Antibiotic Challenge Clinic

Only about one in 10 people who believe they're allergic to penicillin truly are.

Labeling a child “allergic” when they aren’t creates a burden both for:

  • Parents, in terms of not getting a first-line drug for their child.
  • Our health care system, in terms of using more expensive antibiotics.

In fact, studies show that adults with penicillin allergy are more likely to get hospital-acquired infections.

Children’s Hospital’s Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology offers an Antibiotic Challenge Clinic focused on testing for drug allergies.

We offer testing at the clinic weekly at the main Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville. Appointments may take several hours.

Drug Allergy Testing: What to Expect

During your child's visit for drug allergy testing, we will:

  • Take the child’s history.
  • Do a skin pricking test if we think it's possible the reaction wasn't a true IgE mediated allergy.
  • Often do a more sensitive test — called an intradermal test — where we inject a tiny amount of the drug into the skin.

If both the skin and intradermal test results are negative, we will do an oral challenge.

In the oral challenge, the child takes the antibiotic by mouth and we watch for symptoms. If your child doesn't have a reaction in one hour, we can remove the drug from the child’s allergy list.

Contact the Antibiotic Challenge Clinic

For questions or to make an appointment at the Antibiotic Challenge Clinic, call 412-692-7885.


  • Antibiotic Challenge Clinic

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 3
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224