What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is an acute and very severe allergic reaction. Minute amounts of allergens may cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you are allergic to. Anaphylaxis may occur after ingestion, skin contact, injection of an allergen or, in some cases, inhalation. Anaphylactic shock, the most severe type of anaphylaxis, occurs when an allergic response triggers a flood of chemicals released by your immune system which can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly and your airways to narrow, blocking normal breathing. Anaphylactic shock can lead to death in a matter of minutes if left untreated.
Anaphylaxis isn’t all that common, though many people are at risk of having an anaphylactic reaction. If you have a history of allergies or asthma, you may be at increased risk – especially if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction or an anaphylactic reaction before. Most of these people successfully avoid their allergens and will never experience anaphylaxis. Of those people who actually experience anaphylaxis, up to 1% may die as a result. Future reactions may be more severe than the first reaction.
Medications used to treat anaphylaxis include:
How to use the EpiPen® Auto-Injector
Signs & Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
Causes of Anaphylaxis
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