Drug Allergy Tests
If you have an allergic reaction to a prescription or over-the-counter medication, your doctor may need to perform some tests in order to confi...

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

If you have an allergic reaction to a prescription or over-the-counter medication, your doctor may need to perform some tests in order to confirm your allergy. These may include:

Skin testing

For some drugs, an allergy skin test can be used to uncover whether you are allergic. During a skin-prick test, a minute amount of the drug is injected into the skin—usually the back or forearm. A drug reaction will be deemed an allergic one if redness, a bump, or other noticeable skin inflammation develops. There are also intradermal tests that demonstrate Immunoglobulin E (IgE) allergies for only a few medications, among them penicillin and some other antibiotics. In this method, a small amount of the allergen is injected just under the skin and the site is monitored for a reaction. Either a skin-prick test or an intradermal test may be used, depending on the drug in question.

Drug provocation testing

In certain serious situations in which a patient’s sensitivity is not known regarding a powerful drug, provocation testing is performed; increasing doses of the drug—taken orally or under the skin—are given at planned intervals. If reaction to the drug does not indicate an allergy, the drug may be a safe treatment for the patient. The risk involved with this kind of testing includes a severe reaction, potentially even anaphylaxis.

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: Stephanie Burkhead, MPH
Published: Aug 25, 2010
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools