Understanding Allergies -- the Basics
What Triggers Anaphylactic Shock?
The most severe and dangerous allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, which typically begins within minutes after exposure and advances quickly. Although any allergen can trigger anaphylactic shock, the most common are insect stings, certain foods (such as shellfish and nuts), and injections of certain drugs. Standard emergency treatment includes an injection of epinephrine to open up the airways and prevent blood and fluid from leaking from the blood vessels; in severe cases, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be needed.