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Anaphylaxis

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Anaphylaxis facts

Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. Anaphylaxis is rare. The vast majority of people will never have an anaphylactic reaction. The most common causes of anaphylaxis include drugs, such as penicillin, insect stings, foods (peanuts), X-ray dye, latex. The symptoms of anaphylaxis may vary and can include hives, tongue swelling, vomiting, and even shock. If you are at risk, avoidance is the best form of treatment. If you have a history of serious allergic reaction, always have an epinephrine kit with you; it could save your life.

Introduction to anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis refers to a rapidly developing and serious allergic reaction that affects a number of different body systems at one time. Severe anaphylactic reactions can be fatal. Although many patients experience minor allergy symptoms, a small number of people are susceptible to a severe reaction that can lead to shock or even death.

Anaphylaxis is often triggered by substances that are injected or ingested and thereby gain access into the bloodstream. An explosive reaction involving the skin, lungs, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract can then result. Although severe cases of anaphylaxis can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure and be fatal if untreated, many reactions are milder and can be ended with prompt medical therapy.

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD on 10/22/2013

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Patient Comments Viewers share their comments

Anaphylaxis - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis - Possible Causes Question: Do you know what caused your case of anaphylaxis? Please share your experience.

Anaphylaxis - Diagnosis Question: Discuss the events that led to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Did you end up in the ER?

Anaphylaxis - Prevention Question: If you've experienced anaphylaxis, how do you prevent another occurrence? Do you have an EpiPen?

Medical Author:

Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Medical Editor:

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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