Anaphylaxis | Overview


What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis (say: "anna-full-ax-iss") is a life-threatening allergic reaction. It starts soon after you are exposed to something you are severely allergic to. You may have swelling, itching or a rash with itchy bumps (hives). Some people have trouble breathing, a tight feeling in their chest or dizziness. Some people feel anxious. Other people have stomach cramps, nausea or diarrhea. Some people lose consciousness (pass out). A person who has anaphylaxis needs immediate medical attention


A Practical Guide to Anaphylaxis by TW Tang, M.D. (American Family Physician October 01, 2003,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 11/04