When you decide to get allergy testing done, the skin prick test is often the most common option for those who are more comfortable doing it in a professional clinical setting. This is often covered, financially speaking, in Australia, so it is another important benefit to going with the classic skin prick test. However, before the test day itself, it’s important to take note (and follow) any and all information given to you when it comes to medication and allergy testing. These interactions should be communicated and expanded on by your professional, but here are the general things to keep in mind.
Medication and allergy testing
While this isn’t a complete list, the main interactions for a skin prick allergy test and medications are as follows.
- Antihistamines: Since antihistamines are designed to alleviate problems with itching and swelling, these should not be taken before a skin prick test (since this is the point of the test itself). There are different strengths and types of antihistamines to consider, but generally, the stopping point for them can range from 48 hours to 10 days at the most.
- Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers are often also restricted when an allergy test is being conducted. These don’t interfere with the test itself, but they can slow the body’s reaction to epinephrine in the case of a severe anaphylactic reaction during the test itself.
- Psychiatric medications: There quite a few psychiatric medications that can also interfere with a skin prick test. Since these are not medications that can be stopped suddenly, the use of these often means that a patient may need to consider another kind of test that won’t require them to go off of these medications.
- Topical medications: Topical medications (specific to the area of the test itself) should also be restricted before a skin test. Since these medications are often for acne or scarring, most tests work around that by testing in another location if needed. A skin prick is normally not done on broken skin since it can interact and interfere with the grid of the needles themselves.
Not sure? Check!
There’s no question that it can be difficult at times to figure out whether a medication is going to be a problem when it comes to clear results. Since you don’t want to have to do the test over again (which may not be covered, financially), it’s always best to double-check with a professional when you book your appointment.
Medication and allergy testing do interact with each other. While it may be good to know that you are taking something to help with any negative side effects or symptoms, this is not so helpful when it comes to the actual testing process and the results that may or may not display. The medication instructions that your professional gives you should not be ignored or changed without their permission. It may mean a few days of discomfort, but it is often worth it when it comes to the allergy test results.