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What causes anaphylaxis?

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Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly. It happens when you have an antibody, something that usually fights infection, that overreacts to something harmless like food. It might not happen the first time you come in contact with the trigger, but it can happen over time.

In children, the most common cause is food. For adults, the main cause is medication.

From: Allergies and Anaphylaxis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Anaphylaxis."

American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Anaphylaxis: A Severe Allergic Reaction."

Cleveland Clinic: "Anaphylaxis."

Food Allergy Research & Education: "About Anaphylaxis."

World Allergy Organization: "Anaphylaxis: Synopsis."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 18, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Anaphylaxis."

American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology: "Anaphylaxis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Anaphylaxis: A Severe Allergic Reaction."

Cleveland Clinic: "Anaphylaxis."

Food Allergy Research & Education: "About Anaphylaxis."

World Allergy Organization: "Anaphylaxis: Synopsis."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on June 18, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are typical food triggers of anaphylaxis for children and adults?

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