Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that needs emergency medical treatment. It can happen in seconds or even hours after contact with something you’re allergic to, like certain foods, insect venom, latex, or medication. In rare cases, exercise and physical activity also can trigger it.
Call 911 immediately if you think someone's having symptoms of anaphylaxis. These may include:
It’s spring-time again and all across the country, people with allergies are sniffling, sneezing, and generally suffering from a surfeit of spring allergies. This year, Michael W. Smith, MD, chief medical editor at WebMD, sat down with nationally acclaimed allergist Jordan S. Josephson, MD, to get the latest news on causes, treatments, and home remedies for allergic reactions. Josephson, author of the recently published Sinus Relief Now: The Groundbreaking 5-Step Program for Sinus, Allergy, and Asthma...
If the person has an epinephrine injector, don’t wait to use it, even if you aren’t sure the symptoms are allergy-related. It won’t hurt him and may save his life. The drug will stop symptoms for a few minutes, but it isn’t a cure. Call 911, even if he seems to be OK after getting the epinephrine. He may need more medical treatment.
How to Use Epinephrine
This strong, fast-acting medication is given with an easy-to-use auto-injector. It's available by prescription only.
Inject the drug at the first sign of a reaction, and call 911 right away. Don’t move the person unless he’s in an unsafe place.
Have him sit down, lie down, or stay in the most comfortable position for breathing.
Be aware that epinephrine can make you feel jumpy, boost your heart rate and make you feel a little sick. It won’t last long if it happens.
If an insect stinger is involved, remove it with a gentle brushing motion. Don’t pinch the stinger. That could release more venom.