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Allergic Reaction (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Because allergic reactions can progress and worsen in minutes causing complications, medical attention is always recommended for all but the most minor and localized symptoms.

If the symptoms of a reaction worsen over a few days, or if they do not improve with recommended treatment and removal of the allergen, call a doctor.

People should tell a doctor if they have any allergic symptoms after using a prescribed drug or other treatment prescribed (see Drug Allergy).

Allergic reactions can be dangerous. Sudden, severe, widespread reactions require emergency evaluation by a physician. Call an 911 or activate emergency medical services if someone has any of the following with an allergic reaction:

  • Sudden, severe, or rapidly worsening symptoms
  • Exposure to an allergen that previously caused severe or bad reactions
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
  • Wheezing, chest tightness, loud breathing, trouble breathing, or hoarseness of voice
  • Confusion, sweating, nausea, or vomiting
  • Widespread rash or severe hives
  • Lightheadedness, collapse, or unconsciousness
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/16/2015

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