Skin test in Elgin confirms allergy to penicillin, a common source of misdiagnoses
A true penicillin allergy can result in a host of scary complications ranging from hives, and facial and tongue swelling, to anaphylaxis. However, a large body of research exists to show that allergies to penicillin are overdiagnosed. The complications of misdiagnosing a penicillin allergy include:
- Drugs that otherwise would be available for treatment are withheld
- Less appropriate medications are prescribed in lieu of penicillin
- Much more expensive antibiotics are prescribed as alternatives to penicillin
Just as a true penicillin allergy can negatively affect your health, a false allergy can have negative implications for your health too. Since your well-being is at stake, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Even if it was always thought you had a penicillin allergy, it is important to turn to the specialists at the Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois.
Skin tests may be scheduled, the results of which will either support the suspected penicillin allergy or indicate that you are not actually allergic to the drug. In fact, it’s estimated 9 of every 10 individuals with a suspected penicillin allergy actually have a negative skin test result. The vast majority of individuals are avoiding penicillins when they could safely take this more effective and affordable drug.
Skin testing involves exposing you to a small amount of penicillin. This extract may be administered via a tiny needle that slightly abrades the skin, or via an injection. A positive result indicates that it’s highly likely you are allergic to penicillin. A negative result typically means you’re not allergic to penicillin.
There are many different types of penicillins. As such, not all drugs can be detected as readily with skin tests. Additionally, just because one type of penicillin returns a positive result doesn’t mean you must avoid all other penicillins. Some types of penicillin are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, because of their known chemical properties. For this reason, a graded challenge may be suggested. You will be exposed to small but gradually increasing amounts of a targeted penicillin until you reach the therapeutic dose without experiencing a reaction.
To determine if you really have a penicillin allergy, schedule a skin test in Elgin. Call 847 888 8802 to book an appointment with Drs. Noga Askenazi and Eugenia Hahn.