Penicillin Allergy

A penicillin allergy diagnosis typically occurs in childhood when many common infections are treated with penicillin or one of its derivatives. After the antibiotic is given, side effects such as rash, hives, nausea, or vomiting may be mistaken as an allergic reaction.

Although there are individuals who have a penicillin allergy and should never take it or its derivatives, 9 out of 10 people who have been told they have a penicillin allergy aren’t actually allergic. For those who are allergic, 90% may have the allergy cleared within 5 years of diagnosis.

Why should you be tested?

Many people have been mistakenly told they have a penicillin allergy. It’s important for you and your health care team to know if there is a true allergy for multiple reasons such as:

  • Penicillin and its derivatives are often the best treatment course for many illnesses
  • It is a cost effective antibiotic which can treat a variety of bacterial infections
  • If your health care provider prescribes an alternative to penicillin, it can contribute to drug resistance which means that antibiotics are less effective in the future

Interested in a penicillin allergy test/challenge?

During the 2-3 hour challenge in a specialty suite, you will be closely monitored by your medical provider along with another care team member. Our staff and facility are equipped with state-of-the art technology and training to provide the penicillin challenge in a safe, comfortable environment.

Please talk to your provider today to review your health history, the benefits, and if you’re a candidate for a penicillin challenge.

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