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Penicillin Testing in Miami, Florida

Millions of people owe their lives to penicillin. Since World War II, the large-scale availability of this antibiotic has saved countless individuals who would otherwise have died from infections. It’s still a mainstay in combating childhood diseases. However, about 10 percent of the population is allergic to this drug.

Penicillin testing confirms whether a patient is allergic, and just as crucially, whether they remain allergic if previously testing positive. Because penicillin is less expensive than other antibiotics, the ability to take this medication for specific illnesses has advantages.

Learn more about penicillin testing at Broward CENTA in Miami, Florida.

What is Penicillin Testing?

A minute amount of penicillin is injected into the skin. If the patient is positive for a penicillin allergy, a raised, red bump will appear. Usually, this reaction takes place within an hour of the testing, but it can sometimes take longer.

If the test is positive, the patient should not receive penicillin and have a different antibiotic to fight infections. An alternative is a desensitization procedure if the patient has been diagnosed with a condition for which penicillin is the best treatment. Desensitization involves introducing tiny doses of penicillin intravenously or orally every 15 minutes for four hours.

If the reaction is negative, the patient may receive a small oral dose of penicillin. This is done because the skin test is not 100 percent accurate, and the oral dose will confirm the skin test was not a false negative.

woman enjoying the sun
doctor checking woman's throat

How do I know if penicillin testing is right for me?

If you experienced a reaction after taking penicillin, you should confirm that you are allergic to this antibiotic and the family of antibiotics related to it.

Even if you tested positive for a penicillin allergy in the past, that does not mean you remain sensitive. As many as 80 percent of those with a severe penicillin allergy are no longer allergic after a decade.

Overall, just one percent of the population is permanently allergic to penicillin. These patients must take broad-spectrum antibiotics to battle infections that penicillin could otherwise cure.

Am I a Good Candidate for Penicillin Testing?

If you tested positive for a penicillin allergy within the past five years, you are not a candidate for penicillin testing. However, if it’s been more than ten years since you last had a positive test, discuss whether you are currently a candidate with your doctor.

doctor consulting about the procedure

Penicillin Testing Procedure

Before the procedure, the doctor takes a medical history and focuses on any prior penicillin reaction, such as symptoms experienced. Let the doctor know about any other medications or supplements you take, whether prescription or over-the-counter. Inform them about any other allergies you have.

The penicillin testing procedure is straightforward. We administer a skin prick test on either the back of the forearm. If a reaction happens, we will know you have a penicillin allergy.

Expect the entire procedure to last about one hour.

doctor checking woman's hearing

Penicillin Testing Recovery

Do not scratch the treatment area. If any swelling or redness occurs once you leave the doctor’s office, take a photo of the reaction and send it to the doctor.

There is no recovery period with a negative reaction. If a positive reaction takes place, the immunologist has tools on hand to deal with any side effects. The most common side effect is hives, which should respond to an antihistamine. However, most patients with a positive test result no longer have symptoms within an hour.

Penicillin Testing Results

The results of penicillin testing are apparent very soon. As noted, it is possible that a skin reaction could occur after leaving the doctor’s office.

doctor showing a patient results

Schedule your penicillin testing consultation with Broward CENTA today

If you suspect a penicillin allergy or want to know if you are still allergic to the drug, schedule a consultation today with Dr. Sina Joorabchi at Broward CENTA. You can also discuss desensitization treatments.

Penicillin Testing FAQs

The testing involves a simple skin prick. A topical anesthetic is placed on the area beforehand to minimize discomfort.

Rarely, an allergic person may experience more serious reactions. These include breathing issues, swelling of the tongue and throat, or fainting. The doctor administers an emergency dose of epinephrine.

Your doctor will discuss the costs of penicillin testing beforehand.

In most cases, insurance will cover penicillin testing.

There is no recovery period for penicillin testing. Patients may resume normal activities.

If you suffer from persistent congestion or sinus pain, every day feels like a struggle. But there is a way to stop the headaches, the runny noses, and the sleepless nights. Schedule your consultation at Broward ENT & Allergy today to get relief from your ENT issues and start breathing freely again.

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