Are you allergic to penicillin? Was your allergic reaction associated with a skin rash, swelling of the mouth, face, or tongue, or perhaps some shortness of breath or wheezing? These are findings in someone who is truly allergic to a medication.
But what about patients who were told by their parents that they were allergic to penicillin during childhood, or individuals who experienced some nausea, cramping, or diarrhea after taking a penicillin-based antibiotic. Most of these people are NOT ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN.
Furthermore, most patients who claim to have a penicillin allergy can safely take the medicine, either because they were never truly allergic or their allergy to penicillin resolved over time. Only about 20 percent of people with true penicillin allergy will still be allergic 10 years after their initial allergic reaction if they are not exposed to penicillin during this time period.
Your physician at Suburban Ear, Nose, and Throat can order a penicillin challenge test, which is done in the office by one of our full time highly trained allergy nurses. This simple and safe test will definitively tell you if you are allergic to penicillin. Being able to take either penicillin or its cephalosporin derivatives, allows your doctor access to an important tool in the fight against bacteria such as streptococcus, staphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.
Call your doctor at Suburban Ear, Nose, and Throat (847) 259-2530 to discuss the penicillin challenge.