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Anaphylaxis
(Severe Allergic Reaction)

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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/22/2013

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Anaphylaxis - Diagnosis Question: Discuss the events that led to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Did you end up in the ER?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/anaphylaxis/article.htm

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