Penicillin allergies have been chronically over diagnosed. While there are alternatives available, they are often less appropriate or more expensive. If you were diagnosed as a child, think your recent diagnosis was incorrect or just want to know for sure, one of the allergy services offered at your Las Vegas allergy center is a series of tests that can determine if you are actually allergic to the miracle drug.
Once at your allergist’s office, your allergist will review your medical history. They are specifically looking for details about the last time you experienced a penicillin-induced allergic reaction, including the type of symptoms you experienced and the timeframe of the event.
Skin Allergy Testing
If your allergist confirms it is safe for you to continue, a skin test will be performed. A drop of penicillin extract is placed on your skin and a small needle is used to prick the top layer of skin directly below the drop. After 15 minutes, any reaction, such as a red, itchy bump is measured. This is considered a positive reaction, which indicates a high likelihood of a penicillin allergy. While a negative reaction typically means you are not allergic, a negative reaction can be caused by a few factors so an additional test is usually ordered for confirmation.
Graded Challenge Test
The final test that is performed is a graded challenge. This test is completed in your Las Vegas allergy center with continuous oversight so if you do have a reaction, it can be treated immediately. You will be asked to ingest four or five doses of the penicillin and any and all reactions are measured. The first is a very low dose and they gradually increase as the challenge progresses. If you can tolerate all the doses without a reaction your doctor is able to confirm you are officially not allergic to penicillin
Are you interested in finding out once and for all if the diagnosis you received when you were 10 is accurate? There is no time like the present. Contact your local Las Vegas allergist to schedule an appointment.