Mayo Clinic now does an allergy test for penicillin. When our doctor asked if I wanted to get J.R. tested I was not sure if we needed to bother. We had dealt with his penicillin allergy since he was about two years old when he suffered from an upper respiratory and ear infections. I had gotten the medicine and gave him his first dose and not long after he had trouble breathing and we went to the emergency room. For years we avoided all penicillin.
At his last physical the doctor thought he would be a good candidate to get allergy tested for penicillin because children can out grow an allergy. So we went to Mayo Clinic to their allergy center and J. R. did the two part test. The first test was 5 needles and 1 needle that was an antihistamine, all barely going under the skin. If there is a strong positive the test is done. If that test is negative with no reaction they do one more series of shots that go deeper into the skin to see if you really have any allergic reaction at all.
J.R. was never allergic to penicillin! Instead he showed a strong reaction to the antihistamine. He had trouble breathing because he was allergic to the antihistamine in the cough syrup not the penicillin he was taking for his upper respiratory infection. J. R. never has taken cough medicine since, mainly because he never as had another upper respiratory infection that severe and I never have purchased over the counter antihistamines. This test was worth getting done and it may save his life someday.
–Tamara, Founder OGP