Most Patients Who Report a Penicillin Allergy are Actually not Allergic when Tested.
As many as 10 percent of the general population reports a penicillin allergy. Studies show that when tested and challenged, as many as nine out of the 10 people with reported penicillin allergies do not have an allergy to penicillin.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) along with other allergy organizations are advocating for penicillin allergy testing to mitigate the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Because of the use of alternative broad spectrum antibiotics, patients with reported penicillin allergies had worse health outcomes in retrospective studies looking at length of hospitalization, rate of infection and other markers.
Penicillin allergy testing is safe and involves a skin test which is done in the office. If the skin test is negative, a drug challenge to penicillin is done in the office setting. If you have a penicillin allergy, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our allergists to get evaluated.
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