Hypersensitivity to Penicillin

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Skin rash Urticaria (hives) Sneezing Wheezing Pruritus (itching)

Bronchospasm (spasm of the bronchi) Laryngospasm (spasm of the larynx)

Angioedema (also called angioneurotic edema)-swelling of the skin and mucous membranes, especially around and in the mouth and throat

Hypotension-can progress to shock

Signs and symptoms resembling serum sickness-chills, fever, edema, joint and muscle pain, and malaise individuals. Signs of anaphylactic shock include severe hypotension, loss of consciousness, and acute respiratory distress. If not immediately treated, anaphylactic shock can be fatal.

Once an individual is allergic to one penicillin, he or she is most likely allergic to all of the penicillins. Those allergic to penicillin also have a higher incidence of allergy to the cephalosporins (see Chap. 8). Allergy to drugs in the same or related groups is called cross-sensitivity or cross-allergenicity.

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