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Anaphylaxis: Introduction

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis, also called an anaphylactic reaction or allergic shock, can be fatal. Anaphylaxis develops rapidly, often within minutes, and is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency care.

Anaphylaxis is an uncommon type of allergic reaction. There are a variety of types of allergies that may in some cases develop into anaphylaxis. Almost any allergen can produce anaphylaxis in a person who is extremely sensitive to that particular substance. Common causes of anaphylaxis in include food allergies, such as an allergy to shellfish, peanuts or other nuts, and allergies to certain insect bites, such as a bee or wasp sting. Another common cause of anaphylaxis is a reaction to a medication, such as to aspirin or penicillin. Allergies to certain substances, such as latex, can in some cases cause anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is caused by a severe over-reaction of the immune system to a particular substance or allergen. The immune system is made up of special cells that circulate throughout the body to defend the body against foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria. For people with allergies that lead to anaphylaxis, the immune system is overzealous and reacts when they exposed to normally harmless substances, such as peanuts or latex. This results in the release of certain chemicals including histamine. These chemicals cause rapid and severe swelling, inflammation, and itching of tissues. This can result a narrowing or complete blockage of the windpipe and a sudden drop in blood pressure (hypotension). Symptoms include shortness of breath, hives, and rapid pulse. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is often diagnosed quickly in an emergency setting by the symptoms and by taking a quick allergy history and history of recent exposure to possible allergens that commonly cause anaphylaxis.

After a person with anaphylaxis has received emergency treatment and is stabilized, an allergist or specialist in immunology will make a diagnosis of the underlying allergy if they are unknown. This includes performing a complete evaluation that includes a medical history and allergy history, including exposure to common allergens, symptoms, and a physical examination. In some cases, it may not be possible to identify what substance caused anaphylaxis.

Diagnostic testing may include skin patch testing. In a patch test, small amounts of common allergens are applied methodically to the skin to determine what substances are triggering an allergic response that can lead to anaphylaxis. For suspected food allergies, a patient may also be asked to keep a log to record the types of foods that trigger an allergic reaction or to eliminate common food allergens, such as nuts.

It is possible that a diagnosis of anaphylaxis can be missed or delayed because some symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic anaphylaxis, refer to misdiagnosis of anaphylaxis.

Patient compliance with a good treatment plan can reduce the risks of developing anaphylaxis or repeat episodes of anaphylaxis. Treatment may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and other measures. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of anaphylaxis....more »

Anaphylaxis: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of anaphylaxis may be overlooked or delayed because some symptoms may be can mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as a panic attack or syncope.

The allergies that can cause anaphylaxis can be difficult to diagnose and may be both over-diagnosed and under-diagnosed at different times. A full evaluation by a primary care physician or ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Anaphylaxis:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Anaphylaxis. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Anaphylaxis: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Anaphylaxis

Home medical tests possibly related to Anaphylaxis:

Causes of Types of Anaphylaxis:

Review causes of more specific types of Anaphylaxis:

Anaphylaxis: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Anaphylaxis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Anaphylaxis Treatments

The most effective treatment plan for anaphylaxis uses a multifaceted approach. Treatment plans are also individualized to best address the specific cause and severity of anaphylaxis, and the patient's age and medical history. In general, the allergies that can lead to anaphylaxis are treatable, although they are generally not curable.

Treatment of anaphylaxis begins ...Anaphylaxis Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Anaphylaxis may include:

Review further information on Anaphylaxis Treatments.

Stories from Users for Anaphylaxis

Real-life user stories relating to Anaphylaxis:

Anaphylaxis: Animations

Medications or substances causing Anaphylaxis:

The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible causes of Anaphylaxis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

Drug interactions causing Anaphylaxis:

When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Anaphylaxis as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.

  • Succinylcholine and Thiopental interaction
  • Propranolol and Alcohol interaction
  • Propranolol and Diatrizoate interaction
  • more interactions...»

Anaphylaxis: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Anaphylaxis may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Anaphylaxis

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Anaphylaxis:

Anaphylaxis: Deaths

Read more about causes and Anaphylaxis deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Anaphylaxis

Chronic lung diseases hard to diagnose: Some of the chronic lung diseases are difficult to diagnose. Even the well-knowns conditions such as asthma or lung cancer often fail to be diagnosed early. Some of the chronic lung diseases more »

Anaphylaxis: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Anaphylaxis

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Anaphylaxis:

Anaphylaxis: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Anaphylaxis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Causes of Anaphylaxis listed in Disease Database:

Other medical conditions listed in the Disease Database as possible causes of Anaphylaxis as a symptom include:

Definitions of Anaphylaxis:

OBSOLETE. Extreme immunological sensitivity of the body or tissues to the reintroduction of an antigen. It is a form of anamnestic reaction and is accompanied by pathological changes in tissues or organs due to the release of pharmacologically active substances. [ISBN:0198506732]
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Hypersensitivity reaction to the ingestion or injection of a substance (a protein or drug) resulting from prior contact with a substance
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

A manifestation of immediate hypersensitivity in which exposure of a sensitized individual to a specific antigen or hapten results in urticaria, pruritis and angioedema, followed by vascular collapse and shock often accompanied by life threatening respiratory distress.
- (Source - CRISP)

Anaphylaxis is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Anaphylaxis, or a subtype of Anaphylaxis, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
- (Source - National Institute of Health)

Organs affected by Anaphylaxis:

The list of organs typically affected by Anaphylaxis may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Anaphylaxis

The list below shows some of the causes of Anaphylaxis mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Anaphylaxis?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Anaphylaxis. Of the 237 causes of Anaphylaxis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 3 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 4 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 233 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Anaphylaxis:

The following list of conditions have 'Anaphylaxis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Anaphylaxis or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Anaphylaxis:

The following list of medical conditions have Anaphylaxis or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.















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Causes of Anaphylaxis Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Anaphylaxis based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?

    Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Anaphylaxis?

    Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Anaphylaxis, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

    Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

    What are the alternative names for Anaphylaxis:

    Anaphylactic reaction
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Anaphylaxis:

    Medical Conditions associated with Anaphylaxis:

    Immune symptoms (465 causes), Immune system symptoms (465 causes), Swelling symptoms (3730 causes)

    Symptoms related to Anaphylaxis:

    Allergies, Hay fever (16 causes), Dust allergies, Pollen allergies, Peanut allergy, Shellfish allergy, Allergic reaction (49 causes), Anaphylactic shock (237 causes), Adverse reaction, Adrenaline, Antihistamines, Pulmonary oedema (52 causes)

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Medical News summaries about Anaphylaxis

    Our news pages contain the following medical news summaries about Anaphylaxis and many other medical conditions:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Anaphylaxis:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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