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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Penicillin alternative

 Helen Dadswell - Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:04 pm

I had anaphalactic shock a year ago after taking the first tablet of Amoxicillin even though I had previously taken it. The hospital said I could never take penicillin again or I would be in trouble! Next time I needed anti-biotics my doctor said the only one that would be safe would be Erythromycin. I was so ill on this he told me to stop taking it two daysinto the course. I am now in need of another course of antbiotics for a tooth abcess and the doctor said I would be ok on Cefalexin as it had no penicillin in it, BUT I have done a search on this and there is always a warning that if you have had a reaction to amoxicillin then you should avoid the cephalosporins. I am now terrified of taking the first tablet - should I go back to the doctor and ask for something else? Is there anybody else in the same boat who could tell me what alternative to penicillin they have taken without a reaction. I don't want to die!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Dec 16, 2004 5:44 pm

User avatar Hi Helen Dadswell,
I can understand your concern since you had such a terrible reaction to the Amoxicillin.
You are correct in what you researched with the warning to avoid cephalosporins if you have an allergy to penicillin. For example, I have a penicillin allergy and I can take erythromycin, tetracycline, zithromax, etc. but just because I can take them (safely so far) the next person, since everyones body is different, may not be able to take one of those. I hope that makes sense. I would suggest you contact your physician and request a different medication since there are available medications that are not in the penicillin drug class.
 Helen Dadswell - Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:14 am

Many thax for your prompt reply. I knew I was right and will definitely NOT be taking them now! Luckily my detist has sorted me out with a root canal filling so I don't need them, but I will take my findings to the doc when I next see him for a course and hopefully he will give me something else. If the worst comes to the worst I will go back on Erythromycin although it makes me very ill, at least it doesn't kill me off!
 Theresa Jones, RN - Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:27 am

User avatar Hi Helen Dadswell,
Just a little informaton for you. If it's the erythromycin tablets that make you ill, (cramps, nausea, diarrhea etc.) request the capsules instead. They are digested a little differently and although still may cause some cramping and diarrhea it's usually toward the latter part of the course of treatment.

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