To document the frequency and severity of various types of rashes seen with commonly used oral antibiotics in the pediatric outpatient setting.
A retrospective review of 5923 patient records at a pediatric office.
A private group pediatric practice in northern Virginia with about 12,000 registered active patients.
Patients and Methods
Approximately 50% of the clinic medical records were reviewed. All children (defined as those aged 0-18 years in this study) identified on their medical records as having developed a rash following treatment with 1 or more of the commonly used oral antibiotics were included in the study. For further validation, a questionnaire about parental recollection of description of rash, other associated symptoms, physician verification, and outcome was mailed to families with children designated as being allergic to an antibiotic.
On a prescription basis, significantly more rashes were documented for cefaclor (4.79%) compared with penicillins (2.72%), sulfonamides (3.46%), and other cephalosporins (1.04%). Based on the number of patients for whom each group of antibiotic was prescribed, the documented frequencies of rashes were 12.3%, 7.4%, 8.5%, and 2.6% for cefaclor, penicillins, sulfonamides, and other cephalosporins, respectively. None of the children had rashes severe enough to require hospitalization.
In a review of almost 6000 records in a private pediatric primary care setting, rashes occurred in 7.3% of children who were given the commonly used oral antibiotics. Significantly more rashes were documented with cefaclor use than with use of any of the other oral antibiotics.