Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Understanding Anaphylaxis -- Prevention

    How Can I Prevent Anaphylaxis?

    If you are allergic to insect stings or any of the foods that are common causes of anaphylaxis or if you have 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 accepting any medication, especially injections.
    • Always remain in your doctor's office the full amount of time your doctor says after receiving any injection. Report any unusual reaction immediately.
    • Wear a Medic Alert bracelet or pendant that lets others know about your allergies.
    • If you're allergic to insect stings, wear protective clothing when outside. Avoid shiny clothing or jewelry, which can attract insects, and cover sugary drinks.
    • If you're allergic to any food, be assertive about seeking detailed information from food manufacturers, restaurant staff, and dinner hosts about ingredients.
    • Keep two epinephrine injection kits with you at all times and readily available. Be sure your family, friends, and colleagues know how to use the kit if you have a reaction. Do not hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector if you start showing any symptoms of anaphylaxis. Using the auto-injector as a precaution will not harm you.
    • If the person at risk is a child, make sure the child's teachers, friends' parents, and any other caregivers know how to use the child's kit in an emergency and that the kit is always with the child and readily available at all times.
    • Know the symptoms of a severe reaction, and reach for the epinephrine if you think you are beginning to show signs of a having one. Do not hesitate to use your epinephrine if you suspect an anaphylactic reaction. Waiting to take the shot is a key issue in patients who have poor outcomes.
    • Ensure that your epinephrine is up to date and has not expired. Epinephrine typically has a one year shelf life.
    • Ask an allergist if you can obtain desensitization therapy for the offending allergen. This therapy is available for insect stings and drugs such as penicillin when appropriate.

    Call your doctor or 911 (in the U.S.) immediately if you have any symptoms of anaphylaxis. This is an emergency. Call for emergency medical help.

    Understanding Anaphylaxis

    Find out more about anaphylaxis:

    Basics

    Symptoms

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    Prevention

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

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

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

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