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Penicillin Allergy? Here’s The 411

[ Vivica's experiencing some unusual symptoms from her antibiotics recently. Her good friend provided her with sage advice, so Viv's off to the Allergist pronto! ]

When Penicillin was created [1928] it was thought to be a wonder drug. Infections that often lead to death could now be easily treated. While most people can safely use penicillin, there is a sector of people who either believe they’re allergic and people who are seriously allergic to this drug.

The only way to be absolute about a penicillin allergy is to be tested and diagnosed by a boar certified Allergist. A penicillin allergy is Very serious and it kills up to 400 people yearly. Furthermore, if you are allergic to this drug it’s highly likely that you’re allergic to the entire penicillin group which includes: Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, and Methicillin. [ I happen to be in this group :() although my reactions aren’t life threatening ].

[ Whoah! It looks like this guy had a really bad reaction to Penicillin! He needs a doctor ASAP! ]

Penicillin reaction symptoms range from Hives, Dizziness, and Swelling of Mouth and or Throat. This is why if you think you’re experiencing some reaction, even if you think it’s hives that you see your health care provider immediately. It can be helpful to take a snapshot of the rash to show your doctor.

Testing for a penicillin allergy involves an Allergist conducting a skin prick test in which the amount of penicillin is gradually increased until a raised area on the skin indicates an allergy. [ this is how most allergy testing is performed, although there is a blood test available if an allergist believes it can produce more definitive results ].

If the test results are negative, the next step is to conduct an oral allergy test. [ For more about Oral Allergy testing see our blog post Oral Food Allergy Challenge under Allergic Living! 👍🏽 ]. This oral penicillin challenge involves taking in a small dose of Liquid Penicillin while being observed by your Allergist. This test, like Any Oral Allergy test should be performed in a medical facility with life saving equipment and staff. Alternative meds to penicillin are referred to as Broad Spectrum, however, your doctor will determine if you’re a candidate for this. Don’t just go by suspicions, because you may not be allergic. Always talk to a health care provider, or your pharmacist who can provide valuable information on drugs, their reactions and uses.

Being allergic is no joke, and it can be a full time job! This is why it’s important to get to know your own body. Awareness of how you react to meds and foods brings clarity to your doctor about what’s going on with your health! Of course, feel free to stop by at LivingThruGrace Blog spot anytime to learn all about the multifaceted challenges of allergic living! 🤗

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