Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size

    Understanding Anaphylaxis -- Prevention

    How Can I Prevent Anaphylaxis?

    If you’re allergic to insect stings or any of the foods that are common causes of anaphylaxis, or if you’ve ever had an anaphylactic reaction:

    • Ask your doctor how to avoid your allergens and what to do if you have an allergic reaction, especially a severe reaction.
    • Tell your health care providers, including your dentist, about your allergies before you take any new medication, especially injections.
    • Stay in your doctor's office the full amount of time he recommends after you get any injection. If you don’t feel right, tell a nurse or doctor ASAP.
    • Wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant that lets others know about your allergies.
    • If you're allergic to insect stings, wear protective clothing when you go outside. Avoid shiny fabrics or jewelry, which can attract insects. Put a lid over sugary drinks.
    • If you're allergic to any food, don’t be afraid to be a little pushy. If you need getting detailed information about ingredients from manufacturers, restaurant staff, or dinner hosts, ask until you get it.
    • Keep two epinephrine injection kits with you at all times. Make sure they’re easy to get to. Teach your family, friends, and colleagues how to give you a shot if you have a reaction.
    • If your child is allergic, show her teachers, friends' parents, and any other caregivers how to use the kit in an emergency. Make sure the kit is always with her and she can get to it when she needs it.
    • Know the symptoms of a severe reaction. Reach for the epinephrine if you think you’re beginning to have one. Don’t wait to use your auto-injector. It won’t hurt you to take the shot just to be safe.
    • Check the date on your kit. Epinephrine typically has a 1-year shelf life.
    • Ask an allergy doctor about a treatment called desensitization. He’ll give you little bits of the allergen until your reaction to them eases up. It can work for insect stings and drugs like penicillin.

    Call your doctor or 911 immediately if you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis. This is an emergency.

    Understanding Anaphylaxis

    Find out more about anaphylaxis:



    Diagnosis and Treatment


    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 21, 2015

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?

    blowing nose
    woman with sore throat
    lone star tick
    Woman blowing nose

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Allergy prick test
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching