If you have a penicillin allergy, the best prevention is to avoid the drug. Steps you can take to protect yourself include the following:
Nov. 22, 2014
- Inform health care workers. Be sure that your penicillin allergy or other antibiotic allergy is clearly identified in your medical records. Inform other health care providers, such as your dentist or any medical specialist.
- Wear a bracelet. Wear a medical alert bracelet that identifies your drug allergy. This information can ensure proper treatment in an emergency.
- Carry emergency epinephrine. If your allergy has caused anaphylaxis or other severe reactions, your doctor will likely prescribe a self-injecting syringe and needle device (epinephrine autoinjector). Your doctor or a member of the clinical staff will train you on how to use an autoinjector (Adrenaclick, EpiPen, Twinject, others).
- Romano A, et al. Antibiotic allergies in children and adults: From clinical symptoms to skin testing diagnosis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Practice. 2014;2:3.
- Pichichero ME, et al. Penicillin and cephalosporin allergy. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2014;112:404.
- 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.