For drug allergies, we are generally able to work these out by taking a long, detailed history of reactions. When true drug allergies exist, we are almost always able to give the patient and their doctor guidance on what medications can be used safely. We do skin testing for some drug allergies (e.g. local anesthetics and penicillin), but there are a limited amount of drugs for which there are effective and safe testing materials. In some cases, we are able to do a very careful challenge with a drug (giving the patient tiny amounts by mouth) to determine sensitivity.
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