- Reviewed by Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
The standard method to confirm a true penicillin allergy usually begins with a skin test. If that shows no reaction, the person then receives an oral penicillin challenge in which the drug is given in small, gradually increasing amounts to diagnose or rule out an allergy. Traditionally, this is done in an allergist's office. However, only a small minority of people actually get formal testing of both the oral challenge and the skin test.
Now, a trial published in the September 2023 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that an oral penicillin challenge alone can accurately detect an allergy and be safely done in any doctor's office.
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About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
About the Reviewer
Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
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