Think You’re Allergic to Penicillin? You’re Probably Not.

More than 30 million people in the United States wrongly believe they are allergic to penicillin – resulting in millions of dollars in added health care costs, adverse side effects from the use of more powerful antibiotics and a risk in the rise of dangerous antibiotic resistant infections.

This misconception and public health threat could be corrected, said Christopher M. Bland, clinical associate professor at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, by asking those who say they are allergic to penicillin to answer a simple one-page questionnaire and, if necessary, take a penicillin allergy skin test, or PAST.

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Photo:  Christopher Bland

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