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Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.

Peanuts are a common allergen that can cause an anaphylaxis.
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Anaphylaxis

Cases of severe allergic reactions to trigger agents, 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, seek medical advice urgently as symptoms can worsen rapidly. If breathing is affected, call triple zero (000).

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • swelling of the mouth, throat or tongue
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • difficulty talking
  • a rash that may appear anywhere on the body
  • itching – usually around your eyes, ears, lips, throat or roof of the mouth
  • flushing (feeling hot and red)
  • stomach cramps, feeling or being sick
  • feeling weak
  • collapsing or falling unconscious.

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy recommends that for a severe allergic reaction adrenaline is the initial treatment. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

If the person has a ‘personal action plan’ to manage a known severe allergy, they may need assistance to follow their plan. This may include administering adrenaline to the person via an autoinjector (such as an Epipen®) if one is available.

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 trigger agents 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.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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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

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening.

Read more on WA Health website

How to give Epipen - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

HOW TO GIVE EPIPEN

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

Adrenaline for severe allergies - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Adrenaline (epinephrine) is a natural hormone released in response to stress. When injected, adrenaline rapidly reverses the effects of anaphylaxis by reducing throat swelling, opening the airways, and maintaining heart function and blood pressure. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life threatening, severe allergic reaction and should always be treated as a medical emergency. Adrenaline injected into the outer mid-thigh muscle is the first line treatment for anaphylaxis.

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

Kids' Health - Topics - Anaphylaxis - when an allergy can be really dangerous

Have you ever had an allergy (say al-er-gee) to something? Did your body show that you had come into contact with something that it didn't like?

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector - myDr.com.au

EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

Allergic reactions to bites and stings - Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Most insect bites and stings result in a localised itch and swelling that settles within a few days. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to insects are usually due to bees, wasps or the Australian Jack Jumper ant. Insect bites are a less common cause of anaphylaxis than insect stings. Fortunately, effective treatments are available to treat allergic reactions to bites and stings.

Read more on ASCIA – Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website

Immunise - Adverse Events Following Immunisation

Adverse Events Following Immunisation Page last updated: 20 April 2015 Serious reactions to immunisation are very rare

Read more on Department of Health website

Food allergy - myDr.com.au

A food allergy is an immune response triggered by eating specific foods that cause certain well known symptoms to develop.

Read more on myDr website

EpiPen Auto-Injector (Solution for injection) - myDr.com.au

EpiPen Auto-Injector (Solution for injection) - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

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