A complete detailed history of reactions is generally sufficient to determine true drug allergy.
When true drug allergy exists, the board-certified allergists at The Allergy Group will give the patient and their physician guidance on what alternative medications can be used safely.
Skin testing for some drug allergies (e.g. local anesthetics, penicillin, cephalosporins etc.) are available, but there are only limited drugs for which there are effective and safe testing strategies.
Penicillin and local anesthetics skin testing is almost 98% reliable, and is performed frequently in our clinic.
However, in many cases, the allergist is able to do a very careful challenge with a drug. The patient is carefully made to eat small amounts of the given drug under close medical supervision to determine if they are truly allergic. This test is considered the gold standard test to confirm drug allergy. This is the best way to free the patient from the fear of being labeled as allergic to a drug. The patients are then able to safely take these medications. The test is stopped as soon as there is an adverse reaction. The physicians are extremely careful and prepared to handle emergent situations, if any.
Learn more in section on drug allergy.