Anaphylaxis: Causes & Triggers Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Rafeul Alam, MD, PhD (March 01, 2020) An anaphylactic reaction is often triggered by an allergen exposure. An exposure may occur through injection, swallowing, inhaling or skin contact. Injected Allergens Include bee, hornet, wasp and yellow jacket stings, and allergen extracts used for diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions. Antibiotics such as penicillin can trigger a reaction by injection or ingestion (swallowing). Ingested Allergens A severe reaction caused by a food allergy occurs after eating that particular food, even a small bite. Foods that most commonly cause anaphylaxis are peanuts, seafood, nuts and, in children, eggs and cow's milk. Skin contact with the food rarely causes anaphylaxis. Inhaled Allergens An anaphylactic reaction from an inhaled allergen is rare. An example is a latex-allergic person who inhales particles from rubber gloves or other latex products. Multiple Factors For some people, two or more factors may be needed to cause anaphylaxis. It has been recognized that an anaphylactic reaction can occur if a person eats a certain food and then exercises. Neither the food alone nor exercise alone causes any problem, but the two together do. Anaphylaxis: Prevention Using An Adrenaclick® Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.