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Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylactic Shock) (cont.)


Strictly avoid contact with the substance (allergen) that was the trigger.

  • If the trigger is a food, you must learn to read food labels carefully. When ordering foods at restaurants or eating in friends' homes, ask about ingredients. Be aware of ingredients that may contain triggers. Avoid eating foods if you can't confirm their ingredients. If your reactions are severe, contact the manufacturer to assure that the triggering food was not processed in the same area as a food to which you are allergic.
  • If the trigger is a drug, inform all health care providers of the reaction. Be prepared to report what happened when you had the reaction. Wear a tag (necklace or bracelet) that identifies the allergy.
  • Insect stings are more difficult to avoid. Wear long-sleeved clothing outdoors. Avoid bright colors and perfumes that attract stinging insects. Use caution with sweetened beverages outdoors, such as uncovered soft drinks.

People who are likely to be re-exposed to (or are unable to avoid) an allergen that has caused them a severe anaphylactic reaction in the past should see an allergist for desensitization. Skin testing may be required to help identify the allergen.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/10/2014
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