Penicillin testing is a form of allergy testing that includes skin prick testing, intradermal testing, and an oral drug challenge. A positive test to skin pricks or intradermal injections will cause an itchy hive on the skin. If there is a positive test to skin pricks or intradermal injections, the testing will be stopped. If there are negative tests to skin pricks and intradermal injections, a penicillin antibiotic will be given to you under observation.
Antihistamines can block skin prick testing and intradermal testing, therefore these medications must be stopped before your appointment. See antihistamines for specific instructions on stopping antihistamines before penicillin testing.
According to research, 9 out of 10 people with suspected penicillin allergy have negative skin prick testing and intradermal testing and can receive penicillin antibiotics safely. It is important to consider penicillin testing to potentially reduce the rising rates of antibiotic resistance.