Abstract Background The basophil activation test (BAT), has been proposed as a possible assay for the diagnosis of immediate-type allergy to beta-lactams (BLs). The aim of this study was to assess the utility of BAT in the diagnosis of amoxicillin (AMX) or AMX-clavulanate (AMX-C) IgE-mediated hypersensitivity in children and adults. Material and methods Eighteen children and 21 adults, with clinical history of immediate reactions to AMX or AMX-C, were referred to Anna Meyer Children’s Hospital and San Giovanni di Dio Hospital, respectively. They underwent in vivo tests (skin prick test and intradermal test). Moreover, BAT with AMX or AMX-C was performed within 6 months from the reaction. Results In the pediatric group, the concordance between the skin tests (ST) and BAT results was 83.3%. Upon comparing the symptom grades and ST results to the BAT results, we found that the reaction severity and ST positivity did not correlate with BAT results in children. In the adult group, the concordance between the ST and BAT results was 61.9%. Upon comparing patients with severe reactions and patients with mild reactions in terms of BAT results, we found a BAT sensitivity of 38.5% and a specificity of 100%. When comparing the symptom grades to the BAT results, we found that no patients with mild symptoms had a positive BAT result, whereas 38.5% of patients with severe symptoms had a positive BAT result. Conclusions BAT does not seem to be a useful tool to increase the sensitivity of an allergy work-up to diagnose immediate hypersensitivity to AMX or AMX-C.