Description of Service
The PCN’s allergy clinic provides skin testing for various allergens. The clinic is staffed by a physician who has received special training in allergies and is assisted by a nurse and administrative team. The clinic can test for 47 common food allergens and 47 common environmental allergens. Read the following information carefully in preparation for your skin testing appointment.
Who is Eligible
Allergy Clinic services require a physician referral. Physician members of the Grande Prairie PCN and Saddle Hills PCN can make referrals for individuals 6 years and older. Speak to your PCN member physician if you are interested in allergy testing.
There will be a $50.00 fee for allergy testing. This is to offset the cost of supplies and serum used.
If for any reason you need to cancel or re-arrange your appointment please ensure you give us a call (780-539-9204 between 0830 at 1630 Monday to Friday) providing us with as much notice as possible. Unfortunately, if you do not attend your appointment without prior contact with us a $100.00 fee will be charged to rebook your next appointment.
If you are pregnant, we will be unable to see you for skin testing due to the theoretical risk for an allergic reaction.
We request that you do not bring small children with you when you are scheduled for a skin test unless accompanied by another adult who will wait in reception with the child.
Allergy Clinic Patient Information
DO NOT USE
- Prescription or over the counter oral antihistamines should not be used 4 to 5 days prior to your scheduled appointment for skin testing. These include cold tablets, sinus tablets, hay fever medication, or oral treatment for itchy skin, over the counter allergy medications such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Actifed, Dimetapp, Benadryl, and many others. Prescription antihistamines such as Clarinex and Xyzal should also be stopped at least 5 days prior to testing. If you have any questions whether or not you are using an antihistamine, please talk to the nurse or doctor. In some instances, a longer period of time off these medications may be required.
- You should discontinue your nasal spray and eye antihistamine medications, such as Patanase, Pataday, Astepro, Optivar, Astelin or Singulair at least 7 days before your testing. In some instances, a longer period off these medications may be required. If you have any questions please ask the nurse or the doctor.
- Medications such as over the counter sleeping medications (e.g. Tylenol PM) and other prescribed drugs, such as amitriptyline hydrochloride chloride (Elavil, Hydroxyzine (Atarax), doxepin (Sinequan), and imipramine (Tofranil) have antihistaminic activity and should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to receiving a skin test after consultation with your physician. Please make sure the doctor and the nurse are aware of the fact that you are taking these medications so that you may be advised as how long prior to testing you should stop taking them.
- Some medications used to treat acid reflux or heartburn can interfere with allergy testing. These include medicines such as Zantac, Pepcid or Ranitidine. Stop taking these medications at least 2 days prior to allergy testing.
- If you are taking any oral steroid medication, such as Prednisone or Dexamethazone, you will need to be weaned off the medication for at least 7-10 days before your test. Please consult your family physician on how to do this.
YOU MAY CONTINUE TO USE
- Intranasal allergy sprays such as Flonase Rhinocort, Nasonex, Nasacort, Omari’s, Vermis and Nasal.
- Asthma inhalers (inhaled steroids and bronchodilators), Leukotriene antagonists (e.g. Accolate) and oral Theophylline (Theo-Fur, T-Phyl, Uniphyl, Theo-24, etc.) do not interfere with skin testing and should be used as prescribed.
Most drugs will be administered at this medical facility with a physician and or other health care provider present since occasional reactions may require immediate treatment. These reactions may consist of any or all of the following symptoms: itchy eyes, nose or throat; nasal congestion, runny nose, tightness in the throat or chest; increased wheezing; light-headedness; faintness; nausea and vomiting; hives; generalized itching and shock, the latter under extreme circumstances. Please ensure you let the physician and nurse know if you are pregnant or taking beta-blockers. Allergy skin testing may be postponed in the unlikely event of a reaction to the allergy testing. Please note that these reactions rarely occur but in the event of a reaction, the staff are fully trained and emergency equipment is available.
After skin testing, we will consult with your physicians who will make further recommendations regarding your treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my appointment last?
Allergy clinic appointments typically last about one hour.
If you have any question regarding your appointment or if you need to cancel or re-arrange your appointment please call the Grande Prairie Primary Care Network (780-539-9204) between 0830 at 1630 Monday to Friday.