• BSAC logo

Understanding Penicillin Allergy Assessment and Delabelling

Discover how to effectively manage patients with penicillin allergy labels to develop your career as a healthcare professional.

1,666 enrolled on this course

Doctor conducting an allergy test on patient's arm

Understanding Penicillin Allergy Assessment and Delabelling

1,666 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn about the consequences of penicillin allergy labels

Penicillin allergy labels are associated with significant impacts on patients and health systems, such as longer hospital stays and increased antimicrobial resistance. Around 15% of inpatients are labelled as penicillin allergic, however, over 95% of them are falsely labelled and can tolerate penicillins.

This three-week course will enhance your skills in assessing and managing patients with a suspected penicillin allergy, and approaching false penicillin allergy labels.

Explore the difference between a penicillin allergy and intolerance

You’ll begin by understanding the distinction between an allergy and intolerance to penicillin. This includes learning about the types of hypersensitivity reactions and the mechanisms of true penicillin allergy.

You’ll also explore the categorisation of penicillin allergies and the identification of at-risk patients.

Learn how to manage patients with a penicillin allergy label

The course will enable you to assess and manage patients with suspected penicillin allergies.

You’ll learn to risk stratify patients based on their penicillin allergy history and correctly document their allergy status.

By understanding the role of the ‘non-specialist’ in penicillin allergy delabelling, you’ll have the skills to offset the negative impacts of penicillin allergy labels.

Realise the importance of antimicrobial stewardship

Finally, you’ll explore real-world case studies that highlight the importance of antimicrobial stewardship.

This will provide insights into the global response to penicillin allergy and how to apply this to your own healthcare context.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand penicillin allergy assessment and delabelling, enhancing your career as a healthcare professional.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to Penicillin Allergy

    • Welcome and Introduction

      A welcome to the course, including an introduction to the topics, learning objectives, and your educators. This is a good opportunity to introduce yourself to other learners in the comments.

    • What is a Penicillin Allergy?

      An introduction to penicillin allergy, including the categorisation and immunological mechanisms of different hypersensitivity reactions. Understand how to distinguish between a true penicillin allergy and intolerance.

    • What are the Consequences of Penicillin Allergy Records?

      Learn about penicillin allergy labels and their wider impacts on patients, antimicrobial stewardship, and healthcare systems. This is concluded by an end of week summary and a short quiz.

  • Week 2

    Diagnosis and Management of Patients with Historical Penicillin Allergy Labels

    • Managing Patients with a Penicillin Allergy Record

      Learn about the categorising of historical penicillin allergy, including taking a penicillin allergy focused history, what to ask the patient, and why this is so important.

    • Risk Stratifying Penicillin Allergy Labels

      Learn about penicillin allergy risk assessment: how it is carried out, why it's important, and the options available to you as a healthcare professional.

    • De-labelling Incorrect Penicillin Allergy Records

      Learn all about penicillin allergy delabelling (PADL) services, including governance, the step-by-step process, and the importance of communicating an updated allergy status. This is concluded with an end of week summary and quiz.

  • Week 3

    Real-world Case Studies

    • What are Decision Support Tools?

      Following an introduction to week 3, we introduce decision support tools which are immensely helpful in managing historical penicillin allergy labels.

    • Case Studies

      Dive into four unique case studies on penicillin allergy by applying your understanding of patient assessment and management.

    • Real-World Examples

      Consider real-world examples to see what penicillin allergy patient assessment and management look like from diagnosis to the global response.

    • End of course summary

      After reviewing a summary of week 3, test your knowledge in our end of course quiz. This is concluded by an end of course summary.

Who is this accredited by?

Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Pathologists:

The College is a professional membership organisation, concerned with all matters relating to the science and practice of pathology.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • demonstrate the differences between allergy and intolerance
  • describe the mechanisms of true penicillin allergy
  • explain the consequences of penicillin allergy labels to patients, healthcare systems, and antimicrobial stewardship
  • identify how to assess and manage patients with a history of penicillin allergy
  • describe the key elements of a penicillin allergy-focused history
  • classify the allergy history into a risk category using a decision support tool
  • assess the appropriate management for a patient using a decision support tool
  • describe the roles of the 'specialist' and 'non-specialist' in penicillin allergy delabelling

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for non-allergist healthcare workers working in secondary care. This includes doctors, pharmacists, nurses, physician assistants, and dentists.

Who will you learn with?

Neil is a Consultant Antimicrobial Pharmacist and Associate Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at the Royal Cornwall Hospital and interested in antibiotic use across One Health.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 1971, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is committed to addressing the growing threat of drug resistant infections around the world.

Ways to learn

Subscribe & save

Buy this course

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

$104/one-off payment


Develop skills to further your careerFulfill your current learning needSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 16 Jul 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursestickcrosscross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligibleDigital onlyPrinted and digitalcross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$104/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 16 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...