Allergy Specialists COVID-19 Update | Telehealth Video Appointments Now Available

Allergy Specialist Of Knoxville

Penicillin Allergy

Penicillin Allergy – Why is it Relevant?

Penicillin allergy is not very uncommon when we take a look at drug allergy history.

In most cases, the event happened in the remote past as a child and the patient does not remember the symptoms they had or describe it as a rash. Studies have shown that 10% of patients will report a penicillin allergy but 90% of these patients are not truly allergic. Having a penicillin allergy results in use of more expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics. Studies have shown that penicillin allergy testing and de-labeling can result in cost savings.

Penicillin allergy testing can be done by an allergist using skin testing. The technique used is prick testing on top of the skin, which is very superficial. IF that is negative, your allergist will place a small amount under the skin and check again in 15-20 minutes. The risk of allergic reaction during testing is very low in a supervised environment. If you pass both tests, you may be eligible for incremental oral does in the office over 1-2 hours.

Penicillin testing should be done while you are healthy. It may not be a good option while you are sick.