Call 911 if the person has:
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Tightness in the throat or a feeling that the airways are closing
- Hoarseness or trouble speaking
- Swollen lips, tongue, or throat
- Nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
- Fast heartbeat or pulse
- Anxiety or dizziness
- Loss of consciousness
- Had severe reactions in the past
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Can the reaction happen again?
- What's my risk of anaphylaxis, a serious reaction that's sometimes life-threatening?
- What exactly am I allergic to?
- What should I do if I come in contact with it?
- Should I carry an epinephrine injection kit (Auvi-Q, Adrenaclick, EpiPen, Symjepi or a generic version of the auto-injector)?
If available, do not hesitate to use the epinephrine auto-injector if you suspect a severe allergic reaction or there are any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. Using the pen as a precaution is safe and could save their life.
Call 911 even if you gave an epinephrine injection as the allergic reaction may still get worse or the symptoms may come back.
1. Avoid the Trigger
2. Control Itching and Swelling
- Give an adult an over-the-counter antihistamine. Check with a doctor before giving an antihistamine to a child.
- Put a cool compress on the area or have the person take a cool shower.
- Avoid strong soaps, detergents, and other chemicals that can make itching worse.
3. Follow Up
- It may take several days for the trigger substance to leave the body. Continue treatment until symptoms subside.
- If symptoms persist or return, to help identify the allergen that caused the hives, see a doctor.