The Law Offices of John Phebus

Millions may be misdiagnosed as having penicillin allergies

Many people in Arizona and throughout the country are diagnosed with allergies to penicillin when they are children. When they later develop infections as adults, they may be prescribed other antibiotics that carry more serious side effects than penicillin does because their medical records reflect the penicillin allergies.

According to a recent study that was presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 90 percent of people who were diagnosed as having allergies to penicillin as children are actually able to handle taking the antibiotic. Researchers say that the people have either outgrown their allergies or they were misdiagnosed as having them to begin with.

Many people who are diagnosed with penicillin allergies as children receive their diagnoses when they develop rashes after taking the antibiotic. This side effect is not always caused by a penicillin allergy, however. Some people have allergies to control substances or are simply having a side effect rather than a true allergic reaction. Researchers estimate that between 25 to 50 million people in the U.S. who believe that they are allergic to penicillin may not be. They suggest that people undergo a two-step test that is followed by taking a low dose of penicillin while being observed by their doctors for a total of three hours to determine if the allergy is real.

A misdiagnosis of having an allergy to penicillin may mean that a person is later prescribed an antibiotic that has more severe side effects. This may potentially cause the person harm. If a person has suffered injuries because he or she was misdiagnosed, he or she might want to consult with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer may evaluate what happened in order to provide an assessment about whether or not the person has a valid claim.

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