The Doctors: Amoxicillin Allergic Reaction
Audience member Michelle’s six year old son had an allergic reaction to Amoxicillin, and she was curious about what her options were and if he was always going to be allergic to antibiotics.
Dr. Jim Sears said that Amoxicillin is in the Penicillin family, and if her son was his patient, he would write in his chart that he had a bad reaction to penicillin. He said there are a lot of other classes of antibiotics that they can use if necessary.
Dr. Sears told Michelle that it’s not really something to be concerned about, but it’s important that she tells every doctor, nurse and pharmacist that he’s allergic.
The Doctors: Parents Need To Document Allergic Reactions
Dr. Travis Stork said that it’s important to define the reaction. Michelle said that her son had been on Amoxicillin once before and was fine, but around day eight of being on it a second time, he had a rash all over his body and an upset stomach. Michelle said they weren’t exactly welts, but more so redness on his torso that just spread.
Dr. Stork said that it’s essential for Michelle, and all parents, to document exactly what happened in an allergic reaction. Someday Michelle’s son will be 25 and if he’s in a life-threatening situation and says, “I think I’m allergic to Penicillin,” the doctors will want to know exactly what happens when he takes it. This could greatly affect the treatment options that are available.
There are tons of antibiotics in the Penicillin family, and Dr. Stork said that it’s important for a doctor to know what the reaction to one of those was. Dr. Sears said that he loved that Michelle knew that it was day eight when the reaction happened and that’s great information to use as a doctor.
The Doctors: Allergy Questions Double Check with Your Pharmacist
The Doctors also received an email about antibiotic allergies from Mary in Cleveland, Ohio:
I recently was prescribed an antibiotic and my pharmacist asked me if I was allergic to sulfur when she handed it to me. Why would she ask me that and not my doctor and how would I even know?”
Dr. Stork said this is fairly normal for a pharmacist to double check on prescriptions, and he’s so glad that they do. He said it does happen that people are prescribed things that they’re allergic to.
The Doctors: Do You Even Need Your Antibiotic?
Dr. Lisa Masterson said that the pharmacists are there to make sure they’re giving you the right drug. Dr. Stork said that allergies to antibiotics are fairly common, and if you’re prescribed an antibiotic that you don’t really need, you could have a life-threatening allergic reaction and die.
Dr. Stork said the majority of antibiotics prescribed in this country right now don’t need to be, so don’t be afraid to ask if you really need an antibiotic for whatever is wrong. He said it’s important to get the right antibiotic and a safe antibiotic. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, not the common cold.