Medication Guide App

Antibiotic Medication Allergy


An antibiotic medication allergy is a harmful, unexpected reaction to an antibiotic. You can have a reaction within an hour, or the reaction can happen days or weeks later.



  • Epinephrine: This medicine increases your blood pressure and reduces your allergy reaction. It may also relax some of your muscles so you can breathe better.

  • Antihistamine: This medicine may be given to help decrease itching and improve other symptoms, such as swelling. This medicine may be given as an injection, by mouth, or as a skin lotion. This medicine may make you sleepy.

  • Steroids: This medicine may be given to decrease inflammation.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Ask if you need to avoid other medicines you may be allergic to. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Read medicine labels:

Read the label before you use any medicine. Do not take the medicine if it contains the antibiotic that you are allergic to. This includes topical medicines that you put on your skin.

Carry medical alert identification:

Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have an antibiotic medicine allergy. Healthcare providers need to know that they should not give you this antibiotic.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You think you are having an allergic reaction. Contact your healthcare provider before you take another dose.

  • You have a rash.

  • You have a fever.

  • You have a sore throat or swollen glands. You will feel hard lumps when you touch your throat if your glands are swollen.

  • Your skin itches and becomes red when you are in the sunlight.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, allergy, or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have a rash with itchy, swollen, red spots or blisters.

  • You have swelling of your lips, eyes, or face.

  • You have swelling or blisters in your mouth or throat.

  • You have trouble breathing or tightness in your chest.

  • You have trouble swallowing or your voice sounds hoarse.

  • You faint, or feel dizzy or lightheaded.

  • You have nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.

  • You have a fast or pounding heartbeat.

  • You have blisters, or your skin is peeling.

  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Antibiotic Medication Allergy (Discharge Care)