Kimberly Brown, MD, MPH is an emergency medicine physician, speaker, and best-selling author.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. The most common allergens that can trigger anaphylaxis are foods, insect bites, medications, and latex.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis come on suddenly and can include hives, vomiting, swelling of the tongue, face, or throat, difficulty breathing, and a rapid or slowed heartbeat. If the reaction progresses to anaphylactic shock, it can be fatal.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and is treated with epinephrine (adrenaline). After one anaphylactic episode, it is important to carry an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) with you at all times in case you come into contact with the specific allergen again.
Anaphylaxis is a severe, sudden allergic reaction to an allergen such as a food, insect bite, medication, or latex. Symptoms include wheezing, vomiting, and hives. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that can lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal.
Anaphylaxis symptoms generally start within minutes after exposure to the allergen, usually peaking within five to 30 minutes. In some cases, symptoms don’t occur for a few hours; rarely, they last for several days.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. An injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) is frequently used for treatment, and can be self-administered with an auto-injector, such as an EpiPen. Other medications, such as antihistamines (Benadryl) and steroids (prednisone), may also be used. A single injection from an autoinjector may not be enough to stop severe symptoms, in which case a repeat dose is required.
If you don’t know what triggered the reaction, an allergist can perform tests to help identify the allergen. Going forward, the most important thing to do is to avoid contact with the allergen and always carry an EpiPen in case of a reaction.
Anaphylaxis results when the immune system essentially “overreacts” to an allergen, causing an inflammatory response throughout the body. The most common triggers are foods, insect stings, medications, or latex.
An abnormal response of the immune system to certain substances, called allergens. The most common types of allergies are caused by pollen, dust mites, foods, and cats. Allergies range in severity, sometimes causing only mild symptoms, and sometimes resulting in a potentially fatal reaction called anaphylaxis.
A reaction to an allergen that can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, rash, or swelling. In some cases, allergies can lead to severe and life-threatening symptoms, known as an anaphylactic reaction.
A severe, sudden allergic reaction to an allergen such as food, insect bite, medication, or latex. Symptoms include facial or throat swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, and hives. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that can be fatal if not treated immediately.
The pressure of circulating blood on the walls of arteries. A blood pressure reading consists of systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number). Normal blood pressure for adults is 120/80 mm Hg.
A powerful stress hormone and neurotransmitter that is produced by the adrenal glands; it is also called adrenaline. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis and can be self-administered with an auto-injection device called an EpiPen.
A rash characterized by the formation of raised, red, itchy patches on the skin, known as hives. Urticaria has numerous causes, including allergies, stress, infection, autoimmune disease, and food poisoning. In some cases, there is no obvious cause.
World Allergy Organization. Anaphylaxis: Synopsis.
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