Take Charge of Your Health - Penicillin Alert
Nature makes Penicillin; I just found it.
Thought we would pass along some insights from a recent article in The Washington Post (Kate Furby, August 12, 2018). “10% of all patients in the US claim they have an allergy to Penicillin when in fact 90% of these people are not truly allergic and can tolerate the drug.”
The problem is that if you tell your physician you have an allergy to penicillin, (which is a targeted antibiotic), they will recommend an alternative antibiotic -- often a broad spectrum one that kills off more of the body’s good bacteria along with the bad. This can raise the chance of acquiring infections such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Clostridium difficile-related colitis (C. diff.), which can be very serious, uncomfortable and even lead to death.
The word “allergy” means different things to different people. Penicillin may cause a minor rash or a symptom of greater concern such as difficulty breathing. It is important to differentiate between minor side effects of Penicillin, which can be tolerated and more severe reactions that can be life-threatening. The risks of not taking Penicillin to fight an infection may be far worse than the symptoms or discomforts of the “allergy.” Additionally, even if someone has been diagnosed with a significant allergic reaction as a child, they may outgrow the allergy over time.
The best next step? If you are unsure about your reaction to Penicillin, ask your physician for a simple allergy test. It's simple to do and could result in a powerful addition to your infection-fighting personal toolbox.
As always, join us on the Health-E³ blog page where we look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Feel free to ask a question about anything on the website or suggest ideas for additional helpful information. And remember, it's up to you to Take Charge of Your Health.