Tuesday, January 22, 2019 05:22 PM

ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN? YOU MAY NOT BE

We used to say nine out of 10 people who report a penicillin allergy are skin-test negative. Now it looks more like 19 out of 20, said Dr. David Lang, president-elect of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and chairman of allergy and immunology in the respiratory institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

Patients can get mislabeled as allergic to penicillin in a number of different ways. They may experience bad drug reactions like headaches, nausea or diarrhea, which are not true allergic reactions but are misinterpreted. Alternatively, they may develop a symptom like a rash, which is indicative of a real allergic reaction but could be caused by an underlying illness and not by the drug.

And many people who have avoided penicillin for a decade or more after a true, severe allergic reaction will not experience that reaction again. Even for those with true allergy, it can wane, said Dr. Kimberly Blumenthal, the reviews senior author, who is an allergist and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. We dont really understand this, but once youve proven youre tolerant, you go back to having the same risk as someone who never had an ...

News source: The New York Times

See also: Nashville ENT