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Preparing for Your Allergy Test

Knowing how to prepare for your allergy test can ensure you get accurate results and can be prescribed the correct treatment plan. Allergy testing allows you to discover what is causing your allergic reactions and is a great way to figure out your allergy triggers. Test results help your doctor create an action plan to avoid and minimize your triggers and stay healthy. 

If you have an allergy test scheduled, you can do a few things to prepare for your allergy test and ensure you get the most accurate results. 

Medication Usage

You should avoid a wide variety of medications before your allergy test. Don’t take common allergy medications a week before your allergy test, including: 

  • Claritin
  • Clarinex
  • Zyrtec
  • Xyzal 
  • Allegra

You should also avoid over-the-counter antihistamines seven days before the test. This includes:

  • Sleep aids
  • Cold and sinus medications
  • Benadryl 

Remember that medications such as Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac should be avoided a day before testing, as they contain some antihistamine. 

If you are taking beta-blocker medications for the following conditions, you must talk with your prescribing physicians about discontinuing them for your allergy test. This includes conditions such as: 

  • High blood pressure
  • Migraines
  • Heart problems
  • Performance anxiety
  • Glaucoma eye drops

A week before testing, you should also avoid any nasal antihistamine sprays, such as Azelastine or Olopatadine. 

Rest assured that we will discuss your medication with you and go over what you can and can’t take before your test.


There are no restrictions on eating before your test other than avoiding foods that trigger your allergic reaction. 

It is a good idea to eat something before your test. That way, you are not dealing with a distracting empty stomach during your test.

Avoid the Sun

Your allergy testing may involve skin tests, so you will want to ensure you don’t head into your appointment with a sunburn. A sunburn can make an allergy skin test uncomfortable and make it difficult to read the results.

Come in With Clear Skin

Come into your test with clear skin. Don’t put on any lotions or serums that day. You also shouldn’t wear any perfume.

Avoiding lotions, perfumes, and skin treatments will help ensure you get the most accurate results.

Reduce Exercise

Don’t engage in strenuous exercise right before your test. Vigorous physical activity could increase the chance of having an allergic reaction during the test. For best results, avoid exercise 3 hours before your test. 

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Your testing will involve needle pricks, skin rubs, and other contact with your skin. Generally, these tests are performed on your upper arm. Wear loose clothing that makes it easy to expose your arms for testing. You may also undergo breathing tests and have your vitals checked during the testing process. 

Avoid wearing clothing that is tight or restrictive. Go comfortable with your clothing choice. 

Bring Something to Do

Finally, bring something to keep you distracted during your testing. Bring a book, a tablet, or your phone to distract you. It is common to feel uncomfortable and itchy, and having something to do can keep your mind off the testing.

Allergy Testing in Portland, Oregon

At West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates, Dr. Anderson-Cowell has more than 23 years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with different types of allergies. 

Her training and expertise make Dr. Anderson-Cowell a distinguished and sought-after zebra doctor who is an expert in diagnosing rare or unusual allergies.

If you’re looking for expert diagnostic experience and effective treatment history, Dr. Anderson-Cowell can help. For a consultation, please call (503) 297-4779 or request an appointment online.

9701 SW Barnes Road
Suite 130
Portland, Oregon 97225


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