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HomeHealthNew test reveals whether you really ARE allergic to penicillin

New test reveals whether you really ARE allergic to penicillin


A new test that shows whether someone is truly allergic to penicillin could pave the way for millions more people to benefit from the drug, considered one of the most effective antibiotics available.

Around three million Britons are listed in their medical records as having had a reaction to penicillin, making it unsafe to take to treat infections, ranging from an abscessed tooth to a strep throat or meningitis.

However, the charity Antibiotic Research UK says that 95 per cent are not actually allergic.

Instead, many were labeled as such after developing allergy-like symptoms, such as vomiting or a rash, when given the drug as infants.

In many cases, studies show, the true cause of these symptoms was not the medication but an overlooked viral infection.

Around three million Britons are listed in their medical records as having had a reaction to penicillin, making it unsafe to take to treat infections, ranging from an abscessed tooth to a strep throat or meningitis.

Even among those who develop a true penicillin allergy at a young age, about 80 percent outgrow it within ten years, as their immune systems become less sensitive to it.

dynamic duos

Nutrients that work best when consumed together. This week: calcium and vitamin D

Adults need about 700 mg of calcium a day to maintain bone strength, says dietitian Orli Rhodes. High levels are found in dairy, with smaller but useful amounts found in peanut butter, almonds, bread, and dark green leafy vegetables. But to maximize calcium’s bone-boosting potential, your body also needs vitamin D to ensure it’s efficiently absorbed in your gut, she explains.

1693871203 392 New test reveals whether you really ARE allergic to penicillin

While most of our vitamin D comes from the effect of sunlight on the skin, oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines, egg yolks, and mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light (for Sainsbury’s Vitamin-Enriched Super Mushrooms, 300g, £1.40, sainsburys.co.uk) are all good sources,” says Ms Rhodes. Foods fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals and margarines , “may also be useful.”

Try: cooked mushrooms on toast or kale and mackerel.

The new test is important because patients who currently cannot take penicillin for infections are treated with a different class of drug: broad-spectrum antibiotics, including doxycycline and minocycline.

But they are generally less effective: Research shows that patients who are prescribed them are more likely to end up in intensive care than those who take penicillin.

And because these broad-spectrum antibiotics target a broader range of organisms, they increase the risk of antibiotic resistance and are linked to higher rates of life-threatening hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Existing methods of determining whether someone has a true penicillin allergy are lengthy and are only carried out in specialist allergy clinics in the UK, supervised by highly trained staff.

Blood samples are taken to look for proteins (called immunoglobulin E) that indicate allergy to penicillin, followed by tests to see if exposure to the drug through the skin causes the skin to become inflamed.

In the final challenge, the patient swallows a small dose and is monitored by doctors for any reaction for one to three hours afterwards.

But with only five full-time NHS allergy centres, it is not feasible to test millions of people suspected of penicillin allergies.

A new US study shows that eliminating blood and skin tests and going straight to oral testing not only saves time and resources, but is just as effective in identifying genuine allergies.

small adjustments

Maintain friendships as you get older: You can protect your brain. A new study of around 900 people over the age of 50 found that those who maintained a healthy social network retained their brain structure over the six-year study, eLife magazine reports. In contrast, brain scans revealed that those who were socially isolated had poorer cognitive performance and experienced shrinkage in an area of ​​the brain called the hippocampus, which plays a crucial role in memory, and this may increase their chances of developing Alzheimer’s. the researchers said.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, recruited 382 adults with a penicillin allergy, many of whom had experienced only a reaction to the drug decades earlier, in childhood.

They put half through the full range of tests and the rest went straight to taking a small dose before being monitored for any adverse reactions.

The results, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in July, showed that in both groups less than 1 percent of the volunteers reacted badly to penicillin, confirming that they had an allergy. The rest did not suffer adverse reactions.

It is claimed that oral penicillin tests could be introduced quickly and cheaply, administered by GPs or even pharmacists.

Penicillin was one of the first life-saving antibiotics. It has benefited hundreds of millions of infection-fighting patients, many of them children, since its discovery in 1928 by British scientist Dr. Alexander Fleming.

Dr Neil Powell, consultant pharmacist for antimicrobials at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, said some NHS hospitals are starting to use oral tests carried out by lay staff to detect false allergies to penicillin.

“These types of tests should be carried out more widely, because allergy services do not have the capacity to attend to such huge numbers: it can take months before patients are seen,” he adds.

Gasotherapy can cure foot ulcers in diabetics

Ozone gas is being used as a treatment to heal foot ulcers in diabetics.

Researchers at Indonesia’s Harapan Bangsa Universitas are treating patients for 30 minutes a day for 30 days as part of a trial.

Foot ulcers can be a problem for people with diabetes, as the condition can damage nerves (causing loss of sensation) and reduce blood flow, depriving ulcers of the nutrients needed to heal.

Patients with diabetes have a ten to twenty times higher risk of foot amputation.

It’s unclear how ozone, which was used in World War I to treat gangrene in wounded soldiers, works, but one theory is that it has antibacterial and antioxidant effects, speeding wound healing.

Going to the gym after work can impair sleep, suggests a study from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health. This showed that adults who exercise for more than 90 minutes a night sleep worse and feel less rested, reports the journal Cureus. The researchers suggested that it disrupts the body’s sleep cycle and recommended leaving as much time as possible between exercise and sleep.

Bee ‘glue’ boost for men with embarrassing disease

Bee ‘glue’ could be an unlikely new help for Peyronie’s disease, a buildup of scar tissue on the penis that causes it to bend, and is thought to affect up to 13 percent of men.

In an article in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, doctors at the Castelfidardo Clinical Analysis Center in Italy describe how three patients were treated with a cocktail of antioxidants that included propolis (a glue-like substance used by bees to bind the hive) and an anti-inflammatory gel. (two men also received injections of a drug that reduces scarring) were back to normal, or close to normal, at the end of treatment.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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