According to a recent study published by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, penicillin allergies may not be as prevalent as once believed. Texas residents may find that they may not be allergic to penicillin; therefore, they might have been able to take the drug at times when they didn’t think they could.

Penicillin is the most common drug to which people report allergies; however, self-reports are usually given verbally and are not always accurate. Out of 38 participants in the study, more than 90% were proven to have no allergy to the drug.

When patients self-report a penicillin allergy, doctors may prescribe alternate medications that may not be as effective as penicillin. In some cases, those who take alternate medications may experience slower recoveries. For example, pregnant women may have longer hospital stays as well as a greater likelihood of cesarean sections and higher frequencies of adverse reactions to alternate medications. However, if patients are tested for penicillin allergies, these risks may go down significantly.

Unfortunately, those who have reactions to penicillin in adolescence may still report the allergy even if they might have outgrown it. Also, the allergy that they report may not classify as a true allergy. For example, certain antibiotics and viruses may cause what could appear to be an allergic reaction; however, it may only be a one-time occurrence. Meanwhile, doctors prescribe alternative medications, including broad-spectrum antibiotics that may prove to be less effective and may even cause further complications.

People who have experienced adverse reactions to medications may find themselves in life-altering situations, including being unable to work or provide for their families. Those who have had extreme allergic reactions or intense side effects from a prescription medication error might benefit from consulting a medical malpractice attorney who may offer insight toward achieving a favorable resolution.