PENICILLIN ALLERGY - Intramuscular benzylpenicillin in conventional doses is remarkable for its lack of toxicity, although massive intravenous or intramuscular doses can cause serious toxic encephalopathies. Allergic reactions occur in 3 – 8% of patients.1 2 The most serious reaction is acute anaphylactic shock, which is estimated to cause 100–300 deaths yearly in the United States.3 Urticarial and, less frequently, maculo-papular, diffuse erythematous and other forms of skin eruption may occur within minutes or only after hours or days. Angioneurotic oedema, asthma, joint pains and swelling, and lacrimation may also be features of penicillin allergy.
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