See your doctor if you experience signs or symptoms that may be related to penicillin or another antibiotic you recently started taking. Be prepared to answer the following questions. These details will be important in helping your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms.
- What symptoms did you experience? Don't leave out details even if they seem unrelated.
- What is the name of the penicillin or other antibiotic you were taking?
- Why were you prescribed the drug?
- Have you had these symptoms in the past when you weren't taking this drug?
- How long after taking penicillin did the symptoms begin?
- How long did the symptoms last?
- Have you stopped taking the drug?
- What other over-the-counter or prescription drugs do you take?
- What herbal medications, vitamins or other dietary supplements do you take?
- At what time of day do you take your other medications or supplements?
- Have you increased the dosage of any regular drug or supplement?
- Have you stopped taking your regular medications or supplements?
- Did you take anything to treat your symptoms, and what was the effect?
- Have you had a reaction to any drug in the past? If so, what drug was it?
- Do you have hay fever, food allergy or other allergies?
- Is there a history of penicillin or other drug allergies in your family?
You may want to take pictures of any condition, such as a rash or swelling, to show your doctor. These may help your doctor if symptoms have subsided by the time of your appointment.
Nov. 22, 2014
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- Romano A, et al. Antibiotic allergy. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 2014;34:489.
- Anaphylaxis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/immunology_allergic_disorders/allergic_autoimmune_and_other_hypersensitivity_disorders/anaphylaxis.html?qt=anaphylaxis&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 10, 2014.
- Joint Task Force on Practice Parameter. Drug allergy: An updated practice parameter. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2010;105:259.
- Chiriac AM, et al. Drug allergy diagnosis. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 2014;34:461.
- Beta-lactams. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious_diseases/bacteria_and_antibacterial_drugs/β-lactams.html?qt=lactams&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 6, 2014.
- Adkinson NF, et al. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 22, 2014.
- Drug reactions and drug allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/ALLERGIES/TYPES/DRUG-ALLERGY/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed July 22, 2014.
- Solensky R, et al. Evaluation of antibiotic allergy: The role of skin tests and drug challenges. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 2014;14:459.
- Drug hypersensitivity. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/immunology_allergic_disorders/allergic_autoimmune_and_other_hypersensitivity_disorders/drug_hypersensitivity.html?qt=drug sensitivity&alt=sh. Accessed July 22, 2104.
- Solensky R. Allergy to penicillins. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 6, 2014.
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