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Home :: Immune Disorders

Anaphylaxis - Causes and Treatment


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Allergic Rhinitis
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Blood Transfusion Reaction
Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidiasis
Common Variable Immunodeficiency
Digeorge Syndrome
Fibromyalgia Syndrome
Goodpastures Syndrome
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Lupus Erythematosus
Polymyalgia Rheumatica
Polymyositis Dermatomyositis
Reiters Syndrome
Sjogrens Syndrome
Systemic Sclerosis
Urticaria Angioedem

Anaphylaxis is an acute systemic (rapid, multi-system) and severe allergic reaction. The term comes from the Greek words ana (against) and phylaxis Anaphylaxis is the word used for serious and rapid allergic reactions usually involving more than one part of the body which, if severe enough, can kill. Injections of many kinds occasionally cause anaphylaxis. Pollens and other inhaled allergens rarely cause anaphylaxis. Some people have an anaphylactic reaction with no identifiable cause. Anaphylaxis refers to a severe allergic reaction in which prominent dermal and systemic signs and symptoms manifest. The full-blown syndrome includes urticaria (hives) and/or angioedema with hypotension and bronchospasm. Tissues in different parts of the body release histamine and other substances. This causes constriction of the airways, resulting in wheezing, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Anaphylaxis occurs in all age groups. While prior exposure is essential for the development of true anaphylaxis, reactions occur even when no documented prior exposure exists. Anaphylactic reaction may begin with a tingling sensation, itching, or metallic taste in the mouth. Other symptoms can include hives, a sensation of warmth, asthma symptoms, swelling of the mouth and throat area, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Some individuals have a reaction, and the symptoms go away only to return two to three hours later. This is called a "biphasic reaction. Most common causes of anaphylaxis first is Drugs, such as penicillin, Foods such as peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans), milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, Insect stings from bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and fire ants and Latex.

Causes of Anaphylaxis

Common causes of Anaphylaxis

  • Medication.
  • Insect stings.
  • Latex.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Common Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

  • Hypotension.
  • Fainting.
  • Vomiting.
  • Itching.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anxiety.
  • Flushed appearance.
  • Angioedema.
  • Cramping.
  • Idiopathic Anaphylaxis.

Treatment of Anaphylaxis

Common Treatment of Anaphylaxis

  • Corticosteroids are used in anaphylaxis primarily to decrease the incidence and severity of delayed or biphasic reactions
  • Epinephrine is the drug of choice for treating an anaphylactic reaction.
  • If the person is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, place the person on his or her side to prevent choking.
  • Keep the person warm and comfortable. Loosen tight clothing and cover him or her with a blanket. Don't give the person anything to drink.
  • Use to injection( Epipen , Anapen).
  • Administer epinephrine to patients with systemic manifestations of anaphylaxis.
  • Avoiding identified allergens is critical for people who suffer from severe allergies.