Vernon Hills residents question misdiagnosed penicillin allergy symptoms

Vernon Hills residents question misdiagnosed penicillin allergy symptoms

Ten percent of Americans report being allergic to penicillin. That number may be high. Research now shows that penicillin allergies have been misdiagnosed and over-reported. This often leads to using of alternate antibiotics, possibly more expensive and less effective. Vernon Hills residents who suspect they have penicillin allergy symptoms should contact Dr. Noga Askenazi of Advanced Allergy and Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois. Dr. Askenazi provides accurate diagnoses to patients who suspect they have penicillin allergies.

How does a misdiagnosis occur?

Some patients, especially children, may develop a rash following treatment with a penicillin-based drug. The rash does not appear immediately. Instead, it can show up three to ten days following the start of the antibiotic. Called a maculopapular rash, it appears as flat, red spots on the face and body. Doctors are unsure why the rash presents. It could be from the illness or the drug. Patients who experience this rash are often diagnosed as having a penicillin allergy and are given alternate medication without additional testing.

Common penicillin allergy symptoms

Although skin irritation is a common allergy symptom, in this case, a maculopapular rash may not be a definite sign of allergic reaction. Genuine allergy symptoms usually appear within a few hours of starting the antibiotic.

Other penicillin allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Anaphylaxis

Proper diagnosis is crucial for any suspected allergy. A thorough exam and diagnostic tests such as skin tests, blood tests, and/or a graded challenge can provide an accurate assessment for penicillin allergies.

With locations in Elgin and Crystal Lake, Dr. Askenazi and Dr. Hahn are easily accessible. If you experience allergy symptoms, call the office to schedule an appointment – (847) 888-8802.

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Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Dr. Noga Askenazi | Meredith Cirrincione

Dr. Noga Askenazi is a nationally recognized asthma and allergy specialist who is board certified in pediatric and adult allergy. Her areas of special interest are innovative treatment of rashes, sinusitis, food allergies, asthma and immune disorders. She was past President of the ISAAI (Illinois Society of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology), works on state and national committees for advancement of the allergy field and is a consultant for Advocate, Ascension Health, Northwestern amongst other health care systems. Her joy is helping patients reach their goals after together determining best treatments. Her staff and patients are a chosen family, and she invests in their happiness. She enjoys gardening, biking and cooking to good music.


Meredith Cirrincione is a board certified Physician Assistant and specializes in treating allergies, with a focus on asthma, rashes, environmental allergies, chemical and food allergies. She holds a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from The Chicago Medical School - Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Illinois Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. She likes to approach things holistically. She is a strong patient advocate and adored by her patients. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and the great outdoors.