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9 Facts About Penicillin Allergy Testing You Should Know

Being allergic to penicillin and related medications such as amoxicillin is a pain, especially when you end up having to take antibiotics on a regular basis. Instead of having access to all the best antibiotics that science offers, you have to use specific medications that may not be as easy to stomach as penicillin.

Getting tested for this allergy is vital, especially considering the prevalence of antibiotics in modern medical science. These are a list of facts about penicillin testing that you should be aware of before getting yourself or your child tested for this type of allergy.

1.  Be Prepared

Just showing up to an appointment waiting for a penicillin test isn’t the best use of your time. Arrive at your appointment armed with the information necessary to get the most out of your visit.

2.  Penicillin Can Be Swiftly Lethal

Make sure to test for penicillin allergies at a licensed office. Allergic reactions to penicillin can be swift and deadly, quickly closing airways or causing grievous bodily harm through other toxic interactions.

3.  Previous Family History

Knowing the history of allergies in your family is a vital part of any and all allergy testing. Sometimes, the knowledge that a family member has dealt with a specific allergen issue provides doctors with important background information.

4.  Previous Medical Interactions

Doctors with the information about your negative reaction, specifically, the drug prescribed and the illness for which it was prescribed, can test more effectively for allergies than doctors without that information.

5.  Skin Tests Might Not Be Enough

A positive result of a penicillin skin tests tends to be the skin responding to the medication by creating a raised red bump at the injection site. If results are mixed or difficult to interpret, another method of testing may be required.

6.  Graded Drugs Challenge May Be Necessary

A graded drug challenge slowly introduces penicillin into the test subjects physiology, checking for adverse reactions without the threat of creating a serious reaction. Eventually, the test determines whether an allergic reaction will take place at therapeutic doses of penicillin.

7.  Use FDA Approved Tests

Prepen (benzylpenicilloyl polylysine injection USP) is the only compound approved by the FDA for skin tests of penicillin allergies. Don’t be shy – check to make sure the doctor is using an approved test.

8.  The Importance of Testing

Penicillin tends to be one of the antibiotics that are easiest for the human body to manage, containing lower toxicity levels than antibiotics that are not based on penicillin. Non-penicillin antibiotics are typically also much more expensive.

9.  Few Are Allergic

Researchers believe that penicillin allergies are over-diagnosed. Just because a skin test shows a red spot, doesn’t automatically mean that you’re allergic. Get your doctor to take all the appropriate steps if the test isn’t clearly and obviously a positive or negative result.

While allergies to penicillin are uncommon, the result can be deadly. However, avoiding penicillin is an endeavor that increases the cost and toxicity of the antibiotics you use. Consider getting tested by allergy experts such as the ones located at Houston Sinus & Allergy.