Allergy testing is a very specific process when it is done through the traditional skin prick method. Since this test is done on the skin, and it gives you your results based on how your skin itself reacts. It’s thought that skin prick tests aren’t the most accurate way to test allergies (in comparison to more modern options). One of the ways in which this is correct is in connection with allergy testing and medications.
Medications and allergy testing
There are many kinds of medications that anyone can be taking when they come in for an allergy test. The goal of an allergy test is to get the most accurate results from the test itself, and making sure that you are not taking any interactive or interruptive medications is a critical preparation step before your allergy step. Here are the three main categories to think about:
- Antihistamines: The goal of taking antihistamines is to reduce any kind of allergic reaction that you have. Since a skin prick test is designed to bring out a controlled allergic reaction, taking medications that are already doing to subdue a reaction defeats the purpose of taking the test, to begin with. Some antihistamines are more potent than others, so the number of days to stop taking them before the test will vary depending on type and dosage.
- Psychiatric medications: There are quite a few psychiatric medications that can often interfere with the effectiveness and results of an allergy test. Some of these include sleeping medications, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medications.
- Antibiotics: Another common thought is that antibiotics will interfere with an allergy test. After all, they are known for interfering with a series of other kinds of medications that can cause both to be completely ineffective. However, you will be pleased to know that an allergy test is not one of them. You can continue taking any antibiotics that you need to, for as long as your doctor recommends, worry-free.
- Cold medications: If you are sick or recovering from a cold, you will have to stop taking any cold and sinus medications before the allergy test itself. Not only does this apply to the traditional ones that you can get from a pharmacy, but also the natural-based ones such as herbal supplements.
Not sure? Check!
There’s nothing worse than having nothing come up on a test, and then you find out later it could have been from something you were taking. It’s always good to know for sure. Knowing that you aren’t taking something that could potentially harm the results of the test — and not know it in time to stop it before the test — isn’t something to take lightly. If you want to confirm your own medications against the list of ones to stop or just double check that you understand all testing instructions properly, especially in terms of antibiotics, always check and make sure. If nothing else, the peace of mind will be a nice asset to preparing for the allergy test itself.