Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction. It can begin very quickly, and symptoms may be life-threatening. The most common causes are reactions to foods (especially peanuts), medications, and stinging insects. Other causes include exercise and exposure to latex. Sometimes no cause can be found.
It can affect many organs:
- Skin - itching, hives, redness, swelling
- Nose - sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose
- Mouth - itching, swelling of the lips or tongue
- Throat - itching, tightness, trouble swallowing, swelling of the back of the throat
- Chest - shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest pain or tightness
- Heart - weak pulse, passing out, shock
- Gastrointestinal tract - vomiting, diarrhea, cramps
- Nervous system - dizziness or fainting
If someone is having a serious allergic reaction, call 911. If an auto-injector is available, give the person the injection right away.
NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Anaphylaxis (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Anaphylaxis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Anaphylaxis (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- Anaphylaxis (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in Spanish
- Anaphylaxis-Like Reactions (National Jewish Health)
- Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Anaphylaxis (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Common causes of emergency department visits for anaphylaxis in Korean...
- Article: Manifestation of intraoperative anaphylactic shock along with latex allergy:a pediatric...
- Article: Raf kinase inhibitor protein negatively regulates FcεRI-mediated mast cell activation...
- Anaphylaxis -- see more articles