A drug challenge test helps us to confirm if you have a drug allergy.

Before we do a drug challenge test, we will perform other tests first. Usually, we will do skin prick tests, where we place a drop of the drug (a diluted liquid version) onto your forearm. We then prick this through and see if there is a reaction. If it is negative, then we will do slightly deeper skin tests (intradermal tests). If these are also negative, then we would do a drug challenge test.

The test

Any drug challenge test is done under strict medical supervision. Our team is highly trained and experienced in early recognition and treatment of allergic reactions.

For the test, we will give you increased doses of the drug for a couple of hours and keep a close check for symptoms.

Sometimes severe allergic reactions can occur so it is important to know how to avoid contact with latex if you have this allergy.

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening or fatal.

People with hay fever (rhinitis) have inflamed lining in their nose, which causes it to be blocked, running and itchy, as well as causing sneezing.

Urticaria is a condition which involves the development of itchy wheals (hives) on the skin.

Around 5–10% of people who have a problem with a drug are suffering from a drug allergy, possibly one prescribed by their GP or as part of an investigation in hospital. 

Between 1-10% of adults and children in the UK have a food allergy.

The Trust offers a wide range of allergy services for adults of all ages. This includes specialist services for patients with difficult to manage allergies.

Allergy team contact details


Fulham wing/South block, Fulham Road

Tel:  +44 (0)20 7351 8892
Fax: +44 (0)20 7351 8949