Penicillin is an antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections. If you are allergic to the drug, then you will have an allergic reaction when you take it. Common allergic reaction symptoms may include itchy eyes, hives, rashes, swollen face, swollen tongue, or swollen lips. In extreme cases, you can have an anaphylactic reaction. This reaction usually occurs within an hour of taking penicillin. You must seek immediate medical attention. Read on to find out how to treat penicillin allergy.
Stop Taking The Drug
If you experience symptoms after taking penicillin, then you should stop taking it immediately. You need to get diagnosed by an allergy specialist. Macrolide antibiotics are an alternative to penicillin. They are used to treat respiratory and lung infections.
Your body creates inflammation when it has an allergic reaction. This cause your immune system to respond to foreign pathogens by releasing histamines. Your doctor can prescribe antihistamines to block your immune system from releasing the chemicals. He or she will recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine like diphenhydramine.
Corticosteroids are used to treat more severe symptoms from your reaction. These drugs can treat symptoms like wheezing and skin rashes. They come in injection or oral form. You will need a prescription to obtain corticosteroid drugs.
How To Become Desensitized
When you need a treatment for an infection and nothing else is available, your doctor may try to desensitize you to penicillin. You are given small doses of the drug over the course of a few days. The doses are increased to check your body's response. You are carefully monitored with medical professionals on hand. The point is to see if you will stop having reactions to the drug. If so, you can start using penicillin as a treatment. On the other hand, if you continue to have reactions, then you must take another treatment and continue to avoid the drug.
Keep On Hand An Emergency Epinephrine
It is a good idea to carry an emergency epinephrine if you had a previous anaphylactic attack in response to penicillin. An emergency epinephrine kit contains a syringe that contains medication that will stop your attack. Your allergy specialist will show you how to use the epinephrine injector before prescribing it.
It is serious to have an allergic reaction. You must make people aware when you are allergic to something. Letting people know about your allergy can save your life. It also prepares the person for how to react when you have an attack.