Empiric therapy with beta-lactam antibiotics did not trigger an allergic reaction in 59 patients with Gram-negative bloodstream infections who are allergic to penicillin, researchers reported. Nine of the patients died from bacteremia complications, compared with six out of 25 in a group switched from initial non-beta-lactam to beta-lactam therapy. The results indicate that the benefits of beta-lactam drugs outweigh risks for bacteremic patients with penicillin allergy, lead investigator Meghan Jeffres said.

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