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Anaphylaxis: Management & Treatment

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This information was reviewed and approved by Rafeul Alam, MD, PhD (2/29/2020).

When exposed to a foreign substance, some people suffer reactions identical to anaphylaxis, but no allergy (IgE antibody) is involved. These reactions are called anaphylactoid (meaning anaphylaxis-like) reactions.

These preparations can help a person at risk for severe allergic reactions to avoid and respond to an anaphylactic reaction:

  • Wear a Medic Alert tag at all times.

  • Be in the care of a board-certified allergist.

  • Always carry an emergency kit with an antihistamine (chewable pill or syrup) and injectable epinephrine that you can give to yourself. Make sure you replace the injectable epinephrine after you use it or when it passes the expiration date.

  • Know the symptoms of an anaphylaxis reaction and have an up-to-date Severe Allergic Reaction Action Plan.


Treatment of Anaphylaxis

How and When to Give Epinephrine

Learn why and watch our videos to eliminate the fear surrounding self-administered injections. More info.

Epinephrine is the most important medicine for the treatment of anaphylaxis. It is injected into the lateral thigh. A special syringe that is easy to give (to yourself or someone else) is available. If prescribed, your doctor or nurse will teach you the proper way to use it. The effects of epinephrine can wear off quickly, and it is possible a second dose of epinephrine or other medications may be required to treat the allergic reaction. Therefore, it is important to get emergency medical attention right away after giving the shot. Common brands of epinephrine are:

Epinephrine is a life-saving medication for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Therefore, it must be carried at all times by the person at risk for severe allergic reactions.

The Auvi-Q is the newest form of epinephrine available. It is a compact device that fits inside a pocket. It has voice instructions to guide the user through the injection process step by step.

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