How does penicillin cause anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Penicillin is metabolized to a major determinant, benzylpenicilloyl, and multiple minor determinants. Penicillin and its metabolites are haptens, small molecules that only elicit an immune response when conjugated with carrier proteins. Other beta-lactam antibiotics may cross-react with penicillins or may have unique structures that also act as haptens.


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