Penicillin Allergies

Penicillin belongs to an important group of antibiotics called beta-lactam antibiotics which are generally effective in treating common bacterial infections, are relatively inexpensive and are therefore widely used to treat skin, ear, sinus and upper respiratory tract infections.

It is known that about 90% of patients with history of a “penicillin allergy” are not truly allergic and could safely receive these antibiotics.  Even patients that did have a true allergic reaction to penicillin can outgrow this allergy over time.  Identification of patients falsely diagnosed as allergic helps decrease the spread of multiple drug-resistant bacteria.

Allergy testing is available to help determine whether you are truly allergic to penicillin.  Persons with a history of penicillin “allergy” in whom skin testing is negative have no greater risk of rashes/reaction than the general population.

We strongly recommend that you follow up at Allergy West to discuss the possibility of penicillin skin testing.  You can contact Allergy West for a consultation at (978)619-5447.

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