Most of us would expect an allergy test is going to be accurate, detailed, and give you the answers that you are looking for. After all, that’s why you’re getting an allergy test to begin with, right? When you are preparing yourself, however, you’ll need to take a moment to think about medications and their potential impacts on the test.
How can medicines impact an allergy test?
There are two main ways that medicines can have an impact on an allergy test. The type of medicine that you’re taking (that is determined to be a problem) will fall into one of these two categories.
- They can hide test results: A lot of antihistamines are going to hide test results when a traditional allergy skin prick test is taken. This is because the whole point of taking these medications is to minimize the effect of the allergic reactions in your day to day life. Since a prick test works by creating a welt over an injection from an allergen, anything that is already working to prevent that under normal circumstances is going to cause a problem. Certain dosages, brands, and kinds of antihistamines require different amounts of elimination from the system before a test, so always check with a professional to make sure you are following the correct instructions.
- They can impact the need for epinephrine: In rare cases, a severe anaphylactic reaction can occur from a prick test. In this case, epinephrine is used to make sure that you get the support you need. If you are taking certain medications, such as beta-blockers, these can reduce the power and strength of epinephrine. In cases where patients cannot be safely weaned off of beta-blockers, another testing method is often used.
Can I do an allergy test while taking antibiotics?
You’ll be happy to know that antibiotics are perfectly fine to take when preparing for an allergy test. You should continue to take them as recommended by your doctor without worry about stopping them a day or several days before the test itself.
A note about medications
There are some medications that can be easily omitted from your life, including antihistamines, and some that aren’t, such as psychiatric medications. It’s never recommended to stop any medications without talking to your doctor about weaning and potential risks to be aware of.
If you are ever unsure and want to double-check, it’s always a good idea to list off any medications you’re taking when you are booking in your allergy test appointment, to begin with. This will ensure there are no forgotten details or miscommunications on either end.
To give you the best, most accurate results, clarity beforehand — especially on something as potentially serious as medication interactions — is always a good idea. While it is refreshing to learn that antibiotics are not going to cause a problem, it’s helpful to make sure that all of your medications are allowed for. After all, inaccurate test results could just mean you have to take it again later, so it’s best to get the most accurate ones from the first go around.