Penicillin Allergy Testing

We have evaluated hundreds of patients with a history of reactions to penicillin(s) (penicillin, amoxicillin, or related cephalosporins). After evaluation and testing, more than 90% of these patients can safely take these drugs without fear of a life threatening reaction. Realizing that these patients had reactions prior to being seen, how does one explain this apparent discrepancy? There are several possibilities for penicillin allergy:

1) We do know that truly allergic people can lose their sensitivity over time.
2) An infectious agent (such as viruses or bacteria), and not necessarily the antibiotic, could have caused the initial reaction.
3) If amoxicillin is taken when a patient is infected with certain viruses, such as infectious mononucleosis, a rash can develop.
4) This family of antibiotics can cause a non-itchy measles like rash in 7-10% of all people who take it. The majority of people who develop this reaction can take them again without a life threatening reaction or even a recurrent rash.
5) In some cases there is no explanation.

Contact us about Penicillin Allergy Testing.

Drug Reactions