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Study: Many children with Penicillin allergy not allergic to the drug

Study's author says symptoms are confused with other conditions

1942: Orvan Hess and John Bumstead become the first doctors in the United States to successfully to treat a patient, Anne Miller, using penicillin.
1942: Orvan Hess and John Bumstead become the first doctors in the United States to successfully to treat a patient, Anne Miller, using penicillin. (iStock/baronvsp)

Your child's Penicillin allergy may not be real, after all. Researchers found most children who have reported Penicillin allergies are not actually allergic to the drug.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics. The study's author is Dr. David Vyles of Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Vyles and others looked at questionnaires from nearly 600 parents of children with allergies. More than 300 of the children had previously experienced low-risk symptoms for Penicillin allergy. Of those, researchers picked 100 children to undergo a three-prong test for the Penicillin allergy. All 100 were found not to be allergic, the study reported.

Typical symptoms of a Penicillin allergy include rash, vomiting and diarrhea.

Vyles said the confusion lies in those symptoms. He said many doctors diagnose a rash as a Penicillin allergy, when it's likely due to an infection and not the drug.

Vyles said he plans another study based on these new findings.