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A 31-year-old member asked:

how can you test for penicillin allergy?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sean McGhee
Allergy and Immunology 23 years experience
Skin test: An fda approved skin test is now available for penicillin allergy. Many people who think they are pencillin allergic can actually take penicillin without difficulty. This skin test helps to identify these people.
Dr. David Rosenthal
Allergy and Immunology 21 years experience
Skin and other tests: It depends on which antibiotic is of concern. There are skin tests available for many of them, but they should be performed by a properly trained allergist with the necessary controls. After skin testing, depending on the history, another step (cautious challenge or desensitization) may be necessary.
Dr. Neil Baman
Allergy and Immunology 20 years experience
Via an allergist: Consultation with a board-certified allergist is the first step. For penicillin allergy, there is validated testing to help clear up the issue of a possible penicillin allergy. This typically involves skin testing to increasing concentrations of the various components of penicillin. If negative, an oral challenge to penicillin typically follow in order to rule out a penicillin allergy.

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