WHAT IS ANAPHYLAXIS?
- Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction.
- Different parts of the body can be affected all at once.
- The signs of anaphylaxis may not always be the same.
- Anaphylaxis is most often caused by foods, medicines or insect stings. It can be caused by other things, such as latex or exercise.
- Reactions are unpredictable, but usually occur within a few minutes after contact.
- Anaphylaxis almost always occurs within an hour after contact, but can happen up to 2 hours later.
- Antihistamine medicines will not prevent or stop anaphylaxis.
- Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Death can occur.
ASTHMA & ANAPHYLAXIS
- Anaphylactic reactions can be worse if you also have asthma, especially if asthma is not well controlled.
- Trouble breathing can occur with both asthma and anaphylaxis. Asthma symptoms usually get worse over days. Breathing problems due to anaphylaxis will come on quickly within minutes.
- Asthma inhalers will not work for anaphylaxis. Adrenalin (epinephrine) is needed to treat anaphylaxis.
Use your auto-injector at the earliest sign of anaphylaxis. Most deaths occur because of a delay in using the auto-injector.
- Keep asthma under good control.
- See an allergy doctor to confirm allergies.
- Avoid the things to which you are allergic. Always read labels of the food you buy and eat.
- Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen®).
It can save your life.
- If in doubt, use the auto-injector (EpiPen® or Allerject™).
- As soon as it is used, call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest Emergency Department.
- Check your auto-injector’s expiry date. Replace it when it is expired. Review when and how to use it every month.
- Avoid exposing your auto-injector to extreme heat or cold.
- Make sure that family, friends and other caregivers know about your allergy and anaphylaxis plan and know how to use the auto-injector.
- School age children, teens and adults who are at risk for anaphylaxis should wear a MedicAlert® bracelet.