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.
- 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)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Anaphylaxis (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Medical malpractice related to drug-induced anaphylaxis: An analysis of lawsuit judgments...
- Article: Polymyxin B and polymyxin E induce anaphylactoid response through mediation of...
- Article: Anaphylaxis in pediatric patients:early recognition and treatment are critical for best...
- Anaphylaxis -- see more articles