Food Allergy (cont.)
Food Allergy Medications
The choice of medication and how it is given depends on the severity of the reaction.
- This drug is given only in very severe reactions (anaphylaxis).
- Epinephrine is injected and acts as a bronchodilator (dilates the breathing tubes).
- It also constricts the blood vessels, increasing blood pressure.
- Another medication with similar effects may be given instead.
- For a less severe reaction involving the respiratory tract, an inhaled epinephrine bronchodilator may be used, as in asthma.
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- This drug reverses the actions of histamine.
- Diphenhydramine is injected when quick action is required.
- It may be given by mouth for a less severe reaction.
- One of these drugs is usually given via IV at first for rapid reversal of the effects of the mediators of the allergic response.
- These drugs should not be confused with the steroids taken by athletes to build muscle and strength.
- These drugs reduce swelling and many other symptoms of allergic reactions.
- The person may need to take an oral corticosteroid for several days after this.
- Oral corticosteroids are often given for less severe reactions.
- A corticosteroid cream or ointment may be used for skin reactions.
- Other medications may be given as needed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/7/2012
Must Read Articles Related to Food Allergy
An allergic reaction is an overreaction to a harmless substance. Symptoms and signs of an allergic reaction include hives, rashes, swelling, itching, wheezing, ...learn more >>
Hives and Angioedema
Hives is a sudden allergic skin reaction. Hives are raised reddish bumps that cause severe itching. Angioedema is similar to hives but the welts are larger and ...learn more >>
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which milk and milk products (lactose products) are not digestible. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of lacta...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Food Allergy: