Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.

Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.
beginning of content

Anaphylaxis

2-minute read

Cases of severe allergic reactions to triggers, for example food or bites and stings, can lead to anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is very serious and can be fatal.

If you think someone is having an allergic reaction, call triple zero (000).

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • difficult or noisy breathing
  • difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • a swollen tongue
  • persistent dizziness or collapse
  • swelling or tightness in the throat
  • pale and floppy (young children)
  • wheeze or persistent cough

First aid for anaphylaxis

  1. Lay person flat and keep them still – don't let them stand or walk.
  2. If unconscious, place them in the recovery position.
  3. If breathing is difficult allow them to sit.
  4. Give adrenaline autoinjector.
  5. Phone ambulance on triple zero (000).
  6. Further adrenaline doses may be given if no response after 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer person to hospital for at least 4 hours of observation.

If the person is unresponsive and not breathing normally, start CPR.

If you aren't sure – always give the adrenaline autoinjector. If the person also has asthma, give the adrenaline autoinjector first and then asthma reliever puffer.

For more information on anaphylaxis, including setting up a personal action plan, go to www.allergy.org.au.

People with diagnosed allergies should avoid all triggers and confirmed allergens and have a readily accessible anaphylaxis action plan and medical alert device. It’s wise to ensure your friends and family know how to follow your anaphylaxis action plan too in case you need help.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about anaphylaxis.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: June 2018

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

EpiPen - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

EpiPen film

Read more on Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website

Using Your EpiPen - Young Adults

Using Your EpiPen Top Tips For Using Your Epipen Practice using your EpiPen trainer device regularly

Read more on National Allergy Strategy website

Allergy - EpiPen Use | Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

What is an EpiPen? EpiPen is an emergency device that can inject adrenaline

Read more on Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website

Using your EpiPen [250K An allergy awareness project]

Always keep your EpiPen with you.

Read more on National Allergy Strategy website

Change to instructions on EpiPen administration - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Change to instructions on EpiPen administration. The devices have not changed, just the instructions on the label.

Read more on Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website

Signs and symptoms [250K An allergy awareness project]

Be prepared. Always keep your EpiPen and ASCIA Action Plan with you.

Read more on National Allergy Strategy website

Adrenaline auto-injectors

The most effective first aid treatment for anaphylaxis is adrenaline given using an auto injector (such as an EpiPen) into the outer mid-thigh muscle.

Read more on WA Health website

In an emergency - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

If you believe someone is experiencing anaphylaxis you MUST GIVE the adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector (e.g. EpiPen) according to instruction on the ASCIA Action Plan. If you DO NOT have an adrenaline autoinjector: Lay person flat - do NOT allow them to stand or walk CALL AN AMBULANCE: DIAL TRIPLE ZERO 000

Read more on Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website

Study at University with a Food Allergy - Young Adults

Study at University with a Food Allergy Top Tips For University Make a friend in each of your classes, and tell them about your allergy and where to find your EpiPens in case of an emergency

Read more on National Allergy Strategy website

Adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector use - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

EpiPen administration - Adrenaline and temperature control(Based on data available in 2010)NOTE: Adrenaline (epinephrine)or adrenaline autoinjector refers to EpiPen.Many individuals, parents and caregivers are concerned about the stability of adrenaline in temperatures over 25oC. The Australian climate often takes us beyond 25oC and many have been contacting Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) with queries on maintaining temperature of the adrenaline autoinjector

Read more on Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo