Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Anaphylaxis is an extremely serious allergic reaction. It occurs when the immune system of the body releases flurry of chemicals on exposure to certain substances that the individual is allergic to causing the body to go into a shock. The symptoms of Anaphylaxis begin within seconds on exposure to the allergen. Due to the body going into potentially a shock like state makes this condition extremely dangerous and life threatening.

Anaphylaxis causes the blood pressure to go down rapidly. The airways get narrow which makes breathing very difficult. The individual also starts to have a slow shallow breathing. The most common triggers for Anaphylaxis are peanuts or insect stings like wasps and bees. Medications like certain forms of antibiotics also can cause Anaphylaxis. Foods like fish, eggs, milk, and shellfish also have a tendency to cause Anaphylaxis especially in children.

Although this condition affects both children and adults equally, children are more vulnerable as they have a developing immune system. An individual with symptoms of Anaphylaxis should be taken immediately to the emergency room for prompt treatment.

What is the Treatment Protocol for Anaphylaxis?

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.

The airways get constricted during an anaphylactic attack. For this, medications like cortisone or IV antihistamines are given to open up the airways and allow the patient to breathe without any assistance. Medications like albuterol are also quite effective for this purpose.

In cases of emergency where the patient loses consciousness and shows signs of shock, make the patient comfortable and elevate the legs. Administer CPR immediately. Check the pulse of the patient and call 911 immediately for help to arrive.

It is recommended for people with history of allergies to always carry an autoinjector of epinephrine with them so that it can be used in times of emergency to prevent any complications from Anaphylaxis. Just inject the autoinjector to the thigh or other fleshy part of the body for immediate symptom relief.

If an individual is sensitive to bug bites or insect stings then it is recommended that the individual go for immunotherapy or allergy shots. This therapy reduces the chances of a severe allergic reaction like Anaphylaxis in the future. This condition does not have a cure but being alert and taking preventive measures like avoiding exposure to potential allergens and staying away from foods which the individual may be allergic to can prevent any future anaphylactic attacks.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 23, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest