Many of us share a similar problem: we can’t have penicillin antibiotics because we “had a reaction when we were younger.” Maybe you had a rash. Or maybe you had hives and swelling. Either way, you’re now forced to take stronger antibiotics which might have greater side effects, increased medication interactions, and contribute to antibiotic resistance. Well, now it’s time for some good news!
Did you know 9 out of 10 people with a penicillin allergy DON’T have their penicillin allergy anymore? For some of us, we had a misdiagnosis and never had a true penicillin allergy. For others, you may have had a true penicillin allergy, but 80% outgrow these reactions after 10 years. No matter what the reason, most of us with a penicillin allergy can take penicillin again after proper testing.
Most allergy clinics can clear your penicillin allergy. Depending on your reaction, an allergist can do a simple allergy scratch test and, about an hour later, know whether you’re safe to take penicillin. A few people will also need to have an oral penicillin challenge after the scratch test which is where your allergist will have you take small amounts of penicillin in the safety of their clinic to ensure you are no longer allergic. Within a few hours 90% of you can have a lifelong allergy erased!
If the possibility of no longer being limited in your antibiotic choices sounds interesting to you, call your local allergy office. At CSHP, A DaVita Medical Group, our allergists have appointment availability for patients to discuss clearing their penicillin allergy once and for all. Dr. Webber and the CSHP allergy department can be reached at 719-635-5148.