Allergy Skin Testing Info

Important Information For Your Allergy Skin Testing Appointment: 

It is important to stop using antihistamines for five (5) days prior to your skin testing appointment. Antihistamines, acid blockers like Zantac and Pepcid, mood stabilizers like Seroquel and some herbal supplements will block the skin test reactions.

Please refer to the detailed list of antihistamines and other medications below.  

Please arrive on time for your skin testing appointment. Patients who arrive late may need to be rescheduled due to time constraints. While most skin testing visits take approximately one hour, we request patients allocate 2-3 hours for the first visit to ensure they have enough time to discuss the results with the doctor and obtain any follow up testing needed. 

Wear comfortable clothing to your visit. You may be asked to roll up your sleeves or remove your top (a gown will be provided). 

Please avoid the use of any skin care products or colognes/perfumes. While we will prep the areas of skin on which we will test, this will reduce the chances of extended prep times and delays. 

After skin prick testing, some patients may also receive intradermal testing. With intradermal testing, a small amount of allergen is injected under the skin and then monitored for a reaction. This test typically takes an hour to complete. 

Some patients may experience swelling and/or redness at the skin testing sites several hours after testing. This is referred to as “delayed reactions” and is of no clinical significance. The itching associated with these reactions may persist for several days and can be managed with antihistamines (topical or oral) and steroid creams. 

Frequently Asked Question: 

Does skin prick testing hurt? 

Most patients do NOT find skin prick testing painful. Since testing utilizes sterile plastic to make tiny scratches on your skin, the procedure can be minimally uncomfortable. Some patients have described skin prick testing as a “cat walking over my back.” Bring a toy or laptop computer to keep your child distracted.

Patient Guide: List of Antihistamines

All patients scheduled for allergy skin testing must stop taking any medications that contain antihistamines as these medications may affect your test results. This includes both over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications. Please consult with your prescribing physician if you have any concerns and contact us if you are not certain about which medication to stop.

The following medications MUST BE STOPPED FIVE (5) DAYS before skin testing:

  • Actifed
  • Advil Allergy
  • Advil PM
  • Alavert
  • Allegra
  • Atarax
  • Benadryl
  • Bonine
  • Brompheniramine   
  • Cetirizine
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Clarinex
  • Claritin
  • Cold Tylenol PM
  • Dimetapp
  • Diphenhydramine  
  • Dramamine
  • Drixoral
  • Fexofenadine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Loratadine
  • Levocetirizine
  • Meclizine
  • Nyquil
  • Robitussin
  • Tylenol Allergy
  • Xyzal
  • Zyrtec

This list includes the most common antihistamine containing medications. In general, most over-the-counter medications with the word “Allergy” or those for colds, coughs, or flu symptoms may contain antihistamines. Over-the-counter sleep medications may also contain antihistamines.

Antacids: (STOP 4 DAYS PRIOR)

Axid (Nizatidine), Pepcid (Famotidine), Tagamet (Cimetidine), Zantac (Ranitidine).

Nasal Antihistamine/Nasal Sprays (STOP 4 DAYS PRIOR)

Azelastine Astelin, Astepro,  Dymista, Olopatadine, Patanase.

Herbal Supplements: (STOP 3 DAYS PRIOR)

Feverfew, Green Tea, Licorice, Nettle, Quercetin, St. John’s Wort, Saw Palmetto

Mood Stabilizers: (STOP 5 DAYS PRIOR)

We understand that sometimes stopping these medicines may not be possible due to the need to remain on treatment regularly or due to the possibility of withdrawal symptoms.

ATTENTION: Please discuss with your mental health or primary care provider first before stopping any of the following: 

  • Abilify
  • Adderall
  • Ambien
  • Amitryptyline
  • Aripiprazole
  • Ativan
  • Bupropion
  • Buspar
  • Celexa
  • Citalopram
  • Clonidine
  • Concerta
  • Cymbalta
  • Depakote
  • Duluoxetine
  • Effexor
  • Elavil
  • Escitalopram
  • Guanfacine
  • Intuniv
  • Klonopin
  • Lamictal
  • Lexapro
  • Lunesta
  • Methylphenidate
  • Mirtazapine
  • Paxil
  • Paroxetine
  • Prozac
  • Olanzapine
  • Oleptro
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Quetiapine
  • Remeron
  • Risperdal
  • Risperidone
  • Seroquel
  • Sertraline
  • Sonata
  • Trazodone
  • Trileptal
  • Valium
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vyvanse
  • Wellbutrin
  • Zoloft
  • Zyprexa