Can I develop an allergic reaction to amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is included in the beta-lactam group of antibiotics. This drug is utilized in managing bacterial infections. Since this antibiotic is relatively affordable compared to other types, it is commonly prescribed in order to manage usual conditions such as middle ear infections, strep throat, gonorrhea, dental tissue infections as well as upper and lower respiratory tract infections.

Allergic reaction to amoxicillin

It is important to note that an allergic reaction to amoxicillin is not considered as hereditary but can be acquired by those who were exposed to the drug at some point during medical treatment. Individuals who have HIV/AIDS and cystic fibrosis face a higher risk for developing an allergic reaction to the antibiotic.


An allergic reaction to amoxicillin will start in a gentle form such as the manifestation of rashes and then progress to severe reactions.

What happens to mild allergic reactions to amoxicillin?

Always bear in mind that delayed reactions to amoxicillin and other antibiotics included in the penicillin group are uncommon. An allergic reaction to amoxicillin will start in a gentle form such as the manifestation of rashes and then progress to severe reactions. The usual allergic reactions to amoxicillin include diarrhea and stomach upset.

What happens during severe allergic reactions to amoxicillin?

During a severe reaction, the rashes can occur on any part of the body that initially develops first on the chest, legs or arms. The rash may or may not itch. Swelling is also another reaction and can occur in the tongue and even lead to the constriction of the airways. In most cases, the feet and hands and can also swell. Remember that these reactions may or may not by accompanied by fever.

An anaphylactic reaction is considered as the most severe reaction which involves heart arrhythmias and breathing difficulty. Take note that this reaction can occur abruptly or develop during the course of treatment. Immediate medical care is required during anaphylaxis.

Skin testing

Since amoxicillin is highly effective in managing bacterial infections and affordable than other antibiotics, the doctor will test the individual with a known penicillin allergy in order to determine if amoxicillin can be given.

This test entails the individual to be injected with small amounts of the drug under the skin in order to determine the severity of a possible allergy. The back or arm is usually utilized for testing since the reaction can be assessed right away in these areas. In case the swelling or red-colored rash develops around the site of the injection, amoxicillin is not given. If the site of injection has no reaction, the doctor will prescribe the drug. The doctor will take the medical history and ask the individual for previous drug reactions before the skin test.

Treatment for an allergic reaction to amoxicillin

The doctor will stop the treatment with amoxicillin once an allergic reaction occurs. A mild reaction such as rashes and hives can be managed with over-the-counter medications. If you want to be ready to deal with an allergic reaction, read here. As for severe reactions, they are managed with an oral course of corticosteroids. In extreme circumstances, the doctor will inject corticosteroids.

Take note that the treatment for most cases of severe reactions entails a visit to the emergency department so that epinephrine injection can be given as well as blood pressure medications and monitoring of the breathing rate. Some individuals require emergency treatment as well as injections in order to minimize the allergic hives.


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