they will get better health outcomes - that the antibiotics used for example for surgery after de-labelling are much more appropriate,” she said.

The medical team believe the fault for misdiagnosis could lie with the current means of testing.

“By the time patients get around to wanting a formal diagnosis, like through a blood test, it’s too late,” Professor Lucas said.

For mum Lauren Hunt, the results make a huge difference.

Her son Bailey had been labelled allergic to one particular type, her other son Quinn to all of them.

The trial cleared Bailey when he did not react to any of the drugs.

“Quinn, for two of the three that he was tested for, was fine so we know that he’s OK for those two now,” Mrs Hunt said.

“The third one which was the last one, he had a massive reaction.”

She said the findings were a big boost.

“With Quinn, knowing which type he can’t have and that it’s only one and we can have the most common ones...” she said

“I’m just really glad we found out because now he doesn’t have to avoid it.”

Period6 Jun 2018

Media contributions

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Media contributions

  • TitleTrial of 400 Perth children allergic to antibiotics finds the majority are all clear.
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletToday Tonight
    Media typeTelevision
    Duration/Length/Size3:44
    CountryAustralia
    Date6/06/18
    DescriptionNEW research suggests people allergic to antibiotics could have been misdiagnosed.
    About 18 per cent of Australians have reported having an allergy to the commonly prescribed drug.
    But a trial that tested 400 Perth children sensitive to antibiotics found the majority were in fact not.
    “We found for example that over ninety percent of the children could tolerate these antibiotics without any problem,” Immunologist Michaela Lucas said.
    The trial started with a skin test, then - under hospital supervision - children were given small doses of each type of antibiotic.
    If they passed, they were sent home with an extended course.
    The results were astounding.
    Only two percent of children tested had an immediate severe reaction.
    Another seven percent of children reacted to the extended course of antibiotics and also developed a rash that they previously reported.
    Over ninety percent had no allergy at all.
    Professor Lucas said rashes reportedly caused by antibiotics could have been triggered by viral infections.
    “If you actively and cost-effectively de-label these children they will get better health outcomes - that the antibiotics used for example for surgery after de-labelling are much more appropriate,” she said.
    The medical team believe the fault for misdiagnosis could lie with the current means of testing.
    “By the time patients get around to wanting a formal diagnosis, like through a blood test, it’s too late,” Professor Lucas said.
    For mum Lauren Hunt, the results make a huge difference.
    Her son Bailey had been labelled allergic to one particular type, her other son Quinn to all of them.
    The trial cleared Bailey when he did not react to any of the drugs.
    “Quinn, for two of the three that he was tested for, was fine so we know that he’s OK for those two now,” Mrs Hunt said.
    “The third one which was the last one, he had a massive reaction.”
    She said the findings were a big boost.
    “With Quinn, knowing which type he can’t have and that it’s only one and we can have the most common ones...” she said
    “I’m just really glad we found out because now he doesn’t have to avoid it.”
    Producer/AuthorChenee Marrapodi
    URLhttps://www.perthnow.com.au/news/health/trial-of-400-perth-children-allergic-to-antibiotics-finds-the-majority-are-all-clear-ng-b88858770z
    PersonsMichaela Lucas