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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock, is the most severe form of allergic reaction. Immediate and life-threatening symptoms, including breathing difficulties, can be the result of exposure to an allergen (trigger). Without prompt medical attention, anaphylaxis …
What causes anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis occurs when your immune system overreacts to a trigger that would be harmless for most people. Common triggers include: certain foods (e.g., nuts, shellfish), insect venom (e.g., bees or wasps) and some medications (e.g., penicillin or aspirin). Less …
Who gets anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis can affect anyone that has a severe allergy. Sometimes children will grow out of allergies or triggers.
How is anaphylaxis diagnosed?
Anaphylaxis can be diagnosed using a combination of different tests. These can include a doctor reviewing your medical history, examination of signs and symptoms during anaphylaxis, blood tests (e.g., for the presence of certain antibodies) and skin prick …
How is anaphylaxis treated?
If you or someone else is experiencing anaphylaxis, it is important to call an ambulance. Treatment involves an injection of adrenaline, usually given into the thigh muscle. If your doctor has identified that you are at risk of anaphylaxis, they will prescribe …
Can anaphylaxis be cured?
Anaphylaxis cannot be cured. Some children may grow out of one or more of their particular food allergies. Otherwise, avoiding known triggers is the only way to prevent anaphylaxis.
Will anaphylaxis clear on its own?
No, anaphylaxis is a very serious condition and will rarely clear on its own. It is best to call an ambulance as you will require an injection of adrenaline and sometimes other treatment.
What can be done at home to treat anaphylaxis?
If your doctor has identified that you are at risk of anaphylaxis, they will prescribe you injectable adrenaline, or adrenaline shots, for you to carry with you at all times so that you can be treated immediately if you have an anaphylactic …
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 931 (Click smiley face below to rate)