Patients with bacterial pneumonia who have a penicillin allergy are more likely to have worse clinical outcomes, a new study found.

Researchers hypothesized that because patients having a PCN allergy label may experience a delay in antibiotic administration and may end up receiving alternative and broader-spectrum antibiotic regimens for bacterial pneumonia, such patients would have an increased risk for worse clinical outcomes. To test this hypothesis, they leveraged a large population-based database to explore the possible effects of the PCN allergy label on outcomes. The researchers also examined patterns of antibiotic use in these patients and the potential adverse effects of antimicrobial therapy.

The investigators used TriNetX — a web-based tool used for population cohort research — to identify adult patients with and without a PCN allergy label who had been diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. The 2 patient cohorts were matched with respect to baseline demographics and chronic medical conditions, with each cohort including 68,748 patients. Read more here.