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A 23-year-old man has a reaction after being given oral penicillin for a sore throat.
Penicillin can cause numerous allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, interstitial nephritis, rashes (the most common manifestation), urticaria, fever, pneumonitis, dermatitis, and even asthma in workers exposed to airborne penicillin. Hemolytic anemia is often IgGmediated. Skin tests are reliable in predicting low risk (similar to general population) for those claiming previous penicillin reactions, and desensitization is feasible. The frequency of reactions to cephalosporins in penicillinallergic patients is not definitely known.