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Had strep. Took penicillin. Have allergy. Started benedryl regement. Welts again . Reason?

A couple weeks ago ( maybe 3 ) I went to the ER and found out I had strep . They gave me my first dose of penicillin in the hospital. About 15 minutes later I got a big welt on my face and became hot and flushed. They told me I was allergic to the penicillin to never take it again. ( I ve taken penicillin through out my whole life with no problems) the next two days I was red and swollen throughout my whole body. I started a benedryl regiment and after a few days the swelling went away... But sense then I break out in a couple welts every night. When one heals another pops up... Why? It s been weeks!
Asked On : Mon, 31 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  36
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Penicillin typically causes an immediate or a "type 1" hypersensitivity reaction. This basically means that the reaction occurs immediately, usually within minutes of exposure to the allergen. So, an allergic / hypersensitivity reaction to Penicillin is unlikely to last for weeks together, even after stopping the medication immediately.

It is possible that the allergic reaction which you are continuously having could be due to some other allergen and the penicillin incident was just a coincidence. This logic is strengthened by the fact that you have been taking penicillin throughout your life and have not had any allergic reaction.

I think that it would be worthwhile to try and find out what other possible allergen - external or internal - could be causing this. In the meantime, for symptomatic relief, you can take an anti-histamine medication in order to control your symptoms.

In case, this allergic reaction keeps on persisting, then you may need to see a dermatologist, to have an allergen testing done to determine the possible source of the allergen.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Answered: Mon, 31 Dec 2012
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