Many people who develop reactions to a medications think they have to avoid that medication for the rest of their lives – this is especially true with penicillin and all penicillin related antibiotics. Did you know that an overwhelming majority of people who think (or who have been told by their parents) they have a penicillin allergy actually do not? There are many alternative explanations for developing a rash after taking a medication; many cases are due to concurrent infections that mimic a medication allergy. Additionally, penicillin allergy often resolves; the odds of “losing” a penicillin allergy increase every decade after the reaction. It is important for patients to know whether they are truly penicillin allergic, as penicillin-based antibiotics are: 1) very effective, 2) inexpensive, and 3) associated with fewer side effects than many other antibiotics. Current guidelines recommend reevaluating patients with a history of penicillin allergy. Some of the services we offer for drug allergies include:
Penicillin skin testing: We offer skin testing to the components of penicillin that cause allergy. If this testing is negative, there is a 99% chance that you are not allergic. We follow skin testing with an in-office oral graded challenges to ensure patients are not allergic to penicillin.
Comprehensive evaluations for drug allergy: If after the evaluation we determine that you are a candidate, we can provide an oral graded challenge to that medication.