Allergy Information Center
The treatment for Anaphylaxis begins as soon as the patient presents to the emergency room. In some cases, the breathing stops completely and a CPR is given to revive the patient. The frontline medications for Anaphylaxis are epinephrine and adrenaline. Administration of these two drugs has immediate effect and the symptoms calm down within a matter of minutes. For difficulty breathing, the patient is given oxygen therapy to calm down the symptoms.
Biphasic Anaphylaxis refers to the symptoms of anaphylaxis that reoccur after an initial attack of Anaphylaxis. The symptoms of anaphylaxis are usually very severe and peak rapidly. The symptoms of Biphasic Anaphylaxis are quite same but they are much less in severity. The treatment for Biphasic Anaphylaxis remains the same as that for Anaphylaxis. Epinephrine or adrenaline is the frontline medication used to treat anaphylactic reaction. EpiPen is the most preferred form of epinephrine used to treat Biphasic Anaphylaxis.
There are many triggers of anaphylaxis of which some of the common ones are: Foods like peanuts, shellfish, milk, and eggs have a tendency to cause an anaphylactic reaction. Certain antibiotics and over the counter pain relievers like aspirin also have a side effect profile of causing anaphylaxis. Stings from insects like wasps or bees are perhaps the most common trigger for an anaphylactic reaction.
There is no cure for Anaphylaxis. The condition however can be prevented and the symptoms controlled with timely treatment. Since anaphylaxis is extremely serious, the affected individual should be taken immediately to the nearest emergency room especially if there is difficulty breathing or the patient is unconscious.
The symptoms of Anaphylaxis especially those associated with respirations calm down almost immediately after administration of epinephrine or adrenaline. In case if these symptoms of Anaphylaxis do not improve then a repeat dosage of the medication is required; however, this is very rare. Secondary symptoms of Anaphylaxis like abdominal pain and skin rashes take about an hour or two to improve. The symptoms of swelling takes much longer and can last for an entire day to completely go away.
The presenting features of Anaphylaxis can be observed within seconds of exposure to the presumptive allergen. However, in some cases it can up to an hour for symptoms to occur after exposure. The first presenting feature of Anaphylaxis is presence of itchy skin rashes and the skin turning pale.
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