What is penicillin allergy testing?

Also known as: drug allergy testing, antibiotic allergy testing.

Penicillin allergy testing is a method for allergists to determine if a patient has a penicillin allergy. This is the only standardized drug allergy test available. There are no other antibiotic allergy tests. It is important to test for penicillin allergy because approximately 10% of the population reports they have a penicillin allergy, but of those patients, more than 90% do not actually have a penicillin allergy. Part of this is because it is likely a person will lose their penicillin allergy over time. Even if a patient had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), 5 years out from the initial reaction approximately 50% have lost their penicillin allergy, and 10 years out from the initial allergic reaction, about 80% have lost their penicillin allergy.

Reviewed by: Amy S Feldman, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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