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    Understanding Allergies -- the Basics

    What Triggers Anaphylactic Shock?

    Any allergen can trigger it, but the most common are insect stings, certain foods (like shellfish and nuts), and some drugs. It begins within minutes after exposure and can get bad fast. An injection of epinephrine can slow your symptoms. Because anaphylaxis can stop your breathing or your heart, you may need CPR.

    If you have severe allergies, you should keep two auto-injectors of epinephrine with you at all times. If you feel any sign of anaphylaxis, don’t wait to use your epinephrine auto-injector, even if you’re not sure the symptoms are allergy related. It won’t hurt you to take the shot just to be safe.

    After you take the shot, call 911 immediately.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on May 16, 2016
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