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Approximately 85% of patients who describe themselves as being allergic to penicillin will have negative skin tests and can safely receive penicillin. Penicillin allergy testing benefits patients and treating doctors. The benefits include fighting resistant bacteria and offering less expensive treatments for patients. Many patients thought to be allergic to penicillin are treated with very potent antibiotics which are often quite expensive. Continued use of these antibiotics may lead to increased drug-resistant bacteria, limited availability of alternative treatment for more severe infections, and greater side effect profiles.

Process:

  • After taking a history, The Specialist will decide if you are suitable for this process. Penicillin allergy testing is performed via skin tests and if the skin tests are essentially negative, low to moderate risk patients will undergo an “oral challenge” to penicillin is performed. 

  • This takes 4 to 6 hours. High-risk patients with a history of severe reactions will be advised on safe alternatives and educated about other antibiotics related to penicillin that could also result in an allergic reaction.

  • We perform desensitisation to patients needing penicillin without an alternative but this is only done in high-risk patients with severe reactions to penicillin. If you think you are allergic to penicillin and need an allergy evaluation book your appointment below.

An oral food challenge is recommended for diagnoses of a food allergy if there is further clarity needed or when a medical history and tests indicate that the patient may no longer be allergic to a certain food.

  • An oral food challenge involves eating a serving of the specific food in slow, graded increments, under close supervision by a trained health caregiver in a facility that can deal with the severe life-threatening reactions.

  • Dosing is continued until standardised indication for stopping (visible reaction) or a full age-appropriate portion of the food has been consumed. This process takes 3-4 hours.