When foreign bodies enter the human body, the immune system is activated and tries to neutralize their action and remove them. In some cases, such a reaction may occur on medications.

Penicillin allergy does not depend on age and may increase or disappear altogether with time. If an acute reaction to this drug occurs, the likelihood of allergic reactions to other antibiotics increases.

Penicillin allergy - what is it?

This antibiotic was invented one of the first, therefore it has a complex structure and high molecular weight. Because of this, it has a negative impact on the person, despite the relatively high efficiency.

If you are allergic to penicillin, you can use drugs from another group of antibiotics, of course, after consulting with a qualified specialist. If we consider that the probability of an allergic reaction to penicillin reaches 29%, then the possibility of alternative treatment is the real way out.

However, changes in health after taking this antibiotic are not always a manifestation of allergy. Sometimes it is an individual reaction of the body - side effects of the drug. In most cases, they pass on their own, without medical intervention.

An allergic reaction can occur in two stages:

  • smoothed reaction;
  • violent reaction.

In the first case, the symptoms develop gradually and worsen if you continue to take a substance that causes allergies. In the second case, immediate medical attention is required.

In order not to bring to emergency medical intervention, it is necessary to report all changes in health after taking the drug to your doctor. An allergic reaction to penicillin can provoke intolerance to other antibiotics.

For example, if a person is allergic to penicillin, ceftriaxone can cause a similar reaction. Such facts must be taken into account when prescribing a course of treatment.

The main causes of allergies

The main reason is a specific reaction of the immune system, so penicillin allergy is very dangerous. In addition, some factors may contribute to its development, among them:

  • The weakened state of immunity.
  • Hypersensitivity to different allergens.
  • Use of the drug, when there is already another allergic reaction.

You should also be wary of using penicillin, if you previously had a non-standard reaction. In such cases, experts recommend to pre-conduct skin tests and make decisions based on the results.

Allergy symptoms

The problem is that the symptoms of penicillin allergy do not appear when the drug is first used. Immunity needs some time to “understand” whether proteins are foreign and how they react.

Symptoms can be both local and systemic. If in the first case, changes can be observed only in a separate organ or group of organs, then in the second they will affect the entire body.

The strength of the reaction depends on the sensitivity to the allergen. If an allergic reaction is stormy, then quite a small amount of an allergic substance is sufficient.

Conversely, if the sensitivity is very weak, then you just need an impressive dose, so that at least some symptoms appear. The most common manifestations are:

  • The rash of various species occurs most often.
  • Jaundice. As a result of the breakdown of red blood cells, the skin color changes.
  • Edema. Usually affects the mucous membranes and soft tissue.
  • Anaphylactic shock.

Usually a rash on the skin is accompanied by a rather severe itching. In rare cases, the formation of bubbles, accompanied by exfoliation of the epidermis.

There may be an allergic reaction with edema or epidermal necrolysis, which can be fatal.

For the disappearance of symptoms, you must stop using penicillin. With repeated use of the antibiotic, a negative reaction is almost always observed.

At the first signs of allergy, you must immediately stop taking penicillin. The nature of further action will depend on the response to the drug.

If the allergy is mild, then it is enough to take certain drugs: “Fexofenadine”, “Loratadine” when taken orally and “Suprastil” or “Tavegil” intramuscularly.

If an allergic reaction is accompanied by anaphylactic shock or angioedema, then “Epinephrine” must be administered very quickly. In the case of its absence, you can use “Dexamethasone” or “Prednisone”.

When a rash appears, you can use anti-inflammatory ointment. If it does not help or rash increases, it is necessary to consult a specialist.

If it is necessary to inject the antibiotic intramuscularly or intravenously, this should be done by a medical professional in the hospital. In addition, after the injection, you need to be under the supervision of a doctor for at least 30 minutes. This is due to the possibility of allergic reactions in severe form after injection.

If you are allergic to penicillin, treatment can be carried out at home, but you should be very careful about the slightest changes in health. Any deterioration should be noted and should be reported to your doctor.

Penicillin Analogs

If a person is allergic to penicillin, than to replace it is quite an adequate question. Specialists usually just choose drugs from another group. Independently make a choice is not recommended, because you can seriously aggravate the situation.

Today there are a lot of drugs that can fully replace the penicillin group antibiotic. For example, amoxicillin for penicillin allergy shows good results. In some cases, antibiotic therapy may additionally be required.

Child allergy

Allergies to penicillin in a child are accompanied by almost the same symptoms as in adults. Only in most cases is stormy and very rapidly developing.

To minimize the possibility of an allergic reaction, you need:

  • observe the dosage;
  • the number of injections;
  • intervals between receptions.

When the first signs of high sensitivity to the drug appear, it is necessary to stop its use, and if you feel unwell and the process flows into a difficult stage, you must immediately call an ambulance.

When a rash occurs after taking penicillin, the doctor makes recommendations and reports the drug, which will be replaced by the antibiotic of the penicillin group.

When to see a doctor

As soon as a person notices unusual changes on his body or deterioration of health after taking an antibiotic, experts recommend not to hesitate and immediately go to the hospital. If there is an allergy to penicillin, then the consequences can be very different, including death.

No need to risk their own health and hope that everything will pass by itself. Only a specialist can correctly assess the situation and make the right decision.

Possible complications

When antibiotics are prescribed, penicillin allergy is a fairly common occurrence. Despite the fact that it can occur in every third, there are some factors that can significantly increase the likelihood of its occurrence:

  • allergies to other drugs;
  • frequent use of penicillin or high doses;
  • allergic to food and other types;
  • high sensitivity to drugs from relatives;
  • the presence of certain types of diseases.


The only 100% method of prevention is not to take the drug. To do this, you should follow some recommendations of experts:

  • Tell your healthcare professional that you are allergic to penicillin. If he does not ask, be sure to say about it, but rather make sure that there is an appropriate entry in the medical records.
  • Special bracelet. It is advisable to have such an accessory with you. It displays basic information about human health, including allergic reactions.
  • Buy autoinjector with adrenaline.   Especially true if the allergy is in a severe stage and can lead to sad consequences. The injector is usually recommended by the attending physician. He must teach how to use it.

How to prepare for a doctor's appointment

If an allergic reaction to penicillin occurs, then at the first visit of a specialist he will ask a lot of questions. The quality and completeness of the answers will depend on the accuracy and correctness of the diagnosis and course of treatment.

In order to answer all questions as accurately as possible, you need to follow some recommendations:

  • Record in detail what drugs and when taken. It is useful not only for allergies.
  • If there were any consequences, you need to specify which ones.
  • Symptoms and chronology of their appearance.
  • Are any other drugs taken apart from the antibiotic.
  • Do the dietary supplements and the time of taking the drugs.
  • The presence of diseases: chronic, genetic and other.
  • Do relatives have allergies.

If you make a record immediately after the manifestation of a symptom, then it does not take much time, and the family history should generally be available to everyone. It will significantly simplify the work of most doctors in case of an emergency.