Test for drug allergy

A referral from your physician or specialist and an appointment is required before arriving at the allergy outpatient clinic.

Attention: Not every reaction to a medication is necessarily an allergy. Please bring any suspected medications with you to the first consultation.

1. Medical consultation

You tell the doctor about any symptoms you have while taking the medication. The test programme is drawn up based on this medical consultation and according to the examinations requested by the referrer. This can vary depending on the problems reported and the suspected medication:

2. Blood sample

Because allergies represent an immune reaction, the antibodies developed in this process can be determined in a blood sample. The laboratory examination of the blood sample usually takes 2 weeks. However, significant blood tests can only be performed for a few medications, such as penicillin.

3. Skin testing

For skin testing, an appointment is usually made after analysing the blood sample. During the test, ingredients of medications are applied to the skin and then the uppermost layer of skin is pricked through the drop with a lancet. This process is virtually painless. In a positive test reaction (= allergy) an itchy wheal similar to a mosquito bite will form on the skin. In the case that the test results are negative, small amounts of the test substances may be injected into the skin (intradermic test) and the reactions will be examined. If the original reaction occurred hours or days after taking the medication, the test sites may need to be re-evaluated 2-3 days after the test. In special cases, skin tests used in testing for a contact allergy (patch tests) are necessary.

4. Medical consultation

After completion of all examinations, you will receive a report containing all tests and their results. The diagnostic findings will be given to you by a doctor and explained. If necessary, a therapy proposal will be offered. The time required for the allergy test varies depending on the medication and symptoms – a detailed testing process may take up to 2 hours.