Blog Written by Erin Kirwan For Advanced Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
A phone call with my husband earlier this month went like this:
“Honey, are you allergic to penicillin?”
“Ah. I don’t think so – but maybe.”
I paused before asking my husband for clarification.
“Well,” he continued, “I think they suspected I was allergic as a baby, but it was never confirmed.”
Needless to say, my dear husband has lived all 44 years of his life telling physicians that he believes he is allergic to penicillin, or might be. How have physicians responded? He has been given a non-penicillin based antibiotic.
My husband is not alone. Up to ten percent of people report being allergic to penicillin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, studies have found many people who believe they are allergic to penicillin, really, are not.
“I definitely see this from time to time,” recalls Dr. Patricia Gomez Dinger of Advanced Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in San Antonio, TX. “It is important to understand that confirming an allergy to penicillin is important for your health and wallet.”
Dr. Dinger, along with the Allergy and Asthma Network, the leading nonprofit patient education organization for people with allergies and asthma, wants us to know these 5 things about penicillin allergy:
As a mom of three children, none of whom we believe has a penicillin allergy, I would be lying if I said I did not question myself or worry every time their pediatrician asks me whether they are allergic. A small part of me wonders if they might be because of my husband’s own uncertainty. Because they have not had a reaction we assume they are likely not allergic. However, the lack of confirmation on my husband’s part for his questionable allergy definitely plays into a little worry on my part regarding my children’s care.
The bottom line? A simple test, often covered by insurance, might just be the peace of mind we all need says Dr. Dinger.
Dr. Dinger is a 2015,2016 Texas Super Doctor recipient. She can treat the whole family at location in Stone Oak and Schertz, TX.