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Angioedema

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is angioedema?

Angioedema is sudden swelling caused by fluid that collects in deep layers of the skin. Swelling occurs most often on the face, lips, tongue, or throat, but it can happen anywhere in the body.

What increases my risk for angioedema?

The exact cause of angioedema is often unknown. The following may increase your risk or trigger symptoms:

What are the signs and symptoms of angioedema?

Skin swelling may be the only symptom. Swelling may be on one or both sides of the affected area. You may also have any of the following:

How is the cause of angioedema diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Your provider may also ask about your family medical history, medicines you take, and foods you eat. Tell your provider about any recent trauma, stress, or contact with allergens. You may need additional testing if you developed anaphylaxis after you were exposed to a trigger and then exercised. This is called exercise-induced anaphylaxis. You may need any of the following:

How is angioedema treated?

Angioedema usually goes away within 3 days without treatment, but it may come back. You may need any of the following:

Treatment options

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

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

What safety precautions do I need to take if I am at risk for anaphylaxis?

Call 911 for signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis,

such as trouble breathing, swelling in your mouth or throat, or wheezing. You may also have itching, a rash, hives, or feel like you are going to faint.

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

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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Further information

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