Anaphylaxis (Severe Allergic Reaction)

  • Medical Author:
    Allison Ramsey, MD

    Dr. Allison Ramsey earned her undergraduate degree at Colgate University and her medical degree at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She completed her internal medicine training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and remained at the university to complete her fellowship training in allergy and clinical immunology. Dr. Ramsey is board certified in internal medicine and allergy and immunology. Her professional interests include the treatment of drug allergy and eosinophilic disorders. She also enjoys teaching medical trainees. She is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the New York State Allergy Society, and the Finger Lakes Allergy Society. In her personal life, her interests include exercise, especially running and horseback riding; and spending time with her husband and two children.

  • Medical Author: Syed Shahzad Mustafa, MD
    Syed Shahzad Mustafa, MD

    After growing up in the Rochester area, Dr. Mustafa pursued his undergraduate studies at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and attended medical school at SUNY Buffalo. He then completed his internal medicine training at the University of Colorado and stayed in Denver to complete his fellowship training in allergy and clinical immunology at the University of Colorado, National Jewish Health, and Children's Hospital of Denver.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View 10 Common Allergy Triggers

Anaphylaxis & Bee Sting Treatment

When bees or wasps sting a person, they inject venom through their stinger into the skin of the victim. About 3% of people stung by bees and wasps have an allergic reaction to the sting, and up to 0.8% of bee sting victims experience the severe and life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Quick Guide10 Common Allergy Causes

10 Common Allergy Causes

Anaphylaxis facts

  • Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening.
  • Anaphylaxis is rare. The vast majority of people will never have an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Common triggers of an anaphylactic reaction include drugs, such as penicillin, insect stings, foods (peanuts, shellfish), X-ray dye, and latex.
  • The symptoms of anaphylaxis may vary and can include hives, tongue swelling, vomiting, and even shock.
  • If someone is at risk, avoidance is the best form of treatment.
  • If one has a history of serious allergic reaction, he or she should always carry an epinephrine kit.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a rapidly developing and serious allergic reaction that can affect multiple body systems at the same time. Severe anaphylactic reactions can be fatal. Anaphylaxis is often triggered by substances that are injected or ingested and thereby gain access into the bloodstream. This can result in a reaction involving the skin, lungs, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2016

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