Specialists in Crystal Lake IL accurately identify penicillin allergy with thorough test for correct treatment

Specialists in Crystal Lake IL accurately identify penicillin allergy with thorough test for correct treatment

A family of drugs, penicillin is commonly used to kill and stop the growth of bacteria. Penicillin is also a common cause of most drug-related allergies. It is not, however, as common an allergy as many may assume.

You may be worried about how your body reacted to a course of antibiotic treatment in the past. You’ll want to tell Dr. Noga Askenazi or the staff about previous side effects such as:

  • Headaches
  • Sore mouth, sores on the tongue
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Itching

Less commonly, penicillin may be associated with joint pain. Rarely, penicillin has caused severe stomachaches, cramping, confusion, seizures, fever, and combativeness.

Anaphylaxis is about as severe of a reaction as you can get with an allergy, including penicillin. When your immune system floods your body with chemicals following exposure to the drug, blood pressure plummets. Airways narrow. As the airways are constricted, wheezing, disordered breathing, and rapid pulse follows.

Unlike some allergens, reactions can happen in the days or weeks following exposure and after use of the drug has stopped. Conditions include:

  • Serum sickness characterized by fever, joint pain, vomiting
  • Drug-induced anemia
  • Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) characterized by high white blood cell counts, recurrent hepatitis infections, swollen lymph nodes
  • Kidney inflammation

It cannot be overstated that just because you had some of these symptoms in the past, it does not mean they lingered into adulthood. Moreover, you may never have had a true penicillin allergy. Sometimes undiagnosed or undetected viruses can be mistaken for allergies.

This is where accurate testing comes into play to assure the diagnosis is correct. Dr. Askenazi and the staff will use skin testing and blood tests to confirm penicillin (or another condition or allergen) is to blame. Proper diagnosis is critical for at least a couple of reasons:

  • By falsely placing blame on this drug, more costly and less effective drugs may be prescribed needlessly.
  • Some conditions don’t have an effective therapy other than penicillin, so the medication may be crucial for proper treatment.
  • Some alternate meds have additional side effects.

However, perhaps the biggest problem with putting blame in the wrong place is a correct treatment can’t be identified. Anaphylaxis alone can be caused by a number of other allergic and non-allergic problems, including immune system, heart, and lung disorders, and panic attacks.

If Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois finds penicillin is to blame, antihistamine and corticosteroids may help prevent more reactions and existing inflammation.

If there isn’t a suitable alternative to the drug for you and your condition, drug desensitization involves very small yet progressively larger doses of penicillin being introduced, so your body learns to tolerate the drug. It may not be recommended for those with very serious reactions.

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois may identify alternative drugs. A medical bracelet can identify the allergy to others as a preventative measure. Our specialists can teach you and your loved ones how to use an epinephrine delivery device in the event of an emergency. Call (847) 888-8802 to schedule a penicillin allergy test in Crystal Lake IL area.

Share this Article

Back to Penicillin Allergy Page

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates, logo

Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates

Meredith Cirrincione | Dr. Noga Askenazi

Haley Young is a board-certified physician assistant specializing in immunology and allergy with a comprehensive background in neurosurgery and dermatology. Holding a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from Lincoln Memorial University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Aurora University, she brings a holistic approach to patient care. Haley Young is committed to treating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit, adeptly managing complex conditions like allergic rhinitis, food allergies, and asthma. She is a member of prestigious professional organizations and is dedicated to building trust with her patients, ensuring compassionate and comprehensive care.

Amy Schack, a distinguished board-certified Physician Associate, brings a wealth of expertise to patient care. Specializing in allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, and rashes, Amy is renowned for her commitment to excellence and compassionate approach. With a background in immediate care and orthopedics, she holds a Master's in Physician Assistant studies from Midwestern University and a Bachelor of Science from Northern Illinois University. A member of esteemed professional associations, including the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Association of PAs in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Amy Schack instills confidence, ensuring you can trust her unwavering dedication to your health and well-being.

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.

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.