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Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that must be treated immediately. Your risk for anaphylaxis increases if you have asthma or allergies. Medical conditions such as heart disease can also increase your risk. It is important to be prepared if you are at risk for anaphylaxis. Your symptoms can be worse each time you are exposed to a trigger.

What may trigger anaphylaxis?

The following are some of the most common triggers:

What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis?

You may have any of the following within seconds to hours after exposure to a trigger:

How is anaphylaxis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you for signs of anaphylaxis. Your provider will ask if you have a history of allergies. Your provider will also ask about exposure to possible triggers and when they occurred. Tell your provider if you take medicines or have any health conditions. You may need more testing if you developed anaphylaxis after you were exposed to a trigger and then exercised. This is called exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

How is anaphylaxis treated?

Your healthcare provider will remove the allergen from you, if possible. You may also need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What steps do I need to take for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis?

What safety precautions do I need to take?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Anaphylaxis

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.