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What is a penicillin allergy?

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Your immune system is supposed to fight off the bacteria that make you sick. But sometimes your body fights the medicine itself. That’s what happens if you are allergic to penicillin. Your immune system thinks it’s an invader and wants to get rid of it.

From: What Is Penicillin Allergy? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: Allergy to penicillin and related antibiotics (Beyond the Basics).”

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Drug Allergy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Penicillin Allergy.”

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Penicillin Allergy FAQ.”

CDC: “Management of Persons Who Have a History of Penicillin Allergy.”

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: “Penicillin Skin Testing: Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 9, 2018

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient information: Allergy to penicillin and related antibiotics (Beyond the Basics).”

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Drug Allergy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Penicillin Allergy.”

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: “Penicillin Allergy FAQ.”

CDC: “Management of Persons Who Have a History of Penicillin Allergy.”

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: “Penicillin Skin Testing: Frequently Asked Questions.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on July 9, 2018

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Who's more likely to get a penicillin allergy?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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