Visit Premier for any medical urgency or emergency.


Severe Allergic Reactions and Anaphylaxis

Having allergies is common; in the U.S., about 30% for the adults and 40% of children experience allergies, varying in the type of reaction and severity. When your body recognizes some substances as invaders, they will trigger an allergic reaction.

When an allergy becomes life-threatening

The vast majority of allergies cause mild to moderate symptoms that can include watery eyes, itchy hives, a runny nose or a rash. In some cases, the allergic reaction can be life-threatening. This severe allergic reaction occurs when exposure to an allergen causes an over-release of chemicals, resulting in anaphylactic shock. The most common allergens that can cause severe allergies are food allergies, insect stings, and some medications.

What is anaphylaxis?

The most severe allergic reaction is anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic reaction is rare, but is potentially life-threatening and should be addressed immediately. Anaphylaxis is triggered by allergens that access the bloodstream and the reaction progresses rapidly. Anaphylaxis can affect many body systems at once. Usually the skin, lungs, nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract are affected the most.

What are the symptoms of anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis symptoms can occur suddenly, within a few seconds to minutes after exposure to the allergen. In some cases, it can take up two hours for the severe reaction to evolve. The symptoms can vary from one person to another, but usually include:

  • Shortness of breath, irregular or difficulty breathing

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, loss of consciousness and fainting

  • Fast heartbeat, heart palpitations, and low blood pressure

  • Tightening of the chest or throat, difficulty swallowing

  • Hoarse voice, cough, itchy throat, wheezing, nasal congestion, or a runny nose

  • Skin reactions like hives, redness, swelling, itching, and flushin

  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

  • A feeling of impending doom, mental confusion

When should you visit Premier?

When experiencing anaphylaxis, every second counts. Seek immediate emergency care if you experience shortness of breath or loss of consciousness. It is also considered an emergency when the allergic reaction involves more than one body system at once, for example, if you experience both skin reaction and vomiting. Don’t waste critical time and call Premier as soon as you or anyone you know develops severe allergic reactions.

Please visit your nearest Premier for any medical urgency or emergency.