Allergies to Antibiotics are common, affecting up to 1 in 15 people. Most allergies to antibiotics are specific to penicillin based antibiotics, but other classes of antibiotics such as Cephalosporins can also cause allergic reactions in people. Fortunately, there are a number of alternative antibiotics which can be taken to cure bacterial infections, so doctors are rarely left relying on one single drug.

Antibiotic allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a certain drug by creating antibodies called Immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE). These antibodies cause other cells to release certain chemicals that bring on the allergic reaction that makes you ill.

Better2Know offers testing for the following:

It is important to note that an allergic reaction to an antibiotic is different from suffering from side effects to these medications. Side effects can include symptoms of nausea, vomiting, feelings of bloating or indigestion, abdominal pains or discomforts and diarrhoea. The symptoms of an allergic reaction to an antibiotic can include coughing, wheezing or other breathing difficulties, rashes, itchy skin and / or raised bumps or hives. In more extreme cases anaphylaxis can present with a sudden drop in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, feelings of fear, severe difficulty breathing and a loss of consciousness. Any symptoms such as these require immediate urgent medical attention.

You can find out if you have an allergy to any antibiotic by testing with Better2Know. We offer a range of tests that will check to see if you are allergic to a wide range of different antibiotics including Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Benzylpenicillin and others. With allergies to certain antibiotics being common, and the effects of an allergic reaction so severe, you should consider getting tested, so you know whether you or any other person is at risk of an adverse reaction to one of the many antibiotics which are commonly administered.

We also offer a perioperative panel of tests which will test to see if you are allergic to a wide range of drugs you may be given during routine operations. This Perioperative Anaphylaxis Panel can help set your mind at rest during the run up to an operation by knowing that you are not allergic to the wide range of drugs covered that could be administered during your operation.