Q. I am developing hives after taking antibiotics for a throat infection. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Rajendran R Nayar
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sushrutha Muralidharan
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 30, 2021 and last reviewed on: Sep 25, 2021

Hi doctor,

I was taken into primary care last night and diagnosed with a septic throat and hives on my body. I was given a prescription for antibiotics and steroids. It has been 24 hours since I was checked, and my throat is better, but the hives on my body have spread and started to form hard lumps and blisters. I was wondering if this may be linked to the antibiotics I was given as they contain Penicillin (although I have no known allergy). It started with the sore throat three to four days ago but only broke out in hives yesterday. I was told at primary care that this was due to a chemical reaction and was advised to take antihistamines. Kindly give your opinion.



Welcome to

I understand that you are suffering from fever, sore throat, hives, and blisters. You are currently on antibiotics, steroids, and anti-histamines.

Persons with infection by the Epstein-Barr virus can result in rashes when they take Penicillin-containing medications. You can confirm the presence of this virus with blood tests for the same. I hope you have stopped the antibiotic-containing Penicillin.

Rest, plenty of oral fluids, analgesics, and anti-inflammatory medications are the mainstay of treatment as this is a self-limiting infection. Since your GP (general practitioner) has prescribed antibiotics, he may be suspecting a bacterial infection.

A throat swab for streptococcus infection and culture sensitivity of the throat swab will tell you about bacterial infection in the throat.

Take care. I hope this was helpful.

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