Drug allergy testing information for providers

Testing increases diagnostic confidence

Understand the underlying triggers of your patients’ symptoms and rule in—or rule out—a drug allergy as the cause. Adverse drug reactions can have varying clinical presentations, including gastrointestinal symptoms and multi-organ reactions, but typically present as generalized exanthema (maculopapular rash).1

Given that an allergy to medication can affect a patient’s quality of life, potentially lead to delayed treatment, the use of suboptimal alternate medications or even death,2 it’s important to accurately diagnosis a drug allergy.

Along with a physical exam, detailed patient history and their use of previous medications, specific IgE blood testing can help evaluate an IgE-mediated allergen sensitization, which may help correctly diagnose a drug allergy.3,4

Labcorp can help meet your allergy needs

Contact a Labcorp representative to learn more about how we can help meet your allergy testing needs

Did you know?


Adverse drug reactions are common, affecting between 15-25% of patients.2


Penicillin is the most frequent drug allergy, affecting approximately 10 percent of patients.2

Drug allergy testing information for patients

Understand the source of your symptoms

An over-the-counter medication or prescription drug may trigger an allergy—and you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Rash
  • Itchy skin or eyes
  • Congestion
  • Raised bumps (hives)

However, if you experience swelling of the mouth and/or throat, difficulty breathing or any other serious allergic reactions, you should seek immediate, emergency treatment. A drug allergy can develop after taking a medication or drug only once. These drugs can include:

  • Penicillin or other antibiotics
  • Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) drugs
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)5

Get answers from your healthcare provider

An allergy to a drug or over-the-counter medication may be difficult to diagnose and relies on gathering a detailed history of all the drugs or medicines you’ve taken in the past.

The first step to understanding your allergy starts with scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider and asking if blood-based allergen-specific IgE testing can help provide answers. A drug allergy blood test is:

  • A convenient blood test
  • Appropriate for anyone (age 3 months and older)
  • Not affected by prescription or over-the-counter medications

Along with a medical exam and detailed medical history, the results of a drug allergy blood test could help your healthcare provider or specialist:

  • Identify the drug or medicine triggering your allergy symptoms
  • Determine which suspected drugs to avoid, including over-the-counter medications
  • Refer to a specialist for additional testing, if needed

Your primary care provider can help create a personalized allergy action plan that helps you avoid drug-induced allergic reactions.

Get tested and get answers about your potential drug allergy


  1. Demoly P, Adkinson NF, Brockow K, et al. International consensus on drug allergy. Allergy.  2014;69(4):420–37.
  2. Warrington R, Silviu-Dan F. Drug allergy.  Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2011 Nov 10;7(Suppl 1):S10.
  3. Duran-Tauleria E, Vignati G, Guedan MJ, et al. The utility of specific immunoglobulin E measurements in primary care.  Allergy. 2004;59 (Suppl 78):35-41. 
  4. Niggemann B, Nilsson M, Friedrichs F. Paediatric allergy diagnosis in primary care is improved by invitro allergen specific IgE testing.  Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008;19:325-331.  
  5. Drug Allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/drug-allergies/ Accessed 29 Sept. 2022