SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Anaphylaxis symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to an allergen. Sometimes, however, anaphylaxis can occur a half-hour or longer after exposure. Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- Skin reactions, including hives along with itching, and flushed or pale skin (almost always present with anaphylaxis)
- A feeling of warmth
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
- Constriction of the airways and a swollen tongue or throat, which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Dizziness or fainting
When to see a doctor
Seek emergency medical help if you, your child or someone else you're with has a severe allergic reaction.
If the person having the attack carries an epinephrine autoinjector (such as an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr), give him or her a shot right away. Even if symptoms improve after an emergency epinephrine injection, a visit to the emergency department is still necessary to make sure symptoms don't return.
Make an appointment to see your doctor if you or your child has had a severe allergy attack or any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis in the past.
The diagnosis and long-term management of anaphylaxis are complicated, so you'll probably need to see a doctor who specializes in allergies and immunology.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Kim H, et al. Anaphylaxis. Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology. 2011;7(suppl):S6.
- Allergic reactions: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/allergic-reactions.aspx. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Anaphylaxis overview. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Anaphylaxis/Pages/default.aspx. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Barg W, et al. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis: Update on diagnosis and treatment. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 2011;11:45.
- Dinakar C. Anaphylaxis in children: Current understanding and key issues in diagnosis and treatment. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. In press. Accessed Oct. 2, 2012.
- Anaphylaxis: Tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/anaphylaxis.aspx. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Li JT (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 12, 2012.