FAACT

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis

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Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

Symptoms of anaphylaxis can develop rapidly after exposure to an allergen, usually reaching peak severity within 5 to 30 minutes, but this may be delayed up to 2 hours. Sometimes, a second phase reaction (Biphasic Anaphylaxis) can occur 6-36 hours after the initial anaphylactic reaction in as many as 20% of individuals. Biphasic reactions have been reported to occur even as far out as 72 hours after the initial reaction, though this is rare.

Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms that may occur alone or in any combination include:

  • Mouth: swelling of the lips, tongues, or palate (roof of the mouth)
  • Eyes/Nose: runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, watery red eyes, itchy eyes, swollen eyes
  • Skin: hives or other rash, redness/flushing, itching, swelling
  • Gut: abdominal pain (a sharp, stabbing pain called colic), vomiting, diarrhea, nausea
  • Throat: hoarseness, tightening of throat, difficulty swallowing, hacking cough, stridor (a loud, high-pitched sound when breathing in)
  • Lungs: shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest pain, tightness
  • Mental: anxiety, panic, sense of doom
  • Circulation/Heart: chest pain, low blood pressure, weak pulse, shock, pale blue color, dizziness or fainting, lethargy (lack of energy)

Symptoms of the throat, lungs, and heart are all immediate and potentially life-threatening. When you, or someone you know, begin to experience symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Anaphylaxis: Signs and Symptoms Poster
AAP Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan