About 10 percent of Americans believe they are allergic to penicillin – but is it true? 

December 18 – A number of people probably know someone who is allergic to penicillin, or at least say they are, but a new study from the Centers for Disease Control is questioning whether those folks are actually allergic. 

About 10 percent of the country say they are allergic. 

Reporting yesterday from the CDC shows it’s probably more like one percent of Americans are actually allergic and those who believe they are allergic may not actually be. 

The CDC is calling for de-labeling of the penicillin allergy. 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said the CDC is “asking people to go get retested. If you’ve been told you’re allergic because of reactions you had as a baby or as a small child, it’s likely you’ve grown out of that as an adult and there may be a push now to get retested to prove that you’re not allergic if, of course, that’s true. It would change medical treatment for a lot of people that have not been able to take penicillin or a similar antibiotic for illnesses as they’ve been adults.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “This isn’t new, they’ve known this. The studies for this have come out for a few years now. It’s very critical that we get people who are not allergic to understand that they’re not allergic because that is a first line medication for so many issues. The way we’re getting to be resistant to certain bacteria and things like that, that this can fight, you want to use that first line of treatment before going off to other medications that might actually have more side effects. You don’t want to run out of your options for how to treat people and it would be silly just to accept a patient’s word that they’re allergic especially as the studies find way too many think they are that are not.”

Barkdoll said, “It’s a big difference, isn’t it? If the reporting is 10 percent think they’re allergic when in truth, it’s only 1 percent. You’re talking about tens of millions of people that have maybe been avoiding this very common drug the whole time they would have been perfectly fine to take it.”