So you need an antibiotic and think you are allergic to penicillin. What should you do?

Well, first, talk to you doctor about being tested. After all, penicillin is the number one drug allergy in the world. About ten percent of folks who take the drug become allergic.

They can develop a slight rash or more serious problems like anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction.

But penicillin allergy often goes away with time. Ten years after a serious reaction only around one prevent of people are still allergic. If you think you allergic, tell your doctor.

You should stay away from penicillin and wear an identification bracelet.

Usually you can find a substitute. But sometimes you need penicillin and nothing else will do. For example, penicillin is used to treat certain kinds of meningitis, heart valve infection, urinary tract infection and advanced syphilis.

If you think you need it and are allergic ask about a skin test. There are two kinds. Your doctor will know the right one for you.