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Anaphylaxis (cont.)

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What are anaphylaxis symptoms and signs?

Anaphylaxis often affects two or more body systems, or it may present with just low blood pressure (hypotension), which usually occurs with a severe reaction. Although the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction usually occur within seconds to minutes after exposure to a trigger, some reactions can occur up to two hours after the exposure. Possible symptoms and signs of an anaphylactic reaction include:

Skin symptoms: itching, flushing, hives, and swelling (angioedema)

Gastrointestinal symptoms: abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

Respiratory symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing

Cardiovascular symptoms: dizziness, lightheadedness, fast heart rate (tachycardia), and low blood pressure

Additionally, those affected often report a "feeling of impending doom."

There is no testing to predict the severity of an anaphylactic reaction, though a previous severe reaction raises the risk of a subsequent severe reaction. Uncontrolled asthma is a consistent risk factor for severe anaphylaxis and fatal anaphylaxis. A history of environmental allergies, eczema (atopic dermatitis), or asthma may also raise the risk of anaphylaxis.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2016


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