Anaphylaxis: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    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.

Anaphylaxis is a rare, severe allergic reaction that is life-threatening. The most common allergic triggers of anaphylaxis include drugs (such as penicillin), insect stings, foods (peanuts, shellfish), X-ray dye, and latex. Symptoms and signs can vary and begin either immediately after contact with the allergen or after a short time period (15 minutes to an hour). Hives, difficulty breathing, a feeling of impending doom, and reduced blood pressure are among the symptoms and signs that can occur. The severity of symptoms and signs varies among people; the more rapid the onset of symptoms and signs, the greater the likelihood of a severe reaction.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/15/2015

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