Anaphylaxis

(Anaphylactic Reaction; Severe Allergic Reaction)

Definition

Anaphylaxis is a severe, sometimes life-threatening, allergic reaction. It affects multiple organs, including the heart and lungs.It is important to seek emergency medical care right away if you have symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Causes

Substances that cause anaphylaxis are often called allergens or triggers. Common triggers include:
  • Foods and food additives, especially eggs, peanuts, seafood, cow's milk, soy, fish, shellfish, seeds, and tree nuts
  • Insect stings or bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants
  • Medications such as antibiotics, seizure medications, and muscle relaxants
  • Exercise
  • Vaccines
  • Latex products such as gloves, medical tubing, and condoms
  • Blood transfusions
  • Some pain medications, especially narcotics
Allergic Reaction to Medication (Hives)
Hives Medication
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Some triggers, like dyes used in x-ray procedures, can cause a reaction similar to anaphylaxis.

Risk Factors

Anyone can have anaphylaxis. Factors that may increase your risk of anaphylaxis include:
  • Previous allergic reaction to an allergen, even if it is a mild reaction
  • History of eczema , hay fever , or asthma
  • Children who have certain conditions, such as spina bifida and urogenital defects may be at increased risk for latex allergy due to heavy exposure to latex during multiple surgeries

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